It's well-publicised that Tom Cruise goes to extraordinary lengths when it comes to putting himself in danger in the name of entertainment – and he's outdone himself once again in the seventh instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise.


The film – subtitled Dead Reckoning Part One – is released in UK cinemas next week and sees Cruise attempt his most outlandish stunt to date, with one jaw-dropping sequence seeing the legendary movie star ride a motorbike off a cliff.

Cruise is joined in the film by a number of returning stars and new faces, and one of those to join the cast in a prominent role is Hayley Atwell, who plays enigmatic pickpocket, Grace.

Despite having already heard a lot about the incredible stunts Cruise regularly pulls off, Atwell was still surprised by one or two things when it came to working with the Top Gun: Maverick star – as she explained in an exclusive interview with

"The thing that surprised me more than anything else is how easy he wears it all," she explained. "I remember we went over for dinner at his and he comes out and he's like, 'Hey, guys, how you doing?' Sits down, we're chatting about the film, chatting about our day, what we've been up to.

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"And we were like, well you know, how was your day? And he's like 'yeah, it was good, it was really nice actually, I had a lovely time. I did like 29 skydives I think today.'

"And the ease with which he said that! And also I'm sat there going, you look like a man that's had a lovely day at the beach, you are so relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. And you've just done that! And I think it's because he's so disciplined in what he knows that he has to do in order to accomplish these stunts.

"And [he] has also that real understanding of how to relax and be fearless in it. And that's the thing that I find most inspiring is the lightness with which he wears this all."

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Atwell might not perform any skydives in the new film, but she had to go through a pretty rigorous five-month training process herself – which started right from the very beginning of the process.

"The screen test itself involved a physical test with Wade Eastwood, the stunt coordinator, to find out where my sort of natural abilities lay," she explained. "But also he was working out what my style might be if I was to join the franchise.

"And so by the time I went onto set, I had five months of drifting, sleight-of-hand tricks, unarmed combat, fight choreography, working with knives, working with guns to see what my style would be.

"So much of the character was about her physical behaviour and her gestures – and because [this] is the seventh in the franchise and the third one for McQ [director Christopher McQuarrie] and Tom working together, it's such a well-oiled machine, it knows exactly what it is!"

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 is released in UK cinemas on Friday 14th July 2023. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.

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