Wednesday 17 April 2024
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Rushcliffe woman awarded for work on Tom Cruise’s skydiving equipment on Mission Impossible

A Nottinghamshire woman is celebrating after her work in Hollywood blockbuster Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning was recognised in the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

 

Karen Saunders of Newton in Rushcliffe was part of the stunt team that helped Tom Cruise launch his motorbike from a cliff and deploy a parachute as part of a thrilling chase scene.

Her role was to maintain Cruise’s skydiving equipment – a job she holds full time at Nottinghamshire skydiving centre Skydive Langar.

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In the film, Cruise is seen making the death-defying leap from the mountain-top in a stunt that resulted from years of work and the contribution of a team of subject matter experts to keep the star safe. As the lead parachute rigger at the UK’s busiest skydiving centre, and with decades of experience in maintaining parachuting equipment globally, Saunders was selected as Cruise’s personal equipment monitor.

 

Speaking of the role, she said:

 

“It was a real pleasure to work with Tom and the rest of the team behind the movie, which included an amazing stunt team. I had so much fun working with everyone and it was a real professional highlight to be able to put my experience to work in such a new and challenging way.

 

“Of course, much of it was run of the mill parachute maintenance and I was very comfortable with all of that, but being on the set of such a high profile movie certainly came with its own unique moments! It’s amazing to be able to sit down and watch the final product and to know that millions of people worldwide have seen it too. I’m very proud of it.”

 

Karen Saunders works at Skydive Langar, which is a skydiving centre just outside of Nottingham city centre, where she is responsible for overseeing the proper maintenance of all of the centre’s owned equipment as well as providing those services for equipment owned by visiting jumpers. When she’s not working with skydivers, she enjoys travelling on her motorcycle and has recently taken up bodybuilding.

 

With an estimated budget of $291 million, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning is amongst the most expensive films ever made. It took $568 million in box office sales.

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