Tom Cruise is making all the right moves—both onscreen and off.

On the promotional trail for his hotly anticipated sequel Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, the Hollywood superstar opened up exclusively to E! News correspondent Ben Lyons about scaling the tallest building in the world, what turns wife Katie Holmes on, and life approaching the big 5-0.

Here's what he had to say.

On shooting 100-plus stories up on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest skyscraper ever built, Cruise said it was a challenge for this latest Mission he couldn't pass up.

"[Director Brad Bird] said 'Can we do this?' And I said, 'We're gonna figure out how to do it. We have to do this!'" recalled the thesp. "It was so incredible in seeing what he designed for this scene…We spent months trying to figure out how to do it."

Regarding those scenes, he added: "I admire the storytelling and athleticism and wanting to entertain an audience and create ways to do it and put them in their seats so hopefully their palms will sweat."

As for whether Katie thought it was hot watching her hubby dangling a mile up in mid-air all for the sake of a shot , lets just say Cruise was out to impress.

"That's why I do it," he joked. "I couldn't do it without them but I've been doing stuff like this my whole life…For Kate, it's wonderful to be able to share that with her and all the kids…she knows I do a lot of training.  I just don't go out there and do it. It takes a lot to do it and it takes a group to do it."

MORE: So True? So False? Were Fans Really "Hired" to Cheer Tom Cruise's Indian Arrival?

Here are some more highlights of the interview:

On fame and getting some private time:
"I love making movies and being on the set, and being at home, we do have a private life," said the 49-year-old actor. "I'm not the guy who sits there in the trailer…I like being with the crew and being with the cast...and when Kate makes a film, I like being there with her so our family's together and have that time…it's times I really cherish."

On being a struggling actor early in his career:
"I was lucky.  My first audition I got it.  I did Taps.  But I remember being on the set of Taps when I was doing it, I didn't know whether I'd ever be able to make another movie."

On how his life changed after making Taps:
"I remember working on The Outsiders with all those guys and making Risky Business with [helmer] Paul Brickman and suddenly there I am making Top Gun and working with [Paul] Newman.  I remember that in 1985, it was incredible to me."

On what audiences should expect (aside from working with a baboon) seeing him in the big screen version of the Broadway hit, Rock of Ages:

"Luckily all the training I had done with the [Mission] stunts, I had to apply to this because I was dancing four hours a day and singing three, four hours a day for months and months," said the Jerry Maguire star. "I had to also find the voice. What kind of vocal quality that we needed for this rock voice for the character."

As for what he's looking forward to when he turns 50 next July, Cruise says he's excited to continue doing what he loves, which at the moment includes wrapping production on the drama One Shot, directed by Valkyrie scribe Christopher McQuarrie, who also wrote The Usual Suspects.

For now, Cruise fans can look forward to seeing him do the impossible when Ghost Protocol hits theaters on Dec. 21.

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