Exclusive: How on set accident proved Tom Cruise was perfect Jack Reacher

When Tom Cruise was announced to play iconic detective Jack Reacher in a new film version, some fans were skeptical.

But according to Lee Child - the bestselling author behind the character - the A-list star is just as tough as the hard-as-nails character… and proved it on set.

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Speaking at an exclusive event for the film hosted by Yahoo! Movies, which saw Cruise, Child and director Chris McQuarrie answer questions from fans, the author told us the moment he knew Cruise was the perfect Reacher.

See the video below.

"I'm going to embarrass Tom now," he said. "But people have talked a lot, saying 'oh is he right for the role?'… but he was injured from one of the car wrecks [on set]. His left hand was swollen up like a football. Remember that? It looked really bad.

"As a friend, I would've said 'take two days off and go to the hospital'. As a union rep, which was another job of mine once, I'd have said: 'take a week off!'. But he just said 'yeah, this is nothing'. To me, that's Reacher. Reacher will do the job or die trying."

The star did all his own stuntwork for the film's signature car chase, but wouldn't admit how much he costs to insure. "We don't send the footage to the studio… right away," he said. "If the camera isn't in danger, then it's not worth the shot. It was very exciting."

Cruise also felt a huge affinity with the character, an ex-military loner who lives 'off the grid' and spends his time solving grisly crimes.

He said he'd quite fancy experiencing Reacher's simplistic lifestyle for a bit. "I like living in hotel rooms. I like travelling the way he travels. I'd DEFINITELY get rid of my cellphone... and I do sometimes."

'Jack Reacher' is released in the UK on 26 December 2012.

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