It’s the fifth film in the extremely popular Mission: Impossible franchise. Rogue Nation has grossed more than $600 million at the global box office and is still going strong. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt and Simon Pegg as Benji. The beautiful and talented Rebecca Ferguson joins the cast as an almost equal to Hunt. Risen followed the cast to Austria where the premiere took place at the Vienna State Opera House as it is featured prominently within the film.
Interviewed for Risen Magazine in Vienna, Austria
Risen Magazine: Talk to me about the stunts. I understand you really were hanging outside of the airplane while it was taking off and you held your breath for something like six minutes underwater?
Tom Cruise: I’ve done a lot of underwater sequences; I really wanted to find a way to push it. I always thought, “What about an underwater sequence for an extended suspense sequence?” I talked to McQ [Director, Christopher McQuarrie] early when we were working on Edge of Tomorrow, because he wrote the script, so he designed that sequence. I really had to push it and I held my breath for over six minutes. But for the takes themselves some were really about three minutes and forty-five seconds from start to finish. There were some really long ones. Just from the moment you take the regulator out of your mouth, get in position, now we are shooting and taking it all the way to the edge.
RM: The car chase sequences were pretty intense and many times you probably were just responding in truth to the situation.
Simon Pegg: Yea, it wasn’t difficult to act in those sequences, I just had to let out how I was feeling. It was extraordinary. And Tom [Cruise] is such an expert driver. Our stunt coordinator said, ”I don’t have a driver better than Tom.” It had to be us in the car and it was five days of utter hysteria. It was just me, and Tom, giddy and laughing so much because we were having such a good time. It was a little bit hot as well. Tom is a lot more playful than I think people realize that he is and we had moments where we were literally crying with laughter at the absurdity of it. We were in Casablanca surrounded by all these people, these lovely Moroccan people who had come out to see Tom because it was exciting that he was there, and us in the middle of it all trying not to knock people over.
RM: Your character Benji is getting more comfortable being in the field versus behind a desk. In your own life, do you thrive on stepping outside of your comfort zone?
Simon Pegg: Absolutely. I think life begins just outside of your comfort zone. If you stay in it forever you are never going to live much of a life. There is something to be said for your comfort zone, it’s nice to go back to – always. But putting yourself outside of it has so many dividends, you start to really live and experience new things and challenge yourself and move forward. It’s something that I try to do all the time.
RM: As writer-director I know you and Tom Cruise like to make everything be the best it can possibly be, so I’m curious, when it comes to Tom hanging outside of an airplane taking off, do you say, “I think we need you to do that one again?” Or do you let him call the shots?
Christopher McQuarrie: [Laughter] That is definitely the one time when I said, “You say when.” Because I tend to shoot a lot, and [have the actors] do it over and over again. I said, “This one is yours, whenever you are finished let me know.” And he just kept doing it. He loved it. He really had a great time.
RM: A lot of times in life there are pressures that people are handling against a timeline, so when have you seen the stakes the highest?
Rebecca Ferguson: What I like about Mission: Impossible is how I can relate to this film. It’s like life isn’t it? When we make a choice a consequence will come. It might not help your situation, it might help mine or vice versa. And it is sort of like art imitating life or life imitating art. I think that is why I love to relate to Mission: Impossible because it’s not only high explosive stunts, it has soul; it has character.