In the aftermath of Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘s premiere, Henry Cavill had suddenly become more fascinating than was thought possible, and not only in the eyes of the fans. The world was already taken with the man and whenever Cavill’s antagonist emerged on the screen in his cinematic persona, the role seemed to take on a life of its own.
Among those who Henry Cavill managed to impress were the franchise’s lead Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie. Pretty soon, the rest of the population and social media would be obsessing over the infamous “arm reload” scene which the actor later revealed happened originally as a total fluke.
Tom Cruise Gushes Over Henry Cavill’s Arm Reload Moment
It’s not every day that the embodiment of a Hollywood icon is mesmerized by someone over their arm movement. But it did happen to Tom Cruise who could not stop fangirling over Henry Cavill‘s tiny but unforgettable trait where the latter flexes his arm muscles before an action sequence by extending them forward in quick succession making it appear as if someone was reloading a weapon. Cruise later recounted the moment during a BBC Radio 1 interview with Ali Plumb:
“We looked at that over and over in rushes in the editing room. We’re going like, ‘How did you do that Henry?'”
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The action sequence in question was shot during the filming of Mission: Impossible – Fallout where Ethan Hunt and August Walker fight someone in a nightclub washroom thinking it was John Lark. The scene later garnered immense praise and recognition among action-flick enthusiasts for its incredible setting enclosed within a mirrored environment making it impossible to miss a single moment of the choreographed fight.
Henry Cavill Recalls How He Invented the Arm Reload Trait
Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise was bigger in scale and star power than any of its predecessors. And so Henry Cavill’s role was declared quite early on in the plot when he provides false intel to the CIA, essentially pinning Ethan Hunt as an agent-turned-terrorist. Cavill’s character in the film, i.e. CIA agent August Walker who was sent in to oversee the IMF superspy, Ethan Hunt, later revealed himself as the elusive antagonist of the film, John Lark, the leader of the Apostles — a branched-off organization of the bioterrorist group Syndicate that had haunted Hunt for years.
During one of their action sequences when Walker was not yet revealed as Lark, the duo fight a man they misinterpret as the leader of the Apostles. The scene which was fought between Henry Cavill, Tom Cruise, and the stunt professional, Liang Yang, turned out to be the epicenter of the now infamously named bathroom brawl and where Cavill comes up with his “arm reload” sequence. When asked about it, the actor claimed it was neither scripted nor intended to happen:
“That was just really off the top of my head. Just felt right at the time. And then I got kind of shy afterwards. And I didn’t do it for the next take. And then McQ came up to me and said, ‘Why didn’t you do the thing?’ I said, ‘What thing?’ He came and showed me the monitor, I was like, ‘Oh okay cool.'”
The action sequence which was supposed to be filmed within a couple of days took weeks instead because of the intensity of the scene and its intricacies. Cavill revealed that the intensive weeks of stunt filming would cause his arm muscles to ache during the continuous shoots and the movement which would later be dubbed as “arm reload” was originally meant to flex his cramped muscles.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is available for streaming on Paramount+