VIENNA, Austria — For Simon Pegg, the chance to again play Tom Cruise’s techie whiz sidekick Benji Dunn in another “Mission: Impossible” film was a treat. “I love to travel, and I know when I get a ‘Mission: Impossible’ script, it’s going to be full of a lot of crazy locations and hijinks. Plus the best part is when I read the script for the first time and I get to see where we’re going to go, what we’re going to do, and most important what Tom’s going to do — because he always is trying to outdo himself from the last film!
“That worries me, because I do want him to live to make another one!”
The actor explained that on the days that Cruise would film death-defying stunts — say, hanging off the side of an airplane taking off — “those sequences are pretty terrifying!”
Pegg laughed remembering the first scene when audiences will see him in “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.” The actor was completely encased in a camouflage suit covered with fake meadow grass in the middle of a big field, adjacent to a runway.
“I’ll never forget when I got a memo from [Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie] with pictures of themselves wearing that same damn suit, with a note saying, ‘Hey! You’re going to be wearing this tomorrow! Fun, eh?’
Of course, as we sat in Vienna, talking about the film, Pegg said he was “much, much happier” being costumed for his big scenes at the State Opera House. Wearing an elegant designer tuxedo “was great, because here we were in this spy movie and I’m wearing a well-fitting tuxedo, making for a nice tip-of-the-hat to another spy movie where the hero is always seen wearing a tuxedo.
“So that was fun for me to do that — an homage to my fellow countryman and fellow spy, James Bond.”
Since Pegg has worked with Tom Cruise so much on the various “Mission: Impossible” films, he has an interesting take on the entire Cruise phenomenon.
“There is the Tom Cruise that we all know: Tom Cruise the brand. There’s also Tom Cruise the person, who is behind all that. But I think people would be very surprised to learn he’s slightly more ordinary and human and fallible and funny and fun — and not the crazy, mythic alien people kind of assume him to be. He’s super-dedicated to what he does. He cares so much about his audience in terms of them getting the best bang for their buck.
“Look, he literally could have done so many of those stunts in the film on a ‘green screen’ using CG images, and it probably would have looked just as good as it does with him doing all the stunts. But it meant something to him, to do it for real. I love that about him. It demonstrates the degree of care for the audience that is pretty rare these days.”