FOR­GET CRUISE CON­TROL

He may be our favourite on-screen geek but this very square Pegg fits per­fectly in the role hole carved out for him in this block­buster

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - JES­SICA YOUNG

Un­sur­pris­ingly, writer-co­me­dian Si­mon Pegg never pic­tured him­self as an ac­tion star. “No! But it was great fun!,’’ he says. “It’s funny to see on the screen and there’s a hell of a lot that is not in the trailer.’’

Un­doubt­edly, the 45-yearold Bri­tish star is thrilled with all the pos­si­bil­i­ties that life has thrown at him these past few years. His latest ac­tion ad­ven­ture movie, Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble Rogue Na­tion, in which he plays Benji Dunn, is one of the most an­tic­i­pated movies of 2015 and the fifth in­stal­ment in the Tom Cruise fran­chise.

Also star­ring Jeremy Ren­ner, Alec Bald­win and Re­becca Fer­gu­son, the Christo­pher McQuar­rie-di­rected block­buster in­volves Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team tak­ing on their most im­pos­si­ble mis­sion yet – erad­i­cat­ing The Syn­di­cate, an in­ter­na­tional rogue or­gan­i­sa­tion highly skilled and com­mit­ted to de­stroy­ing the IMF.

The tagline: “Des­per­ate times, call for des­per­ate mea­sures.”

Pegg – ac­tor, co­me­dian, screen­writer, pro­ducer, singer and di­rec­tor – is best known for co-writ­ing and star­ring in the Three Flavours Cor­netto tril­ogy of films: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013), as well as com­edy se­ries Spaced (1999-2001) – all di­rected by his friend Edgar Wright.

So, ev­ery­one wants to know what was it like co-star­ring with the leg­endary Tom Cruise?

He is such an in­spi­ra­tional ac­tor. He cares so much about the prod­uct. He ob­sesses about the au­di­ence hav­ing a truly cin­e­matic ex­pe­ri­ence, so he will do all that stuff. And I was in that plane when he took off and was on the side (dur­ing film­ing). I was in the cock­pit, ac­tu­ally, but I did go back and watch the mon­i­tor. He did that. This is an age where you can do any­thing with CG (com­puter-gen­er­ated) ef­fects ... When you see some­thing real that makes you go, ‘How did they do that?’. It’s a rare oc­ca­sion, these days.

So you are say­ing that Tom Cruise still pushes the en­ve­lope?

Yes. Tom has been at the fore­front of mak­ing sure peo­ple still ask that ques­tion, by scal­ing the Burj Khal­ifa, which he did, and by hang­ing on to the side of an A-400, which he did. Of course, there were safety pre­cau­tions, but he did it. There’s stuff he does in the movie that is as com­mit­ted and as nuts and as ex­cit­ing as hang­ing off of a plane, that you don’t see in the trailer.’

So what’s go­ing on in this latest

MI?

We’ve had sort of this uni­verse build­ing, now it’s time to start cross-pol­li­nat­ing. I think kind of like Star Wars, Avengers and Mis­sion! I did think that at some point I was go­ing to have to be do­ing Star Trek and Mis­sion at the same time. Thank­fully, the script changed for Star Trek, so it didn’t hap­pen at the same time but there was a point when JJ Abrams said to me ‘You know you might have to do both movies si­mul­ta­ne­ously’. And I’m like ‘Well, how is that go­ing to hap­pen?’ And he said ‘I don’t know!’ Thank­fully, it didn’t. But it’s not a bad prob­lem, ad­mit­tedly.

Do you do your own stunts?

When I’m al­lowed to. The in­sur­ance may step in and say no! Why? Be­cause you might be killed. So it’s im­por­tant to get a pro­fes­sional in. But, if it’s per­mit­ted, I will do it be­cause it’s im­por­tant for the au­di­ence to see that it’s you and not the stunt pro­fes­sional. As soon as it’s a stunt per­son, the au­di­ence re­laxes. They go, ‘Oh it’s just a guy who does that for a liv­ing’. But if they see it’s you, like, you know, with Tom on the plane, the jeop­ardy there sud­denly in­creases ten­fold. But I do what­ever they ask me to do within rea­son.

Can you tell me more about be­hind-the-scenes?

From the out­side, Tom Cruise ap­pears to be this weird enigma, who’s this com­plex, strange, mys­te­ri­ous char­ac­ter. He’s not, at all. I hes­i­tate to use the word or­di­nary, but he is a far more or­di­nary per­son than you might ex­pect. He’s a very de­voted, very se­ri­ous, but very fun per­son. And he’s the first per­son to mess around on set. He loves his job. He pre­serves a cer­tain amount of mys­tique around him­self and it helps him to be el­e­vated to the level of movie star that he is, but he’s just a guy. It’s al­ways fun work­ing with Tom be­cause he’s just, you know, Mr Com­mit­ted. He’s bril­liant to be around be­cause you’re like ‘yeah, yeah. Let’s do it, let’s do it.’ I did a lot of fist bump­ing. He’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary driver. I never saw a stunt­man drive the car in the whole film. It was al­ways Tom. And it’s im­por­tant to him. He’s ob­sessed with ac­tu­ally mak­ing sure the au­di­ence gets a real thrill out of know­ing that it’s him. Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble Rogue Na­tion opens to­day

Pic­ture: AP

Alec Bald­win and Si­mon Pegg in a scene from Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble – Rogue Na­tion

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