Have you gone to see Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Pt. 1 yet?
Hayley Atwell Talks Stunt Training And The Comedy Of MI7
If you have yet to check out the 7th installment in Tom Cruise’s highly successful Mission Impossible franchise we highly encourage you to go see it because you won’t be disappointed. The stunts go even harder this time around.
BOSSIP’s Sr. Content Director caught up with MI newcomer Hayley Atwell, who plays Grace, ahead of the film’s premiere in Rome this Summer and they spoke about the cast’s adoption of the slogan to “not just play it safe,” but instead to “play it competent” and what that meant to her.
“That was the mantra,” Atwell told our iOneDigital editor. “The health and safety is so tight on a franchise at this scale because the stakes are so high, but one thing that he [Tom Cruise] helped me do to overcome my fear is to just be really competent at what I was doing and if I was focusing on getting better at developing these skills then I didn’t have to play safe right because I would naturally be safe. So that that was very inspiring, you know. That helped me push through my own comfort zone and be able to try new things.”
It turns out that Atwell found she had a special knack for driving stunts, above all the others.
“Bizarrely the drifting!” Hayley told us when we asked which stunt she felt most competent at. “I’d had no idea. We had five months of physical training and we were discovering where my natural strengths and talents lay, in terms of my fighting style. Lots of mixed martial arts and fighting with knives and guns as well, and drifting with Wade Eastwood discovered I was like, ‘Oh I’m kind of liking this.’ Once I got the hang of it, took me a while to work out how to do it, then once once I got into the swing of it, literally I just found it exhilarating and so out of that became like, ‘OK I guess there’s a thing Grace is going to be doing if you know if I keep at it.’ And so by the time we got to Rome I had been done so much training and felt so safe in the car with Tom and had built up the trust from him that I also could do it in the way that he wanted me to was so exciting you know to be to be here in Rome doing it for real is something you know I’m glad exists on screen because I’m probably never going to get the chance to do that again.”
The yellow Fiat featured in the film even earned a nickname from Cruise and Atwell.
“We nicknamed it Tricksy because it had a life of its own,” Atwell revealed. “I mean when they came up with the idea that Ethan Hunt was gonna be undermined by a Fiat 500 — it’s just ‘Oh that’s the kind of movie we’re making OK it’s a comedy!’ It’s a moment of levity between them and also you know she doesn’t grace doesn’t know this guy so she’s putting her into a Fiat 500 and he can’t even turn it on and keep turns on the windscreen wipers instead like you you can’t blame Grace for not not right sure if she should trust this guy or not right you know and so it it create this kind of levity I think in the in the film that we haven’t seen for a while.”
Atwell’s character undergoes a huge transformation through the course of the film that has us excited for her potential franchise in the future, especially since this is Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1, but the actress, previously known for her role as Peggy Carter in several of Marvel’s Captain America, Avengers and Ant-Man films says her Mission Impossible fate is really in all of our hands.
“I think it sort of depends on what the audience wants,” Atwell told us. “I think Tom [Cruise] and McQ [Christopher MdQuarrie] have this uncanny ability to delight the audiences and really deliver and so I think that they are very keen on the feedback of what is landed for them you know, so if the audiences want more of Grace then I’m up for it. I’m happy to be here, happy to stay.”
We love to hear it. Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1 is in theaters now!
*Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted prior to the current SAG-AFTRA strike.