It’s safe to say that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the biggest film of your career so far. Not every actress gets to be in a franchise that’s earned over $4 billion worldwide. Making Mission: Impossible was a dream come true. It challenged me as an actor because it’s so technical. Any time you’re challenged you get better. I learned so much from working with Tom Cruise—it was remarkable. Also, I got to do my own stunts, and that felt more freeing than anything I’ve ever done. To be able to be that physical was exciting.
Was that first meeting with Tom Cruise intimidating?
No, actually. He made me feel comfortable; he was so kind. At first I felt like I shouldn’t waste my time, because I just didn’t see how they’d actually cast me. I didn’t think of myself being hired to be in this. Then they kept calling, so I figured, “OK, I have nothing to lose. It would be cool to be a spy. [Laughs.] And it’d be amazing to work with Tom. If they’re calling, there has to be a reason—you have to have more faith in yourself.” So they called and said that they wanted me to do a chemistry read with Tom, and it was like no screen test I’d ever done before. I had my trailer, and the test was on a big soundstage in Paramount. It felt very “old Hollywood.” It was very exciting. I had to learn how to disarm a gun a little bit—or at least be able to fake it—that same day!
Had you ever used a gun before?
Yeah, I had, actually. Before I got married, back in 2005, I did this TV pilot that Antoine Fuqua directed and produced, starring Josh Brolin and myself as homicide detectives—but it didn’t get picked up. I got to learn how to use a gun then, so I wasn’t coming into Mission: Impossible as naïve and fresh as I would have otherwise.