Why Filming One Mission: Impossible Stunt Did Not Go Well For Tom Cruise

tom cruise mission: impossible fish tank stunt

Tom Cruise has become known for his stuntwork over the years. He's willing to hold his breath, and jump off buildings. He's willing to latch onto the sides of planes and climb tall obstacles. He's even willing to do scenes with explosions, but there's one thing that's very important about an explosion scene: Getting the timing right. The actor recently spoke out on The Graham Norton Show about a time when he and the stunt coordinator could not get on the same page about the explosion, and the whole thing became an amusing-yet-slightly-scary ordeal to work out. Here's why:

He said, 'OK we're gonna go on three,' and he started going, 'Three, two, one.' I said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop, stop.' Everyone was stopped, waiting. You know, we have the explosion that's going to go over my head. I said, 'You just said on three!' He said, 'Well, I meant three.' Well, what does that mean? I said everyone, please -- it was like two in the morning -- their setting it up. There's broken glass, just tons of water. He said, 'Well, I'm gonna three, two, one.' And I said, 'Do I go then? Do I go on one? Like, when do I go? Do I go on one? Are you going to push the button? Is it going to explode on one?' He kind of looked at me like, I don't know. Sure. Around then. When you hear the explosion, just go.

The stunt in question was the exploding fish tank sequence from the first Mission: Impossible movie back in 1996. As Tom Cruise himself noted, there was a lot of glass and water involved in the sequence, not to mention an explosion, so if the timing wasn't correct, things would have gone pretty badly. Despite conversing with the stunt coordinator, Tom Cruise indicates they had a lot of trouble getting on the same page. As production was never shut down on Mission: Impossible (unlike Mission: Impossible -- Fallout), we have to assume all was well that ended well.

If you haven't caught the clip previously, you can give it a watch, below.

That's not a stunt I would really enjoy being a part of if I wasn't confident the timing was going to be correct. Elsewhere on The Graham Norton Show, Tom Cruise explained the best way to do stunt sequences with these, and even had fun with a few fans who wanted to try. Cruise also quipped that those attempting stunts should "watch[their] ankle," presumably in a nod to the recent injury he suffered on the set of Mission: Impossible 6, an injury that halted production for a period of time. Luckily it didn't cause delays thanks to some quick thinking on the part of director Christopher McQuarrie, who started editing the movie early to make up for the shooting hiatus.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout is hitting theaters this summer on July 27, 2018 and there's every indication we should be getting a trailer for the movie, soon. We'll keep you updated as the movie continues moving forward, but if you'd like to see what projects are hitting theaters sooner, check out our full movies schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.