This post contains a MINOR SPOILER for Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Vanessa Kirby has taken a dramatic turn from The Crown’s Princess Margaret to a criminal mastermind in Mission: Impossible Fallout, which hits U.S. theaters on July 27. She sat down and talked about her character, joining a different action franchise, and the importance of playing fierce female characters.
Screen Rant: For those who don’t know, who is your character in Mission: Impossible? Without giving too much away.
Vanessa Kirby: She is a mysterious, dangerous, criminal network, boss that she’s inherited from Vanessa Redgrave’s character in the first movie. It’s her mother. So, it goes all the way back to 22 years ago. So, she’s taken on the family business. And she, sort of, we wanted to make a sort of enigmatic, unusual… uh, what’s the word? Villain in a way of the first third of the movie.
Screen Rant: Which is crazy because this is completely opposite from The Crown. And jumping into this world of Mission: Impossible, what did you expect from it? Because this is one thing I love about this is that there’s not a lot of green screen. It’s all, everything’s pretty practical. So, what was it that got you on board for this?
Vanessa Kirby: It just was like, because I was in London filming day shoots and doing the second season of the show and then coming to do night shoots in Paris. And for me it was just a big challenge in playing two completely different people at the same time, on a completely different genre. And for me, I always want to sort of try and find unusual women on screen no matter what the genre is, or the movie. So, it was interesting to play two women at the same time who were technically empower, or empowered, and that had operated in very different ways. And this character is definitely more elusive and sort of slippery and, you know, yeah, more fluids… and disarming I think, than maybe Princess Margaret. Who’s much more on the front foot. Shows you exactly what she’s thinking all times.
Screen Rant: Now, this film obviously has a lot of Hollywood legends in it. Angela Bassett, Tom Cruise. Were you able to get any advice from either one of them? Just about anything at all, career wise?
Vanessa Kirby: I think, not really career wise. But Angela, just in herself and her nature and her personality, we had such a laugh. I absolutely loved her. And I suppose how she deals with the industry and how she is on set, it was a great inspiration. Because she’s just cool and she’s just absolutely humble, down to earth. And yet very commanding. And such a great actress. And Tom, yeah. I mean, I remember when I signed onto it I was like, I know I’m going to learn a lot about screen acting from him. And I really did. Because in all our scenes that we had, he would always play about 40 different ways of doing one line. And had the space and time to do that. So, he really encouraged me to explore lots and lots of different options so that in the edit you’d have loads of options, rather than one choice by the actor. And a hadn’t quite gone to that extent with it. And so, it was great thing to learn how different actors work in different ways and that was really interesting.
Screen Rant: That’s awesome. So, it’s just recently got announced that you’re signing onto, or you signed on for, the spin-off of the Fast and Furious franchise. I believe it’s Hobbs & Shaw. And I believe you’re playing Shaw’s sister, is that correct?
Vanessa Kirby: I can’t– it’s not definite.
Screen Rant: It’s not definite?
Vanessa Kirby: Yeah, it’s not definite yet. But, um, so I can’t really talk about it, can I? But from, I suppose. Yeah, well I feel like is a responsibility, just in general, this is generalized. To play characters, particularly in these kinds of movies, that have always been male protagonists led. To play women that are fiercer then the men. And the character in that project is absolutely the boss by far. And I think that’s really important nowadays to do that. And that’s a really, really important thing to me. So yeah, I think, yeah. It’s not definitely. I literally don’t know, yet.
Screen Rant: I’m excited about that because one thing I’ve noticed, especially in this movie with Rebecca’s character, your character, there’s a lot of strong female characters that are in this action genre now. How important is that to you?
Vanessa Kirby: Well I think it’s really, really important. Because these big movies are the things that are getting watched most in cinema. And because a lot of the long running, you know, like with The Crown or whatever, it’s Netflix, you watch at home. And I think people come to the cinema or IMAX to see these movies. I think it’s so important to see these movies in the cinema. So, the kids that are coming to see it, or you know, the girls that are growing up, I think they have to be able to look at people on screen and go, I can be her rather than, oh, I don’t know if I can be him. He’s leading the movie and he’s the one getting to do all the action. And I think that times are absolutely changing. And in something like that, the project we talked about, Hobbs & Shaw, what was exciting about reading it was that this was a character which is absolutely in charge from start to finish. And leads it in a big way.