Tom Cruise's 'amazing' gesture for Mission: Impossible co-star Hayley Atwell

The cast spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle ahead of the Sydney premiere of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One brings several new faces to the iconic franchise, including Captain America's Hayley Atwell, who joins Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Pom Klementieff, Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby in the film's newest instalment.

Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Hayley shares what Tom is really like behind the scenes. "He's so funny and self-aware and disarming about his own fame, and he goes out of his way to make people feel really comfortable," she said.

Mission: Impossible's Hayley Atwell and Tom Cruise
Mission: Impossible's Hayley Atwell reveals Tom Cruise's sweet gesture for her while they were shooting the film. Photo: Paramount Pictures

She adds that he even made time for her grandmother, revealing: "He was so kind to my family and other cast members' families. He took my grandmother on a helicopter ride on Christmas Eve over London. That's pretty amazing. People don't often hear those kinds of stories of how generous and kind he is off off-screen."


Hayley adds how it changed the dynamic on set, saying: "I think that he knows that if you're creating an environment where people feel seen, they feel like it's a welcoming one, it's a wholesome one because friends and family are welcome.

"And in that world, it's going to provide an environment where people really feel creatively free. And I so appreciated that, stepping into something of this kind of scale and size and ambition, having his kindness alongside that enabled me to work better."

Simon Pegg, Pom Klementieff, Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell and Christopher McQuarrie
Simon Pegg, Pom Klementieff, Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell and Christopher McQuarrie at the Sydney premiere of Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One. Photo: Getty

Tom also gushes about his co-stars, telling us on the red carpet: "This cast, we have a lot of fun together. There's a lot of hard work, a lot of joy, a lot of dedication, and particularly that kind of time that we went through. It's taken a long time for us to make it because of [Covid lockdowns]."

"Simon's always making us laugh, Pom and Hayley – they're just incredibly humorous, talented and just lights."

Mission: Impossible cast on shooting another film in Australia

Hayley Atwell and Tom Cruise in Rome car chase
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One features some incredible locations, with an insane car chase taking place in the city of Rome. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One features some incredible locations from Rome, Venice and Norway, where Tom shot his insane motorcycle stunt. While Mission: Impossible II was shot in Sydney 24 years ago, Hayley agrees it's time to bring the franchise back to Australia.

"Oh God yeah!" she says enthusiastically. "This would be an amazing place to shoot, and I think what's beautiful about these movies is everywhere they shoot, it's a love letter to that location. And you hire local crew, and then we as actors have the privilege of coming and spending actual real-time here. So, getting immersed in the culture, getting immersed in the sights and the architecture and the geography of a place – oh my God, I'd love it if it was here! Let's try to make that happen."

Simon Pegg, who just missed out on shooting in Australia as he joined the franchise for its third instalment, agrees, telling us: "Heck yeah! That's all we said yesterday as we were walking up the coastal road at Bondi, I was like, 'We need to make the film here!' It would be so much fun."

"The open space is beautiful," Pom Klementieff, another newcomer to the franchise, adds.

Tom reveals he 'doesn't mind being scared'

Tom Cruise performs Mission: Impossible stunt
Tom performing his biggest stunt to date in Norway for the film. Photo: Paramount Pictures

While Tom is known to do all of his own stunts, Hayley and Pom also did their fair share of insane scenes, with Hayley telling us one scene that terrified her takes place with Tom on a train towards the end of the film.

"There's a moment when the vertical train carriage – so train has gone from horizontal to vertical in six seconds – and [Tom's] asking me to jump across this kind of gaping carriage which goes into a ravine at the bottom. And in one take he just went, 'Do you trust me?' and I was [furiously shakes head, before slowly nodding], 'I mean, sure!' And [my reaction is] real. Mission: Impossible is a metaphor for the making of a Mission: Impossible film and that's why it's edge-of-your-seat stuff, the whole way."

Pom, who appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, is very comfortable with stunts and has been described by a fan as the female Tom Cruise, as she's a bit of a daredevil herself and loves skydiving and riding motorcycles.

Pom Klementieff in Mission: Impossible
Pom Klementieff is new to the Mission: Impossible franchise and has made a name for herself as 'the female Tom Cruise' thanks to her daredevil attitude. Photo: Paramount Pictures

"I got to run on top of a moving train and jump over carriages in real life!" Pom tells us. "Usually in movies you do that on a green screen in a studio and it's not real, it was amazing to get to do that."

"Pom Cruise!" Simon jokes. "You're the one person I think that could helm a spin-off because Pom is like Tom, she's a danger person, in real life and on film."

He adds that if you think the stunts in this film are crazy, then Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two will blow you away.

"I've seen what's coming in the next one," he says. "They just know how to push things further, and I think the key is, is that every film we do we learn something. Tom and [director Christopher McQuarrie] will learn something about filmmaking and they're always the first to admit they're students of film as much as anything.

Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
Simon Pegg (right) reveals that Tom somehow outdoes the crazy stunts in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One for Part Two. Photo: Paramount Pictures

"So they'll take those skills that they learned on one film and they'll put it to use in the other so it can only ever get more adventurous."

Tom admits he gets scared before a big stunt, like the huge motorcycle jump in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, "That wasn't acting, that's not acting, let me tell you!"

He adds, "It's not that I'm not [scared], it's just that I don't mind being scared."

When asked if he believes there'd ever be a stunt too big for the franchise, he says, "I don't know, we haven't had that yet!"

Christopher McQuarrie reveals his 'scariest' moment with Tom

Director and writer Christopher McQuarrie, who has been working with Tom for many years now, also shares with us the stress of watching the actors perform stunts, saying: "You are focused on everything that can go right, and trying not to think about everything that could go wrong, and you're just very, very relieved it's over."

He adds that even he has had to perform a stunt, though he can't tell us which one it is just yet, "Can't say what it is, but I had to do it so I knew how to write it. I did it on Top Gun [Maverick], I went flying with the Blue Angels and did the high-speed manoeuvres to understand what G's were like. But in [Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning] Part Two, I had to do one of the stunts because just the physics of it were so particular I couldn't write the sequences until I did it."

Christopher also shares his "scariest" memory from his many years working with Tom, saying, "The absolute scariest one was [Mission: Impossible - Fallout] – the helicopter chase in Fallout, only because I was in the helicopter chasing him and that was that was quite a unique experience."

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is in cinemas July 8.

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