The Mission: Impossible series has delivered some incredibly memorable sequences over the years, but one of the most iconic from Tom Cruise's run as Ethan Hunt is from the original film. In that movie we see Hunt having to hover above a security rigged floor while he accesses a computer terminal, but while it looked absolutely smooth and slick onscreen, it evidently was very much not that during filming. In a new feature from the 25th Anniversary Edition of Mission: Impossible, Cruise goes into detail about how that scene came together, and it turns out he kept hitting his face on the floor when coming down, which led to director Brian De Palma almost scrapping it and cutting around it.
Cruise wasn't having that happen though, and you can check out his breakdown of the scene and how they made it work above. The answer it turns out was coins...yes, coins.
"When you look at that shot I'm going from the computer to the floor, and I remember we were running out of time and I went down to the floor and I kept hitting my face...kept 'bam' hitting my face and the take didn't work," Cruise said. "And we were running out of time, we had a lot we needed to do. So I went up to the stunt guys and said 'give me coins, you know here in England they have pound coins, so I put pound coins in and I hung on the cables to see was I level."
"I said okay, and Brian was like 'one more and then I'm going to have to cut into and do it'. I said 'I can do it.' It was also very physical, like straining I'm doing it. So I went down, started at the computer, went all the way down, beautiful set, like De Palma has amazing taste. So I went down to the floor and I didn't touch, and I remember I was there like 'oh my God I didn't touch", and I was holding it holding it holding it. I'm sweating and I'm sweating, and then he just keeps rolling," Cruise said.
"And I just realize Brian is like...he's doing it, he is working it. It's like we did it, we did it, we did it and I'm like 'I am not gonna stop, and I just hear him from off-camera," Cruise said. "He's got a very distinct laugh, you know when he laughs it makes you laugh, and I could just hear him start to howl and he goes 'allllright, cut!'"
It all worked out and delivered one of the most immediately identifiable scenes in the franchise, and you can watch that and more on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Mission: Impossible.