Leave it to the Mission: Impossible franchise to pull off an impossible mission – to not only show moviegoers that the fourth installment is as fresh as the first 15 years ago, but that Tom Cruise is too.
Judging by the numbers, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol is ripe for a record run. In a limited-release, Imax-screen strategy by Paramount, the movie garnered $14 million worldwide, and a slew of adrenaline-pumped reviews. Audiences, it seems, are prepared to root once more for the theatrical comeback of Ethan Hunt – and Cruise.
At the NYC premiere, an “incredibly gracious” Cruise delayed the opening by an hour, in favor of signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, and awarding an interview to every journalist present, including our very own Tom Murro.
The success of the latest Mission: Impossible installment, Cruise told Murro, boils down to one crucial component – the vision of director Brad Bird. To those familiar with Bird’s work, it may seem an unlikely pairing to have a Disney-trained animator to direct an action-packed franchise. So how did the director of kid-friendly blockbusters such as The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, get chosen to direct Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol?
Tom Murro and Jeremy Renner
“You look at [his animated movies], and that’s what I wanted,” Cruise explained. “I have such great admiration for his storytelling and his characters, and I wanted the film to just have a big composition and a lot of humor. Brad Bird is just amazing.”
Other stars hitting the red carpet that night also shared their opinions on the film– with unanimous sentiment that the age-defying Cruise deserves the bulk of the credit. Ghost Protocol star Josh Holloway spoke of the “dog pack” feeling on the set that contributed to the astonishing action sequences. “Tom if kind of alpha-ish, if you will. He does all those crazy stunts, so, yes, it makes you want to do all your own stunts and go crazy,” said the Lost star, “….but I know when I’m trained for something and when I’m not.”
Tom Murro and Robin Thicke
Later, Murro caught up with a popcorn-munching Steven Baldwin to discuss Cruise’s youthful energy.
Baldwin shared that moments earlier he had “set straight” a journalist who scoffed that, at 49 years old, “[Cruise] can’t climb buildings forever.” “Tom Cruise can climb buildings as long as wants to,” Baldwin said to Murro. “That’s what makes him Tom Cruise.”
Tom Murro, Stepehen Baldwin and Paula Patton
So how does Cruise stay in such great shape? When Murro asked Cruise the time-wondered question, he answered simply, “I just work hard.” With four films slated for release in the two years, including the highly publicized Rock of Ages, we can only imagine how good Cruise will look in 2013. Now, if only he’ll find a script he likes for that alluded-to Top Gun sequel…
Tom Cruise loves his fans
All photos by Steve Mack SDMACKPICTURES.COM