Ethan Hunt is a total legend. We're about to witness Tom Cruise's character take on a sixth Mission: Impossible movie, and we can't wait to see what this amazing hero does next. We've heard the rumors – this movie is shaping up to be the most exciting and jaw-dropping yet. But let's not forget what makes Mission: Impossible so awesome. It's not the crazy, life-threatening stunts, it's not the cool gadgets or awesome fight scenes, and it's not even about the larger-than-life storylines. No – it's all about Ethan Hunt!
Without Ethan Hunt, the entire movie franchise would fall flat on its face, and true fans of the movies know that. Ethan Hunt has been around for quite some time now, and we've come to know him pretty well. With each passing movie, more and more is revealed about his life, and by now we're able to paint a pretty detailed picture of this mysterious man. As it turns out, there are tons of things that we know about this man's life and past. But then again, only true fans know every single one of these facts. Maybe even a true fan of Ethan Hunt and Mission: Impossible would be surprised by these facts.
15 He Started Off As An Army Ranger
Have you ever wondered where Ethan Hunt got all his impressive military training? He obviously has a long history with the armed forces, and it's true that he was learning how to fight and wage wars long before he became a member of the elite intelligence group that he is so involved in today. He may have started small, but that initial training he received through the United States military is something that laid the foundation for his impressive combat effectiveness.
To answer your question, Ethan Hunt began his military career with the Army Rangers. True fans of the Mission: Impossible series will know this interesting tidbit of information, and it is clearly stated on Ethan Hunt's official Wiki page.
Casual observers of the film series might not be aware that it was this elite Army group that gave Ethan Hunt his first training, and first taste of combat.
According to the Army Ranger's official website, the organization is a lethal, agile and flexible force, capable of conducting many complex, joint special operations missions. It's considered the Army's best option when exerting direct force on their enemies, whether that be conducting raids, destroying facilities, or taking out individual enemies of the United States.
14 One Stunt In The New Movie Will Involve A Wild Freefall Stunt
We've previously talked about the upcoming Mission: Impossible film, and how everyone is totally excited about it. Although one stunt from the new film ended in Tom Cruise's ankle getting injured, that's hardly the most stunning stunt from the movie. According to Tom Cruise and the director of the movie, there's one stunt in particular that is sure to get everyone's blood pumping – and this one takes place in the sky. 25,000 feet up, to be exact, and it will see Tom Cruise performing a complete free fall, reaching speeds of approximately 130 to 200 miles per hour.
The director of the newest upcoming film talked about this incredible stunt involving total free fall, and he was quoted by E Talk as wondering aloud, “How much we can do that is physically possible without [hurting] Tom?"
When talking about the upcoming crazy stunt, Tom Cruise was quoted by E Talk as saying: "We shot this in the UAE. We never would have been able to do this anywhere else.” Tom Cruise's co-star, Simon Pegg, was also quoted by the article on the subject of Tom Cruise's stunts, saying, "It is a daily stress going to work with him because you don’t know if you’re going to see him tomorrow.”
13 Tom Cruise Once Did An Incredible Plane Stunt
One of the most memorable stunts from the Mission: Impossible movies was the one where Tom Cruise jumps aboard a plane taking off, and somehow climbs his way to the door before entering it. It's an amazing scene, but it's an even more breathtaking stunt when you consider what happened behind the scenes. That really is Tom Cruise hanging on the side of a plane as its taking off!
Tom Cruise still clearly remembers the moment when he attempted this wild, almost reckless stunt, and he reminisced on it during an interview with ET Online.
He explained: "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! It was in the fog and it was lit. It was just sitting there, like, 'Yeah!' 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. 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."
12 Tom Cruise Put Coins In His Shoes To Nail One Take
One of the most iconic scenes from Mission: Impossible was from the very first movie, and this was the scene where Tom Cruise is seen rappelling down from a ceiling into a CIA facility, suspended only by a pair of thin wires. It's the only way he could have infiltrated the facility without setting off the alarms, and it made for a brilliant shot on camera.
