In the movie, the 53-year-old Golden Globe winner hangs onto the outside of an airplane as it takes off, so ET correspondent Carly Steel had to ask, what was he thinking?!
"Going down that runway I was thinking, 'Holy s**t!'" Cruise admitted.
In fact, Cruise described the experience as reminiscent of a western duel. The night before filming, the box office star recalled having a dramatic stare-down with the plane that he would mount eight times the next day.
"We went from the studio to the airport and it was a foggy, rainy night and we landed and this thing just looked like a beast!" Cruise said. "It was in the fog and it was lit. It was just sitting there, like, 'Yeah!'"
Not one to be intimidated, Cruise set his fears aside and took the challenge head on.
"The morning came and I'm strapped onto the side of that airplane and I'll never forget, I kept telling the pilot, I said, 'Listen, man. When you're climbing out you've got to make sure because I want my feet against the fuselage. I want that steep climb,'" Cruise said. "With an airplane, you got to really know the weight, the balance, the numbers -- it's a very powerful, beautiful airplane and I really appreciate they did this."
In the fifth Mission: Impossible film, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team are tasked with eradicating the Syndicate, an international rogue organization out to dismantle the IMF. The movie hits theaters July 31.