Tom Cruise's Most Insane Stunt? Holding His Breath

Tom Cruise getting ready to hold his breath like a boss in ‘Rogue Nation’

Forget rock climbing, scaling skyscrapers and flying on the wing of a jumbo jet. Tom Cruise’s most breath-taking feat involves not taking a breathing at all.

Cruise, the A-list daredevil who’s known for taking on the most death-defying stunts for his movies, told USA Today that the incredible underwater scene that we saw earlier this week in the new Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation trailer was done all in one take, a stunt that required him to defy the normal bounds of the human body. For six and a half minutes.

“It’s something I have always wanted to do,” he told the newspaper. “I have done a lot of underwater sequences. But we wanted to create a suspense underwater sequence without cuts…. We’re underwater and we’re doing breath-holds of 6 to 6 ½ minutes. So I was doing all my training with the other stuff [on-set]. It was very taxing stuff.”

Related: Tom Cruise Leaves Us Breathless in a New ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ Trailer

To give you some context for this insane cardiovascular accomplishment, the average human can hold his or her breath for 30 to 40 seconds. The further one dives, the harder it is, and Cruise is swimming all over the place in the clip (which you can see below).

The record for breath-holding was broken last year by a German diver named Stig Severinsen, who was dropped into a temperature-controlled tank and stayed down there for over 22 minutes on one single breath. He was completely still the entire time — that’s called static apnea — while Cruise was performing dynamic apnea, which meant that he was moving the entire time. And of course, it’s much harder to hold your breath in that state.

It requires years of training and meditation to even reach six minutes, but Cruise says he only began thinking about attempting this stunt while making last year’s action movie Edge of Tomorrow.

We’re looking forward to the third trailer, in which Cruise will presumably turn into a dragon and fly through space.

In the meantime, watch the new trailer below: