Paula Patton Interview For ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’
This is not just another mission. The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear their organization’s name. No help, no contact, off the grid. Director Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles) has assembled a fine cast to support Tom Cruise in Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Simon Pegg, Vladimir Mashkov, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Tom Wilkinson and Michael Nyqvist. Look out for ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ in cinemas December 16th in the US, and December 26th in the UK.
How was it to get this part? There’s many sides to Jane Carter, she’s incredibly fierce but at the same time vulnerable.
Paula Patton: Jane Carter is a really interesting woman, like you said, she’s very fierce and strong, and yet she’s vulnerable and feminine. When you meet her, she’s experienced a loss, and then a failure, and she has to right these wrongs. She is pretty complex. Honestly, when I heard about this movie it wasn’t an offer, I had to audition for it, and I remember when my agents called me and said that they’d like me to come in and read. I thought, “Don’t waste my time, there’s no way!” I’d always loved Mission Impossible, but I never thought in a million years that they were gonna hire me (laughs). But then they kept calling, they kept telling me, “They’d really like you to come in and read.” So I finally relented and I did, then a day later they said they’d like me to do a screen-test with Tom Cruise, then a few days later Brad Bird and J.J. Abrams called me to say, “Your Jane Carter.” All I knew was that Jane Carter was the female lead, and she was a very fierce woman, so that was all I really needed to hear to want to do it (laughs). I just didn’t believe that I would get it so it’s kind of a dream.
You have a great fight scene with Léa Seydoux, how was that to do?
Paula Patton: It was such a challenge, but really fun. We both really wanted it to look real because these are two real super-spies. We wanted the action to look as honest as possible. So with that we done all our own stunts, because I think it makes it that much more enjoyable for the audience to see the actors really do those stunts. I dunno, I just think it takes it up a notch. So it took a lot of time, it was very challenging, with rehearsals, making sure that it looked effortless and not too choreographed. We had a really great trainer and stunt co-ordinator in Rob Alonzo, who showed us moves that a woman could do that were strong and fierce, but still allowed us to be women. And that’s what I loved, I loved that I got to play this character who’s so strong, but she doesn’t have to be like a man to pull it off.
Who’d win in a real fight?
Paula Patton: (Laughs) Okay, Léa, I’m sorry, we’ll definitely have another fight about this, but I would win – because I’m scrappy (laughs)!
With someone like Tom Cruise, he’s been at a certain level for so long now, what was it like working with him?
Paula Patton: It’s incredible, it’s a dream come true to work with him. He’s an actor I’ve always admired, I’ve always been blown away by the variety of his roles. You have ’Born on the Fourth of July,’ then ’Jerry Maguire,’ then ’Magnolia,’ and then a comedy like ’Tropic Thunder.’ Tom tries anything, he’s so fearless and he always does an incredible job. But what really was a surprise, and a pleasant surprise at that, was that he was just an even better human being; he’s so kind, so gracious, he has such a great heart. He’s the kind of person that he’ll be in a room and he’ll notice the one person who wasn’t happy, and he’d be like, “Hey, what’s going on?” And also he wants everyone to look and be great in the movie, not just himself, he always wanted to make sure that Simon Pegg, myself, Jeremy Renner, everyone shined. For that I’m very very grateful.
I really enjoyed the scenes in Dubai, it‘s an incredibly compelling and action packed part of the movie….
Paula Patton: Me too, that section that happens in the film, in Dubai, it’s a really important part of the movie. They’re trying to accomplish a very complicated mission, and not only is Tom doing this death-defying feat, but there’s also these things happening on different floors, it’s very complex. Our director Brad Bird, he done a great job of making that so compelling and believable. That’s probably one of my favourite parts of the movie as an audience member. I also loved the scenes within the palace, because Jane has to pull off being a seductress, but then she also has to be strong and fierce – and I get to wear a pretty dress, so the girly girl in me loved that (laughs).
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