It’s Mission Impossible for Tom Cruise as British PA he’s ‘smitten with’ shows …

27 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Constant training keeps Tom Cruise in form for Mission: Impossible stunts.

British actor Simon Pegg has been playing the beloved character of Benji Dunn in three instalments of the Mission: Impossible franchise spanning almost a decade.They’ve apparently been dating for five months, with a source telling MailOnline: ‘It’s still early days between Emily and Alex but they’re already pretty close. The 53-year-old Hollywood A-lister is known for performing his own stunts, and continued the trend with an all-action display reprising the role of spy Ethan Hunt in the fifth instalment of the franchise.

Appearing on the red carpet at the London Imax on Saturday night, Cruise attributed the gruelling stunt scenes, many of them filmed on the streets of London, to years of practice. “I have trained my whole life, constantly, whether it’s drama or action. We got the chance to catch up with Pegg for a chat and given his involvement in Star Trek, his cameo in Star Wars and his history with Edgar Wright we had plenty of things to talk about. I’ve just realised this morning I’ve been playing Benji for nearly ten years and it’s a really nice opportunity to play a character like that because he has grown enormously.

In the third Mission Impossible, my first one, he was a sort of schlubby office guy, a kind of IT engineer and he was a bit in love with Ethan because he was the big star of the IMF. Moreover, the summer 2000 dominance of Mission: Impossible II marked basically the last time that a real-world, non-fantastical action movie not only dominated the summer but was remotely expected to. Then in the fourth one (Ghost Protocol, 2011) he gets to be an agent and is very much like a new kid, and he’s very enthusiastic, not the slightest bit jaded, this is all very exciting for him. But its always fun because it’s the same characters but you’re going to be guided in a different way and given different challenges,” He’s appeared in three out of the five movies to date, only missing out on Brian DePalma and John Woo’s Mission Impossible II. When we come up with things, there’s so many on every film I can’t include them all.” The story of a movie should take centre stage, he said. “I want something that’s cinematic, that’s character and story.

It is Doug Liman’s Mena, in which the mega-star plays as a pilot who ends up working for the CIA in the 1980′s and gets tangled up in the war on drugs in varying capacities. I personally think its incredible and its an amazing thing to see that story, and this is Tom making this decision as well with his producers to project mission impossible through John Woo’s vision which is extraordinary, and operatic and inventive filmmaking.

You want those shots, but it has to be the right tone – something exhilarating and spine-tingling.” “To go into a Mission: Impossible with the stunt king himself is like stunt school. Yea John Woo, jeez that would be amazing!” So you heard it here first – Simon Pegg would totally be up for making a movie with John Woo and he really would have liked to be in M:I II, easily the most ridiculously over the top film in the series so far.

The funny thing is is that Tom did all the driving, and Tom is an amazing stunt driver and Wade Eastwood our stunt coordinator said there’s no point having a stunt driver do this because Tom can do it as good as any stunt driver. Seeing him in action, not only as the work ethic man that he is, but he’s also funny. “I know they’ve [producer Jerry Bruckheimer] talked about it, and there’s no commitment to it,” he said. “It’d be fun. He followed it up with two relative box office whiffs, the cheap but low-grossing ($17m) All the Right Moves months later and the expensive and low-grossing ($14m) Legend in April 1986. It was very important to Chris to shoot into the car rather than shoot at the car so you could see our reactions and the whole thing was done, with the exception of when the car flips, other than that we did the whole thing in Casablanca.

He followed up the pricey Ridley Scott fantasy film a month later with Tony Scott’s Top Gun, which earned $356m worldwide in 1986 and turned him into an icon. Oh sure, some films were better (Rain Man) than others (Cocktail) and some were bigger hits (Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire) than others (Ron Howard’s Far and Away doubled its budget but was still considered something of a disappointment in the summer 0f 1992). You had pulp fiction like Days of Thunder ($157m worldwide), Oscar contenders like Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July ($161m), critically-acclaimed pulp fiction like Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men ($243m), and out-and-out art-house cinema like Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut ($165m worldwide on a $65m budget).

It adds to our enjoyment as an audience when you’re sat there thinking , not just ‘Wow Ethan Hunt’s in trouble’ but ‘How does Tom Cruise do that?!’ There is a degree of enjoyment you get from that which is as important as the film narrative itself. From Legend to Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman), Cruise has made a point to work with (deep breath here) Ton Scott, Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Rob Reiner, Sydney Pollack, Neil Jordan, Brian DePalma, Cameron Crowe, Stanley Kubrick, Paul T. His public image is so complex and intricate and mysterious and there are assumptions and myths about him – you get to the middle of that craziness and there’s just the kind of guy there, a guy from Kentucky who’s just really driven. It’s very easy, I think he likes it when he has friends around because it means he can relax and we’ve known each other a long time and so we always approach work with a sense of fun.

Cruise played bartenders, lawyers, sports agents, race car drivers, selfish siblings, misogynistic self-help gurus, and gothic vampires with obsessive commitment. Of his 16 $100m+ domestic grossers overall, eight of them were R-rated (that’s 9/18 if you count his small-but-heavily publicized turn in Tropic Thunder in 2008). That’s what we lost when Tom Cruise became somewhat defined by that YouTube-friendly incident back in 2005 and the related PR meltdown defined by his more vocal embrace of Scientology and his marriage to Katie Holmes. Aside from the cheap ($35m) Robert Redford underrated drama Lions for Lambs (which made $63m worldwide, not great but no mega-flop either for what amounted to a filmed lecture), Tom Cruise hasn’t made an R-rated starring vehicle since Collateral in 2004 (again, whether you count Tropic Thunder as a true starring vehicle is up to you).

But what is sadly clear is that we lost “Tom Cruise the adult-skewing actor” and started getting “Tom Cruise the PG-13 action hero.” Pretty much every Tom Cruise picture following the infamous Oprah Winfrey interview has been some kind of action picture. The lone exception, his supporting role in the 80′s rock musical Rock of Ages in 2012, is ironically one of his very worst films and one of his few out-and-out box office flops ($59m on a $75m budget). I’m happy to play this role in this movie and I guess Scotty (Pegg’s character in Star Trek) to a degree is a similar character in the way that he’s a technical wizard and provides a certain amount of light relief.

You can’t get offered an opportunity to do a film like this, JJ Abrams called me about Mission Impossible III and think ‘I better not do that because it might lead me to getting pigeonholed’ because it also might lead to you putting food on the table and paying for your house. It is worth remembering that the very film that Cruise was promoting during the PR-meltdown was Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, which went on to becoming Cruise’s biggest domestic grosser ever ($234 million) and his current second-biggest worldwide hit ($591m). This film actually at times felt like a mission impossible because it was so ambitious and we’d look at the schedule and think ‘We still have this to do, we still have that to do’.

We had to train very hard for this, our training was intense, particularly for Rebecca who came in and was whisked off to be fight ready and super fit. Maybe Cruise will turn the source material into a PG-13 action-adventure, but I am hopeful that the film will instead more closely resemble the 1990′s-era films more than anything he has made since perhaps Valkyrie if not Collateral.

When me Rebecca and Tom were all in Morocco we’d all train together and that was fun, sort of trying to out-do each other – out-row and weight lift and chin-up each other – which of course you can’t beat Tom Cruise.

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