Tom Cruise is currently filming the seventh instalment in the Mission Impossible film series in Norway
No one breathe near Tom! The constant cry goes out, as megawatt Hollywood star Tom Cruise works in Norway on the seventh instalment in the Mission Impossible film series.
Cruise, his fellow actors and crew must surely be among the most Covid-secure beings in the world as they race to complete the action-adventure epic, which is up and filming again after work was halted by the pandemic.
Even as director Christopher McQuarrie filmed in Scandinavia, production offices were being set up in Rome and Venice, where Mission: Impossible 7 will be shooting in October and November.
Vanessa Kirby, who last weekend won the best actress prize at the Venice Film Festival for her mesmerising performance in Pieces Of A Woman, will join Cruise on location to reprise her role as the femme-fatale White Widow.
The film is due for release in November of next year. But all eyes are fixed on this November, too.
The new Bond film No Time To Die is due to open here on November 12, eight days before it is released in the United States.
Tom Cruise and Vanessa Kirby in a scene from 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout
There’s a lot of nervousness following the release of Christopher Nolan’s ace time-bending thriller Tenet, which opened while cinemas were still closed in many major markets like California and New York, and while the necessary precautions of socially-distanced seating put a dent in ticket sales.
No Time To Die will open in November, because it must.
The film’s already in its second marketing campaign (an April date was abandoned due to the lockdown).
Tom Cruise takes to the air during filming of the new Mission: Impossible movie near Hellesylt, Norway
Tom Cruise waves to fans while shooting scenes for the upcoming new Mission: Impossible film
A release date shift to 2021, requiring a third launch, would be catastrophic for all the studios concerned.
Hundreds of millions of pounds are riding on No Time To Die.
‘Bond will release this November or we’re as good as finished with distribution into cinemas for the forseeable future,’ a rival studio executive said to me, in a Zoom call.
Bad girls have all the fun, including me, says Pippa Bennett-Warner
Pippa Bennett-Warner loves playing a badass ‘because they’re fun’.
Take the seemingly demure Shannon Dumani, in Sky’s terrific Gangs Of London. ‘Suddenly she’s got this massive gun and she’s blasting away!’ said the actress. ‘No one sees it coming,’ she continued, adding (in a sing-song voice) ‘because she’s so sweet and nice’.
Pippa Bennett-Warner says she loves playing a badass… ‘because they’re fun’
Bennett-Warner said she could see Shannon going on a bear hunt in Gangs Of London’s second season, which has been commissioned to shoot next year, tracking down those who betrayed her. Top of the list will be Elliot Finch, her erstwhile lover, played by Sope Dirisu.
She doesn’t wield a firearm in the delicious four-part political thriller Roadkill, written by David Hare. This time, Bennett-Warner’s badass weapon of choice is her ‘smarts’.
Rochelle Madeley is a sleek and ruthless barrister who has just won a libel case for her client: a smooth-talking Tory politician played with effortless guile by Hugh Laurie. (‘My favourite cases are when I know my clients are guilty,’ Rochelle says, in an aside to a colleague.)
Rochelle is ‘pugnacious and smart’, and she liked playing her so much she paid for her costumes and came away with a snazzy black coat, a black leather shirt and a yellow polo neck. ‘I should have bought the wig and gown for Halloween,’ she joked.
Hare told me he’d wanted to work with the North London-based 32-year-old ‘for ever’, but she was always busy; in plays at the National, Royal Court and Donmar; or mini-series such as MotherFatherSon with Richard Gere, Billy Howle and Helen McCrory (who happens to play Conservative Prime Minster Dawn Ellison in Roadkill).
I first saw her as the young Nala in The Lion King. But I started paying attention when I watched her sublime performance as Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline, Or Change at the National Theatre in 2006. Soon after that, she enrolled at RADA. ‘I realised why people go,’ she said. ‘You end up with a little box of tools. This is such a funny industry; it’s quite flighty. But if you make the commitment, your front foot has to be very active.’
Hare called her ‘a wonderful actress’. ‘She can do anything,’ he said. Except football. Bennett-Warner laughed and said Hare had written a scene designed to demonstrate Rochelle’s aggressive streak. A football scene. But her skills were so poor they had to switch to hockey. ‘It still has that same aggression,’ she insisted.
Hare denied that any Roadkill characters are based on real politicians. But I detected echoes, in McCrory’s PM (and her wigs) of Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.
‘Unfortunately, we’re very short of role models in terms of women Prime Ministers,’ Hare sighed, ‘so it’s inevitable, if you have a woman PM, people will think it’s one of them — and I promise you, it’s neither.’
The playwright said Roadkill is about shamelessness. ‘It used to be, when you committed a crime, there was something called disgrace. But we can see that in politics now, disgrace is no longer obtained.’
It will be on BBC One soon.
What a sight for sore eyes! A film crew, on my doorstep. Actually, it was in a bubble on the beach near my home in East Sussex. Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Wonder Woman) and Christopher Eccleston are shooting a Channel 4 mini-series called Close To Me. Based on Amanda Reynolds’ psychological thriller, it’s about a woman who falls down stairs, sustaining partial amnesia, which wipes a year from her memory.