But as Tom Cruise revealed, it was a very difficult stunt, and it required some imagination and creativity on his part to really nail the scene.
In an interview with MTV, Tom Cruise was asked about his favorite Mission: Impossible stunt, he answered: "It's hard to say, because each one has been so different, and each had different kinds of challenges." But then his mind went to the iconic scene where he rappelled down to the floor on thin cables. He recalled: "I remember when I was doing it, my head kept hitting the floor [...] I was running out of energy, and we were running out of time. To one of the stunt guys, I said, 'Give me your pound coins out of your pocket.' I put the pound coins in my shoes, the tips, so that's what allowed me to be able to balance and keep off the floor for that whole shot. That kept my face from hitting the floor. De Palma knew that we had the shot, and he just held it and held it. I was like, 'How long can I hold off the floor?' Brian had a fantastic laugh, and then he said, 'All right, cut.' "
11 One Of His First Missions Went Completely Wrong
The very first Mission: Impossible movie might seem like a lifetime ago, but it was definitely one of the best films. Although it came out during the nineties, it was incredibly advanced for its time, setting the stage for the next few films that would come afterwards, and getting us used to all kinds of crazy special effects, chase scenes, and action sequences.
And for those who remember the first movie clearly, you'll know that Ethan Hunt's entrance into the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) was a bit of a baptism of fire. One of his first ever missions occurred in Prague and went horribly wrong, and this wasn't even that long after he had joined the organization after applying to work for the CIA. But in the end, this disastrous mission would prove Ethan Hunt's effectiveness more than anything.
Simply put, Ethan Hunt and the IMF were betrayed by a traitor in their midst. Ethan Hunt ended up being the sole survivor of the team in Prague, and he later learned that he was suspected of being the mole by the CIA. He ended up going on a crazy adventure, before finally discovering the true identity of the mole and putting an end to their nefarious plans.
10 He Once Tried To Retire
Even the biggest fans of the Mission: Impossible series might have forgotten that Ethan Hunt once decided to leave the IMF, and retired from his life as a field agent. The year was 2006, and at this time Ethan Hunt stopped putting his life in danger and settled down with his girlfriend, Julia. This was a rare slow period in Ethan Hunt's life, but as we all know, it wasn't meant to last.
Instead of going out in the field and taking on missions, Ethan Hunt instead started to train future IMF agents, and he was extremely good at his job. With all his experience, he was able to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of field agents, and he helped to create many fine and distinguished IMF operatives. Secrecy was still important to Ethan Hunt, however, and even Julia did not know what his real job was.
Of course, he was eventually dragged out of retirement, as one of his best students had been captured and needed to be rescued. Ethan Hunt was of course willing to help, and a team was assembled that put him to work. One has to wonder whether Ethan Hunt would have lived happily ever after in this lifestyle, or whether he would have gotten bored of training recruits at some point anyway.
9 He Has A Double Major In Engineering And International Relations
One thing that makes Ethan Hunt unique as a special agent, as well as extremely dangerous, is his astounding level of intellect. Ethan Hunt is the kind of combatant to rely just as much on his brains as his muscles and firearms. And most of the time, he really knows how to plan out impressive traps, ambushes, and all kinds of different tactical approaches to suit any situation.
But that knowledge didn't just come from nowhere. Although it's true that Ethan Hunt was born with a certain level of intellect, he also honed his skills and knowledge in university, like many other high level operatives. In fact, if you look at Ethan Hunt's official Wiki page, you will find that Ethan Hunt actually has a double major in engineering and international relations.
Although these two degrees might not seem entirely useful in the field, they might just give him an interesting edge when you think about it. First off, an engineering degree would probably give you all sorts of insights into how things work, which he could use to his advantage in the field. Secondly, a degree in international relations would allow him to interact with different cultures and nations efficiently, allowing him to blend in when deployed abroad.
