‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ cast talks about Tom Cruise and working on the filmBy JANET SUSAN R. NEPALES
Los Angeles — Tom Cruise, 55, the star of the highly-anticipated action movie “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” recently received the “Pioneer of the Year” award at this year’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas. He was the first actor to have received the honor bestowed by the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.
At the event, Tom talked about and showed clips of his death-defying action stunts as Ethan Hunt, which included jumping out of a plane from over 25,000 feet and doing 106 jumps just to get three usable takes.
Unfortunately, Tom wasn't present when we met with “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” cast members.
Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett and Simon Pegg talked about him, instead; how it was working in a Tom Cruise set, being part of the sixth installment of the action-packed franchise, among other things.
Below are excerpts from our chat with them:
On Tom Cruise
Henry Cavill (HC): He’s got a drive. It’s remarkable to watch. He has a drive which is found in few people, regardless of injuries, regardless of how tired, and impossible skills to learn in an impossible amount of time, such as stunt flying a helicopter in the mountains — he does it. He is as impressive as you see on screen, because he actually is doing that stuff for real.
Angela Bassett (AB): He never shies away from a challenge. Six months, he was going to prove them wrong. You should be impressed by his enthusiasm, his drive, his determination and his experience. A lot of young guys don’t have a clue, they don’t realize the amount of work that is needed. But he does [and] that way of thinking always impresses me. That is what I look for when I come to work with others, because I get something in return as well.
Simon Pegg (SP): He needs a little bit of help to get into the bath and out. Kidding aside, when he broke his foot, the doctors said six months. And three months later, he was running through London, full power. He is extraordinary and he’s got some sort of potion he takes, some magic.
On working in a Tom Cruise set
HC: We had a lot of giggling. There were some days of giggling, which were uncontrollable to the point where Simon realized he had me and he could do anything. I would start laughing. He took full advantage of that and he abused that position of power. There were a lot of times where people were delivering alternate lines and I was just laughing in their face from behind.
SP: We have a lot to do and this has been an intense process, because we were creating the film as we went. It was fortunate to have director Christopher McQuarrie at the helm and we could do that. But there are some days when it’s hard work and eyes down. Everyone has got to make their day. And other days, it gets a bit silly. There can be a lot of giggling.
But the worst thing is when Tom gets a little glint in his eye and there’s laughter. Because you know that when he starts giggling, everyone is allowed to giggle. It’s a fun set. We work hard but it’s very amiable, fun and pleasant.
AB: Cold. It was very cold.
SP: In some places. We were in New Zealand when it was winter there in June. We were up on a mountain, and it was pretty icy. We all gathered around a heater.
On the scene that gave them the adrenaline rush
SP: It was probably a little bit of driving again, a little bit of the car business. A lot of the time it was just watching Tom Cruise risk his life. It was kind of worrying, particularly the helicopter stuff. He was dangling off that one.
Rebecca Ferguson and I didn’t realize that he was going to fall and we were watching the stunt. And he fell! We thought for a second that he had fallen for real. So that was actually quite high on the mad stuff. But the usual bumps, bruises and getting punched and stuff. It’s what we love about the job.
It’s good to have a little bit of adrenaline, because it makes you sharper and in particularly in situations which are a little bit dangerous. It can be fun to have adrenaline secreted into your bloodstream when you are not necessarily going to die, which is why we go to theme parks and things. So it’s fun.
And being around Tom Cruise is like having a mainline of adrenaline into your veins, because invariably, you are doing something mad that he driving or shooting at. So yeah, I like a bit of adrenaline now and then.
HC: For me, I had a lot of sequences which were fairly adrenaline filled, especially involving Tom. But in particular, the helicopter sequence, which we shot in New Zealand. There were a lot of very close calls and there was no other way really to shoot them apart from close calls.
And yeah, Tom getting within a rotor’s length of my helicopter, which is about ten feet and traveling however many miles it is in the mountains in New Zealand. I am looking out the side thinking if he does hit me, and if I do survive the helicopter crash which is very low chances anyway, how do I get out of the mountains?
My relationship with adrenaline has become intimate because of this movie. But I wouldn’t say I am an adrenaline junkie. I don’t need it. But I do feed off it quite well when I have it, in scenarios where you could either embrace the adrenaline or let it control you and fall into fear. I think I am definitely on that knife edge at points, like hanging out of that helicopter for the first time, while it was stunt flying.
There were points where I was very nervous about having my whole body out. But come the second time up out of the two weeks, I was leaning all the way out, because I had embraced that adrenaline and decided to have fun with it and allow it to be my partner in performance rather than a hindrance for me.
On being part of the franchise
AB: For me, being a part of this movie, I never dreamt that it was possible. So it was quite a wonderful call to receive. I got a call one early morning, about 7:00 am. I thought it was a prank call. I thought it was a joke. I never got called that early for something so well-received. It’s such a part of cinema history. So my mission impossible was winding up in this movie.
SP: It’s a great honor to be part of such a long running story and a great film series. I do feel lucky. I do feel also that I earned it to a degree. I didn’t win a competition. But you do feel lucky to do the thing that you love to do. If you can do your hobby as a job, then that is the greatest thing that you can achieve.
HC: It was enormous fun to come into a franchise like this, with a group of people who have already established their characters. For my character to be a deliberate spanner in the works, that was something which I enjoyed enormously, because I could play to that. The guys all had a shorthand and they knew each other. It was nice to be the new guy on the team rather than the old guy, which I am in the other one. So I am there on the other one from the beginning and this time I am the new guy. So it was really good fun to step into something new.
On their favorite location shoot in the movie
HC: For me it was a tossup, because I got to see New Zealand from the sky, or Pulpit Rock in Norway, which was absolutely amazing. It had stunning vistas. It was like something out of an ancient Viking saga, which was truly amazing.
AB: My favorite one was the scene we shot together in the Trocadero in Paris. He comes from behind me and the Eiffel Tower in front of me. Ahhh, that was stunning.
SP: I remember McQ sent me the photo he took of you at the Eiffel Tower and I was back in London just doing what we were doing, and it was such a beautiful shot. It was amazing.
For me, it was probably New Zealand, just because it’s such a dramatic sort of landscape, and I got to go snowboarding in the summer on my weekend off. I can say that now because the film is over. I didn’t break my leg. Tom did. But it’s an amazing country, and Queenstown is a beautiful place. But Paris, you can never not love Paris.
On whether they could be a good spy
SP: Maybe I am one.
AB: I don’t think so. I don’t think I have a good poker face.
HC: Honestly, I don’t know what the real skill sets are for spies. We know what the fantasy spies do, but the great thing about spies is that you don’t know who they are.
SP: So all three of us might be. — LA, GMA News