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Monday, December 12, 2011

Tom Cruise co-stars talk about MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL


As holiday approaches, the whole world can't help but get excited with the sequel to the successful Mission Impossible franchise led by Tom Cruise, this time entitled as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL.

Equally excited are Tom Cruise's co-stars in the movie Academy award winner Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton.   Renner plays the enigmatic agent William Brandt while Patton plays the badass field agent Jane Carter.

The character William Brandt had immediate appeal to Renner. “Brandt is an analyst, a seemingly tight-wound desk guy who is smart as a whip, and that’s his job. He’s not very emotional about things. Then, you slowly start to see the revealing of who he really is – particularly through seeing this physical skill set you would not expect out of a tight, blue shirt-wearing analyst. He doesn’t really want to be part of the team, but circumstances force him to join the group,” says Renner.

The character Jane Carter on the other hand is driven by something besides to complete the mission, revenge.  Patton said, "Jane is as fierce as the boys, if not fierce - she's someone to contend with."

The two shared more of their thoughts about the movie  with Paramount Pictures and here are some of what they revealed.

What is it like working with Tom Cruise on this franchise, he is so much more than just its star, as a producer he is instrumental in bringing each new sequel together? (Renner)
He is very inclusive, he makes you part of every stage of the process. I never felt left out in the cold, I always felt like it was a collaborative effort, which is a really, really wonderful thing to be a part of. You get to learn a lot and I learned a lot about him as a person in the process, personally as a friend and then also as an actor I’ve looked up to for years. And he couldn’t be more generous and giving of his time. But he also sets a really high bar that challenged me as an actor, and as an athlete: he got me into a really great physical program that obviously he’s been on, got me in the right mind set to be able to do the things I needed to do. He would bend over backwards, do anything for any of his actors to make this the best experience, the best it could be, and I think he’d do it for anyone. I certainly felt singled out even though I know I wasn’t, he makes you feel that way. And Tom, he’s really, really gregarious and generous with his time, he just makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room.

Was there anything that surprised you about him? (Patton)
He can be intense when he works. To be great, you have to have intense focus and dedication. There is time to laugh and have fun but then there is time to stay focused. TOM UNDERSTANDS THIS BALANCE BEST. You have to be serious about what you are doing. There is a lot riding on that and so you have to be committed.

How would you say this Mission: Impossible is bigger than the other ones? (Renner)
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. You could make this a really intimate story as well and I think it’d be fantastic. But this one has a big scale, and the places we go and the things we’re doing, the action set pieces were big, like the Burj Khalifa. That’s a really big set piece. And the story, the scale and the stakes are really high, much higher than they have been in the other ones. IMF is shut down, it’s coming at it from a whole other angle. How do you get bigger than this?

What do you think is the appeal of this franchise? Why does it keep coming back? (Patton)
Tom is really a smart producer. He always likes to find different directors who brings their own unique style. Brian De Palma did the first and then John Woo did the second and finally J.J. Abrams did the last one. Now, we have Brad Bird (winner of two Academy Awards® for Best Animated Feature Films THE INCREDIBLES and RATATOUILLE) has his own unique vision for the story. This is a different Mission than you have ever seen before. Tom is the heart of the franchise, but for this there is a really strong team around him and the IMF is completely shut down. We have no resources, no help, and these are things that are new in this film. – It's an incredible ride from start to finish.  

What is it like at the top of Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world? (Patton)
It is twice the size of The Empire State. Twice the size! It’s surrounded by proper skyscrapers with 70 floors, there’s a lot of big skyscrapers round there, but they look like little Lego. Like a little model of the city down below you. The only things you see are those big buildings and they’re so tiny, everything else is just like from a plane. It’s the craziest, craziest thing and amazing view. It’s actually a beautiful building, and I hear they’re building one that’s going to be bigger than that in Saudi Arabia — Jeez, is it high up there! It’s pretty spectacular.  

With Tom Cruise so invested in the film’s realism, doing as many of the stunts himself — including climbing up the side of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world — did you feel you had to step up and do your own stunt work? (Renner)

Absolutely, and he pushes you to do it too. There was the opportunity to do so many things physically that I’ve never done. I had to get into really, really great shape and I was doing Filipino Stick Fighting and I didn’t know what that was and muay thai (a combat sport). I’m doing it for five hours a day, fighting, training and then doing all this stuff on a wire. I’ve never done anything on a wire prior to this and it was really great fun, I got to learn a lot! And I feel like it’s a kind of like a new sport — doing stunts is a whole sport, you have to treat it as such. And, boy, did I have a blast! I really, really had a blast doing it.

That’s what makes the Mission: Impossible films wonderfully old-fashioned because they’re all the extremes of the real world, not green screen and computer effects. You’re going to go up the Burj Khalifa, and that reality sells it to an audience… Right, right, the whole reality of it, and we’re all doing it. There is fantasy in it, in the circumstances of the plot: the Kremlin blows up, people die and their world’s ending. But it is tied in with the reality of what we’re doing, and that is the great ride, the roller-coaster ride that hopefully we take the audience on for two hours. I think it’s a really terrific film because of that sense of reality, the humanness of the characters. I know that when I go to the cinema, whether it’s a big movie or small movies, I’m an audience member too, I need to connect with somebody, or care about somebody or hate somebody, I need to get in there and I feel like they did a really great job with this one.

Distributed by Solar Entertainment,  MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL opens in theaters on December 15!

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