8 He Was Once Implanted With Explosives
One thing that the Mission: Impossible movies do very well is showcase amazing new technology. Sometimes this technology is completely fictional, and does not exist in the real world. Other times the equipment used by Ethan Hunt and others is very much real tactical tech used by the very best in elite special forces. But whatever the case, you can always bet that the gadgets used by Ethan Hunt are going to be seriously cool.
But it goes both ways. While Ethan Hunt is equipped with some of the finest technology and weapons, his enemies are also armed to the teeth with some devastating gadgets and tools. And unlike Ethan Hunt, his enemies have no concept of honor or compassion, and are perfectly fine with using weapons that are both cruel and incredibly dangerous.
One example of this is the explosive pellets that were implanted in the brains of IMF operatives during one film. Of course, the first person who was implanted with such a device was the operative that Ethan Hunt tried to save. The pellet was detonated, and she was taken out before Ethan's eyes. Later, Ethan Hunt found himself implanted with such a device, and the only way he managed to save himself was by electrocuting himself.
7 He Once Went To Prison
We all know that Ethan Hunt's main objective is to lock up (and sometimes liquidate) criminals, putting them behind bars and putting an end to their nefarious ways. After all, when you really get down to it, Ethan Hunt is an authority figure and an upholder of society. In many ways, he's not unlike a police officer, just on a much larger scale, fighting much more dangerous criminals, and with access to a lot more powerful equipment.
That's why it was so strange when Ethan Hunt found himself in prison alongside some of the worst criminals in the world. That's right, this really did happen once, and fans of the movies will no doubt be able to remember this moment. It happened during one of the most thrilling Mission: Impossible movies ever, and the reason he was locked up in the first place was simply amazing.
As some of you will no doubt remember, Ethan Hunt was actually smuggled into the prison to infiltrate it, not as a legitimate prison inmate. But to everyone except a select few, it really did appear as though Ethan Hunt was a criminal just like the other inmates. Of course, this was all part of an elaborate ruse to complete his mission, and protect his loved ones, as Julia's passing had been previously staged as well.
6 He Has An Almost Photographic Memory
Sometimes it seems like Ethan Hunt's mind is going at a mile a minute. His brain can behave like a lightning fast computer, instantly weighing the odds and calculating risk factors before making his move. As many people have noted, Ethan Hunt might seem reckless, but in reality every single attack, wild stunt, and bold move is completely and accurately calculated before he goes through with it. He's just willing to take the risks because he knows he can do what is almost impossible.
But behind that lightning quick mind lies another skill - an almost photographic memory. Although it's not a true photographic memory, it might as well be. Partly through his intense training, and partly through his own natural talent, Ethan Hunt is one of the most observant people on the face of the Earth. He is capable of immediately noticing small details that most others would miss.
And the most impressive thing is that all of these observations are stored in his memory, and he can make impressive deductions based on compiling only a few clues. What this means is that at the end of the day, Ethan Hunt is perfectly suited to his role as a member of the IMF.
5 Tom Cruise Recently Injured Himself On The Set Of The New Movie
We're all looking forward to the latest Mission: Impossible movie, and this one will be the sixth entry in the series. But a huge entertainment news story came when it was revealed that Tom Cruise had critically injured himself during filming, and it all came from a relatively simple stunt (at least by Tom Cruise's standards) gone completely wrong. In the stunt, Tom Cruise was seen jumping from one rooftop to another, and he somehow fractured his ankle.
Tom Cruise took the time to address his serious on set injury in an interview with Hollywood Reporter. He revealed that the injury might have set the film back several months, but he still got up and finished the scene - even after suffering a broken ankle. He explained recently: "It's still broken, but I'm doing well. It's not fully healed, but we're shooting. But we have a release date, so we've got to keep going. I was going to run across, and hit the side of the wall and pull myself over. That wasn't the mistake. I didn't want to do [the stunt] again. I knew it was broken and I just said 'Ugh,' and I ran past the camera. We got the shot, it's in the movie. That profile shot, both those shots, are in the movie."
