Danny Trejo Calls Out Actors (Cough-Tom Cruise-Cough) for Doing Their Own Stunts
It was the set video seen around the world: Tom Cruise, leaping between rooftops for a Mission: Impossible 6 stunt, and slamming into the side of the building at high speed. In the weeks since the extent of Cruise's injuries were confirmed by the studio, the entire production has been trying to put a positive spin on the news, with director Christopher McQuarrie saying Cruise’s broken ankle actually offered the crew an ‘opportunity’ to tinker a bit with the edit mid-production. Still, the injury shows the downside of Cruise’s legendary attention to detail for movie stunts, and at least one fellow actor had a few unkind words to say about the whole process.
I know that all the big stars hate me to say this, but I don’t want to risk 80 peoples’ jobs just to say I got big huevos on The Tonight Show. Because that’s what happens. I think a big star just sprained an ankle doing a stunt, and 80 or 180 people are out of a job… We have stunt people who do that stuff. And if they get hurt, I’m sorry to say but they just need to put a mustache on another Mexican and we can keep going. But if I get hurt, everybody’s out of a job. So I don’t choose to do that.
This actually isn’t the first time that Trejo has called out actors for doing their own stunts in movies. In 2014, Trejo made almost the exact same argument in an interview with Fox News, noting that he wouldn’t want to “risk 80 people’s jobs just so I can say I have big nuts.” Trejo has a point, of course. Even ignoring the fact that actors are never as-prepared for a movie stunt as the stuntmen and women who dedicate their careers to this work, there’s also the fact that an entire production can be shut down by one misstep. While Trejo is noticeably careful not to mention Cruise by name in the video, it’s clear who the actor has in mind: in his opinion, actors like Cruise should leave the dangerous work to the professionals.
Between this and the unfortunate death of a driver on the set of Deadpool 2, there’s probably a broader conversation worth having about the way Hollywood handles its stunt work. Good on Danny Trejo for keeping this conversation alive.