Eddie Murphy has undergone pounds of makeup to transform into multiple members of the same family. He’s talked with computer generated animals. He’s been a computer generated animal. But until he made the 2011 comedy Tower Heist, he had never been hooked up to a wire harness before. At least, that’s what Brett Ratner tells us in this exclusive clip from the DVD/Blu-ray of the film, which hits stores Feb. 21.
“What was so funny and surprising was we’d heard all these rumors about how Eddie doesn’t like to do stunts,” visual effects supervisor Mark Russell tells EW. “But on the day [of the shoot], he was amazing. He was always totally professional. And as you can see from the clip, he was comfortable up there.”
Check out the clip below, which shows the making of the climactic moment when Murphy and co-star Ben Stiller attempt to purloin the rare 1963 red Ferrari owned by a Bernie Madoff-esque billionaire (played in the film by Alan Alda), from his penthouse suite:
Now, you may have a few questions after watching that. Yes, Murphy and Stiller are seated in the car as it hangs straight down; no, they were not in a harness while they were in it. “It’s a 2,500 pound car, hanging 20 feet above the ground, and swinging,” chuckles Russell. “I think, at first, they got in it, everything was great. Then after about a half-hour, I think they both started to doubt the sanity of what they were doing. Of course we took every precaution necessary, but still hanging upside-down in a car is not a comfortable experience for anybody.”
And yes, Matthew Broderick really is grabbing the car when he attaches that hook to it. “In that shot, the only thing holding the car to the building was him, so when he put the hook on it, he could have been swept out of the building,” says Russell. When Broderick begins hanging off of the car by one hand, look closely and you can just make out a single cable running down his sleeve. “He was absolutely incredible,” says Russell, who counts himself a major Ferris Bueller fan. “I think we did that shot at least half a dozen times, and every time, he was game for it.”