4 He Is A Master Of Disguise
We all know that Ethan Hunt is powerful enough to break through even the toughest defenses using only his brute force alone. And in the most recent movies, he seems to be abandoning his stealth methods in favor of head on engagements, facing his enemies and taking them down without hiding in the shadows. It seems to be working for him, but this wasn't always the case, of course.
Fans of the original few movies will know that for quite some time, Ethan Hunt was very much a master of disguise. If Ethan Hunt wasn't stalking his enemies in the shadows, he'd be right under their noses, using advanced masks provided to him by the IMF. These realistic masks could easily be worn by Ethan Hunt, fooling everyone who came into contact with him. They would also provide technology to change his voice.
But is such a thing really possible? Well in the movie they did not actually use masks. Instead, Tom Cruise simply wiped his hand from one side of his face to the other, and the mask was added in later with CGI. The show Mythbusters also tested whether or not realistic masks could fool people, and they found that they only worked when viewed from a distance.
3 He Knows Capoeira
We've previously mentioned that Ethan Hunt is moving more and more away from stealth-based tactics towards direct, head-on confrontation. And while a lot of his combat moments are gun-oriented, there are plenty of other situations where Ethan Hunt finds himself without a weapon, or simply decides to use his body as a weapon rather than his firearm.
And big fans of Mission: Impossible and Ethan Hunt will know that when it comes to hand to hand combat, Ethan Hunt is certainly no slouch. In fact, he's a bit of an expert, and when he fights he tends to rely on a few pretty distinct fighting styles. He's been observed to use fighting techniques from martial arts such as Taekwondo, Ninjitsu, Kenpo, Judo, Karate, and Keysi... But above all else, the one technique he seems to rely on most is Capoeira.
For those who don't know, Capoeira is a very old fighting style that has its roots in Brazil. It's famous for being like a dance, and the fighting moves are almost "hidden" within the dance moves. Despite its flourishes and elegance, Capoeria is actually one of the most dangerous fighting styles on the face of the Earth. Fans have noted that Ethan Hunt seems to love using Capoeira moves.
2 He Has Two Favored Weapons
Of course, Ethan Hunt can't simply take everyone on with his bare hands. That would be insane and ridiculous, which is definitely not what Mission: Impossible is all about. They have to maintain some semblance of logic, right? Well, in order to fit in with the realistic nature of actual special forces and intelligence operatives, Ethan Hunt relies heavily on his pistol – the most common weapon issued to special agents.
It makes total sense when you think about it. Although other weapons can certainly pack more firepower, pistols have the advantage of being easily concealable, lightweight, and pretty accurate at close ranges. They can also be fitted with a silencer, which is something special agents use heavily. And when it comes to pistols, there are two in particular that Ethan Hunt seems to favor more than any other.
The first is a Beretta 92FS. This is a pretty standard pistol that has been used by police, military, and special forces all over the world. It's a 9mm firearm, which the manufacturer advertises as "the most accurate, durable and reliable semiauto handgun on the market." The second pistol used by Ethan Hunt is the Sig Sauer P226, which he suddenly started using in some of the later moves. This pistol can be chambered in a variety of different rounds, and is advertised as being designed specifically for the US military, and a favorite for special forces all over the world.
1 He Is Fluent In Tons Of Languages
We've already touched on the fact that Ethan Hunt holds a degree in international relations, but that's not the only thing that helps him navigate all kinds of different countries. He's also really skilled at speaking various languages, and is frequently seen communicating in all kinds of different tongues during his various adventures all around the world.
According to Ethan Hunt's official Wiki page, he is capable of speaking without an accent in multiple languages, including German, Spanish, and French. But those are only the ones where he can speak without an accent, and he knows many more languages on top of that. It's definitely one of those skills that a lot of people forget about, until he suddenly starts speaking a foreign language out of nowhere!
And you can definitely see the benefits of learning various languages, especially if you're a special agent like Ethan Hunt. We all know that Ethan Hunt goes deep undercover all the time, and being able to speak the language fluently would definitely help Ethan master a specific disguise if necessary. On top of that, speaking the local language allows him to seamlessly blend in to his surroundings.