The life story of TWA pilot Barry Seal is well worthy of a motion picture. His hiring at the CIA to work undercover in order to take down the Medellin cartel is the type of material that is made for Hollywood. And who better to showcase this adventure than Tom Cruise?
Yet the upcoming title American Made was not without its share of setbacks and struggles. From a horrible incident to a rigorous production schedule, director Doug Liman outlined to Yahoo! Movies how far the veteran action star would go to pull off some breathtaking scenes in the air.
Cruise Goes MIA In The Skies
The 55-year old has long been pushing the boundaries on set for his blockbusters. But even his Edge of Tomorrow colleague could not grasp how the icon could execute one particular scene. Needing to lighten the load of illegal drugs smuggled on his aircraft, Cruise would depart the cockpit after taking the passenger plane into the skies.
"Flying extremely fast, small airplanes, low to the ground, is a dangerous environment to be in just on its own," explained the filmmaker. "Then, in the story, he's throwing bales of cocaine out of the airplane, loading them up with guns, so every once in a while in this scene he's got to climb out of the cockpit and go to the back of the airplane to dump the cocaine out.
I'm flying alongside him in a helicopter filming, and that made a big impression on me, there's nobody in the cockpit of the plane! Tom has gone to the back of the aircraft, and he's alone in that airplane. It's one thing to have Tom Cruise alone in the airplane flying it, that's already outrageous, now he's alone and he's not even in the cockpit so he's gone beyond. It was already a stunt before he left the cockpit, it was already a serious stunt."
All of this would be more remarkable giving the deaths of Carlos Berl and Alan Purwin on set in 2015. This would occur when a twin-engine Aerostar would crash in Colombia to leave the cast and crew reeling.
Seal Team One A Great US Contradiction
The 1980s geopolitically was a strange time for the Ronald Reagan administration. Fighting multiple battles at home and abroad, two enemies would collide and this is where Seal would find himself caught in the middle.
"It's a comedic look at the 'War on Drugs' because at the same time the White House had a 'War on Drugs' they also had a 'War on Communism,' and the people willing to fight the communists were the drug lords, and so you had these two branches within Reagan's White House working at total cross-purposes," Liman said. "And you had Barry Seal taking advantage of both, and profiting from both. (My father) always saw the humour in the details of the story and would come home and tell the outrageous things that he had uncovered that day. It's the most incredible story, probably today with what's going with the world, it's pretty clear that some of the most outrageous things you can't really invent. The world can create things more outrageous than any screenwriter can imagine."
American Made opens in the US on September 29.
Source: Yahoo! Movies