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Tom Cruise signed off his “love letter to Paris” with the spectacular Mission: Impossible – Fallout world premiere overlooking the Eiffel Tower on Thursday night.
With the iron icon as the backdrop, Cruise, director Christopher McQuarrie and co-stars Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby held court outside of the Palais de Chaillot.
Cruise and McQuarrie said they decided to film in Paris after the terror attacks in November 2015, which killed 130 across the city.
McQuarrie said that he and his star had been discussing ideas and previously had other locations in mind. “I said to Tom, ‘I want to take the film to Paris, I want to go there and I want to show the Paris I know,” the director said, adding that in an initial meeting executives were concerned. “Tom said, ‘That’s exactly why we are going there, to show the world that it is safe.’”
Cruise upped the action ante for the film, famously breaking his ankle during the shoot. The star told THR that if that big bang-up didn’t stop him from doing his own stunts, pretty much nothing will.
“I’ll still be doing this when I’m 90 years old. If I’m doing stunts in a wheelchair, I’ll do it,” he joked. And while Cruise said he’d decided against doing a base jump off of the tower for his red carpet entrance, “I got to drive a motorcycle down Avenue d’Opera at 120 miles an hour. That was a blast.”
The Queen star Kirby learned about her Emmy nomination on the red carpet. “My best friend and my brother told me literally about five minutes ago. I’m just overwhelmed, but she was crying so I tried not to cry,” she said, adding that she loved being Princess Margaret “more than any character I’ve ever played.”
Kirby’s already handed over the reins to Helena Bonham Carter, who will be playing an older version of the role. “She wanted my playlist, my pictures and scripts” in order to absorb the character, said Kirby. “We talked loads. It’s so cool to share someone you loved playing so much with someone you really admire.”
Monaghan, who rejoined the film series after a 10-year absence, said: “This is the best franchise to be part of, let me tell you that. I don’t consider this work, I mean, look at this view.” She said she plans to come back in August for her personal vacation. What she won’t be doing? Any of the very dangerous stunts the team pulled off.
“I got to do things like ride up and down the Seine on a speed boat, and also get to run around the streets in a BMW at very, very fast speeds, which is not a holiday option,” joked Pegg. The sidekick said he will only ever do non-Cruise-style stunts. “I’m prepared to do something over a large mattress wearing a huge suit made of bubble wrap. We need a big sumo sequence,” he joked.
Pegg also gave his congrats to Croatia for beating England’s team in Wednesday’s World Cup match, and though he admitted Croatia played a good game, he still hopes that France will take the title during Sunday’s final. “Just so they can beat Croatia. Vive la France, I say!”
The red carpet rolled along Trocadero Plaza to a stage overlooking the gardens for what may be the most Instagrammable backdrop ever at a world premiere. The cast and crew climbed up for photos.
McQuarrie, purposefully dressed in the patriotic blue, white and red colors of the French flag, jostled to get to the center of the big pic. “If not, I’m always cropped out, always,” said the Oscar winner (original screenplay for 1995’s The Usual Suspects).
The plaza had also been the location for a pivotal scene between Basset and Cavill, which was shot at dawn. Cavill called it “epic, epic,” while Bassett said nothing could top filming as the sun rose over the Eiffel Tower. “Not even a butter croissant,” she said.
After the four-hour red carpet extravaganza, the cast and guests including Skydance executive producer David Ellison, producer Jake Myers and Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos entered the Palais, where the ballet theater had put up an Imax screen. The event execs had planned accordingly — each seat was topped with a snack box featuring fancy finger sandwiches and Laduree macarons.
McQuarrie introduced each castmember, saying that while Pegg is the funny guy, he’s “an extraordinary dramatic actor, very underrated in that regard, and someone who is going to show you something very special this evening.” Pegg then, very dramatically, began to remove his trousers. “This is why we bring Simon out last,” added McQuarrie.
Cruise and McQuarrie thanked the French ministry of culture, “who were incredibly tolerant of letting us ride motorcycles all over everything nice in Paris, and the police for closing their eyes while we did it.” Cruise added: “I didn’t get any tickets, not one.”
Speeding tickets are one thing. The film is garnering positive reviews and the audience went wild with laughter, gasps and applause all throughout the film. Now, only time will tell how it does at the box office. Mission: Impossible – Fallout opens stateside July 27.
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