The shoot for Mission: Impossible 7 has been extremely long and troubled, with last year’s lockdown, many cities banning movie shoots altogether, and the complications arising from filming while following social distancing guidelines. Simon Pegg, who will appear in the movie as Benjamin “Benji” Dunn, is trying to keep things light by hosting an Instagram Live session during his downtime. The actor used the session to spoil some hilarious but clearly fake plot points from the movie, starting with an impromptu arm-wrestling match.
“Today we’re shooting a scene where Benji [Pegg’s character] and Ethan [Cruise’s character] have an arm wrestle and Benji wins ’cause he’s essentially stronger. Then Ethan gets all upset, ‘Ah, f*ck you,’ except we’re not allowed to say the f word. ‘Oh, I don’t want you in the IMF anymore,’ and I go, ‘Really?’ and he goes, ‘Ehh yeah I do,’ and then Benji is like, ‘I knew it. I’m stronger than you are,’ and Ethan’s like ‘Yeah.’ That’s it, that’s today’s work.”
Pegg’s version of the events flies in the face of everything the franchise has established so far. Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt is rarely interested in using his strength and skills to show off, while Benji has long been established as the brainy part of their whole operation, who prefers to leave the most physical parts of the missions to his teammates.
Benji first appeared in the franchise in Mission: Impossible III as a technician who later turns into a field agent of the Impossible Mission Task Force. Since then, the character has appeared in every installment of the series, eventually becoming one of Ethan’s most trusted allies. But that personal history did not stop Simon Pegg from relating another fake plot point from Mission: Impossible 7, where the main female character of the movie Isla chooses Benji over Ethan.
“There’s another bit with Isla [Rebecca Ferguson’s character] comes in, ‘Oh Benji,’ – you know, she doesn’t speak that high, but I can’t approximate a female voice without going slightly high – ‘Oh Benji, you’re so hot and more hot than Ethan.’ And I’m like, ‘Of course I am,’ and she’s like, ‘Will you be mine?,’ and I’m like, ‘No… alright.’ I play hard to get for a while and then she’s like, ‘Please be my boyfriend,’ and I’m like, ‘Sure,’ and Ethan’s like [crying sounds].”
While Pegg’s remarks are all in good fun, they may also be an attempt by the movie’s team to put the project in a more positive light. A few months ago, Tom Cruise was caught on tape publicly lambasting members of the crew of the film for not following social distancing orders. The tape caused a kerfuffle on social media, with many condemning Cruise’s high-handed approach to handling his crew. The whole thing was rumored to have put such a strain on the proceedings that production on the movie had to be shut down for a while. Hopefully, things are back to normal now enough for Pegg to start making jokes about the shoot once again.
Mission: Impossible 7 stars Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Czerny, Esai Morales, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, and Shea Whigham. The film arrives in theaters on November 19, 2021, while Mission: Impossible 8 releases on November 4, 2022.