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Watch Tom Cruise reveal true story behind his new adventure 'American Made' (exclusive)

Despite delivering one standout zero-gravity airborne sequence, Tom Cruise wasn’t able to scare up much interest in this summer’s The Mummy. Nonetheless, he’ll be taking to the skies again in this September’s American Made, the story of a U.S. pilot who, during the 1980s, was recruited by the CIA to transport contraband so the government could keep tabs on Medellin kingpin Pablo Escobar. Its first trailer suggested that it might be a long-awaited return to dramatic form for Cruise, who’s lately spent most of his time in the action genre. And in a new exclusive clip, he and director Doug Liman discuss the real-life inspiration for their high-flying latest.

In the above chat between actor and director — here reteaming for the first time since 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow — Cruise makes it clear that, with regards to his “cowboy” character Barry Seal, “opportunities found him.” Seal was comfortable with his newfound professions because he didn’t care about politics, or about what he might be shipping, be it guns for the feds or cocaine for Escobar — qualities which made him, according to Liman, akin to an illicit UPS. Despite his criminality, however, he was apparently less a villain than an antihero on an “epic adventure.” As the director says, “If you needed something done, Barry was your guy.”

Co-starring Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jayma Mays, Jesse Plemons, and Lola Kirke, American Made soars into theaters on Sept. 29. However, you can get an early peek at the film — and hear its iconic star and acclaimed director discuss it — via our clip above.