Matt Damon is afraid of heights and doesn’t understand how Tom Cruise does it


Kaiser linked this story yesterday, but things are slow so let’s spend a little more time with it. Mainly because, as Kaiser said, Matt Damon still tells a good story and I am very excited to see Ford v. Ferrari. As most know, Damon reinvented himself as an action hero a few decades into his career, notably taking on the Bourne series. What was notable about that is that at the time, nobody thought Damon could pull off the Jason Bourne character. He did, though, and very successfully. But could he do it now? Probably not. The reason, however, has nothing to with age – Damon has developed a fear of heights, something that came upon him in 2004. So, since he can’t bring himself to jump off a bridge anymore, Damon wanted to know how fellow later-in-life action star Tom Cruise does it and the answer was priceless.

Watch the clip if you can, it’s well worth your time. What Damon said about his discussion with Cruise was:

I had dinner with Tom Cruise, years ag0 after he did that thing out of the building… in Mission Impossible. I kind of cornered him, and I said, “I’m afraid of heights, how do you do this thing?” You’ve met Tom. You’re the only thing in the world. It’s not even that everything else disappears for him, everything else disappears for you. Everything else went away. But he just laser-locked and he said, “I’ve been dreaming of this shot for 15 years, this sequence, and finally, I had a chance to do it.” And I go, “So how did it finally come to pass?” And he goes, “So I go to the safety guy and tell him this is what I’m going to do, I explain the whole gag to him. And the safety guy says, ‘You can’t do that. That’s too dangerous.’ So I get another safety guy.”

And you know Cruise’s story is 100%. I’m sure many people will be upset at Cruise’s recklessness and there’s an argument there, but we want good stories from these celebrities on chat shows. I especially love celebrities sharing interesting stories about other celebrities, so I was thoroughly entertained.

My mom said that she was never afraid of heights until we were walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and I, as a very young child, stuck my head through the railing. She can barely look out windows above the fourth floor of a building now. I, too, all of a sudden developed a dramatic fear of heights as I got older. It began in my 30s but became crippling after I had my kids. I can make myself physically ill just imagining certain height situations. Even when Damon was describing when he discovered he was scared of heights in Dubai on the helipad my heart went in my throat. It’s bizarre to have it sneak up on you like that. CB is set to jump out of a plane in the spring. I wanted to do that my whole life, but I’ve come to terms that I do not think it will ever be possible for me. So, I guess Damon and I will have to stay on the ground and commit to living vicariously through CB and Cruise. At least we’ll get some good stories out of it. Of course, that’s only if we can bear to watch.



Photo credit: YouTube and WENN Photos

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21 Responses to “Matt Damon is afraid of heights and doesn’t understand how Tom Cruise does it”

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  1. UpTooEay says:

    Funny thing- my dad is afraid of heights and he’s an airline pilot.

    • Alexandria says:

      Wow, how does he cope??

      • UpTooEay says:

        I think it’s a control thing- he’s in control of the plane, so he can handle it. He’s retired now, so he hates flying 😂. He’d rather drive.

      • spookie says:

        I am scared of heights to the extent that more than two steps up a ladder is a problem, but I can fly (as a passenger!!). I just have to not think about it or I would panic. And it has got worse as I get older.

  2. Alexandria says:

    I developed mine later too in my 30s so I don’t like flying. I love to cruise. For roller coasters I like the ones in the dark and go very fast, because I can’t see much. I hate the ones that slowly go up to the first peak. When I entered the giant ferris wheel (like London Eye) in my country, I was crying as my capsule went higher.

  3. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    I was at a theme park right after the birth of my second child with my sister-in-law and our thing has always been that when she visits we ride roller coasters. I looked at the roller coaster and had a sense of complete panic wash over me, convinced that I would fall out and leave my children orphans. I think it had something to do with the postpartum hormones.

    • Josephine says:

      Not sure if it’s actually true, but I read once that a good deal of women develop the fear of flying after having children. It certainly happened to me, but did dissipate after many, many years. There’s definitely something to be said about reevaluating all risks after having kids!

      • Alexandria says:

        How about me? I have no kids and don’t intend to….maybe because in my 30s I start to think about dying?

  4. GreenBunny says:

    Once I had kids, I also developed a fear of heights. I’m terrified of balconies, and my parent’s beach house is on the 7th floor of their building. I have moments right before I fall asleep (in my own home 3 hrs away) where I just have that panic inducing thought of one of my children falling over that balcony. I’m also freaked out by the mall and the railings over each story as you look down. It’s another of my fears, my kids somehow falling over.

    • moco says:

      Yes! Me, too! I am not afraid of heights by myself, but I cannot handle at all seeing my kids at heights. My daughter ran over to a clear glass mall railing the other day to look below and my heart did a major swoop. I had to turn around. We took them up the Empire State Building and I was uncomfortable the second we stepped out the door even though I’ve been alone and relished looking down at the city for long periods of time.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I’m afraid of heights but in a weird way. Like, the giant ferris wheel in Seattle (the Seattle Eye?) scared the crap out of me (I was in tears.) But looking out of a plane doesn’t faze me at all. Being on the 16th deck of a cruise ship doesn’t bother me. Being on a 10 foot ladder does.

    I hate roller coasters and CB’s talk about skydiving makes me feel a little sick, lol, but that’s because I hate the feeling of my stomach dropping and the anticipation of the first drop. So – Space Mountain doesn’t bother me, I wont do Splash Mountain in Disney.

    • Jensies says:

      Ferris wheels are hideous. There, I said it. I get freaked of heights and claustrophobic in those like nothing else. I’ve jumped out of planes with no problem, looked down from space needles and cliffs with no problem, but Ferris wheels give me the heebie jeebies.

    • spookie says:

      BecksI I totally 100% know what you mean. You wouldn’t get me on a roller coaster or ferris wheel for all the tea in China and, as for skydiving, don’t even go there.

    • stormsmama says:

      my kids and husband convinced me to do the ferris wheel in Seattle two years ago and I was A WRECK..I was terrified the entire time 🙁

  6. MariaS says:

    I discovered my fear while backpacking in Canada. I hiked up this steep slope with sheer drops on both sides (no switchbacks). Because I kept looking up, I was fine. Descending the other side where I had to look down and could see the drop? Full lizard brain. My legs began shaking violently and I was almost hyperventilating. I had to stop and calm myself before descending at a snail’s pace I felt like throwing up when it was over. Now I read contour maps really carefully to understand what the trail will be like.

    • MrsRoper says:

      This! My legs quiver nauseatingly when I look down from a height, even if I see it in a movie. It was embarrassing how I descended a ruin in Oaxaca, Mexico… I slowly went down step-by-step on my butt while other people climbed down fearlessly. Here at home, I had to change my regular walking path to avoid a metal grate bridge over a river (the walk space is open metal grating that you can see through to the river below.)

  7. Cay says:

    That Tom Cruise eye-contact thing is so Scientology. They stare at each other until they basically have hallucinations. It’s a process on how to learn to control other people.

  8. jenner says:

    Scientology, that’s how he does it! Sign up for a free course right now to get audited.

  9. spookie says:

    One of the funniest things I have seen on tv is the programme where James Corden went skydiving with Tom Cruise. I felt every bit of James’ terror with him.