The humble pound coin saved the Mission: Impossible franchise

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Tom Cruise can’t do it all himself: sometimes, to save the world, he needs a few coins of UK currency.

Just the other day we reported on a story that came from legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer, as he reflected on casting Tom Cruise in Top Gun Naturally, the story contained Tom Cruise trying out for the part by enjoying the kind or aerial acrobatics that would have most of us reaching for the sick bag. Cruise, of course, signed on for the film immediately.

Even possessing Cruise’s bravura however, is not always enough. The star revealed that whilst making 1996’s Mission: Impossible, he almost didn’t get the iconic cable drop as his character, Ethan Hunt, infiltrated CIA headquarters. As Cruise kept falling too far and hitting the floor, director, Brian De Palma told him he had one more take before he’d cut the camera in instead, effectively neutralising the effect of the stunt.

A brainwave hit. Cruise asked the crew to stuff his shoes with pound coins which created an effective enough counterweight for him to nail the gag at the final attempt. Whilst chatting to current Mission: Impossible director Christopher McQuarrie for an anniversary disc release of the film, Cruise recalled how it happened…

“[Director] Brian [De Palma] said, ‘One more and then I am going to have to cut [into the moment] and do it,’” Cruise said. “I said, ‘I can do it.’ And I went down to the floor, and I didn’t touch. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my gosh. I didn’t touch.’ And I was holding it, holding it, holding it, holding it. And I’m sweating and I’m sweating. And he just keeps rolling.”

De Palma of course, was just having a laugh at Cruise’s expense and the shot was duly in the can and a classic stunt created. All thanks to those truly versatile pound coins which are clearly good for more than unlocking supermarket trolleys, if they can get you into one of the most secure government buildings in the world.

The Hollywood Reporter

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