So coming into this, I felt in very good hands knowing McQuarrie and Tom’s symbiotic relationship meant that we would work together in this triangle of power to find out how we can satisfy the beats this kind of spy action-adventure movie needs, but in that have the freedom for me to try something different.
What was the process of filming the stunts?
Tom has this mantra, “‘Don’t be careful, be competent.” “Careful,” for me, implies fearfulness. It’s saying don’t do something if you’re scared of it, don’t try something potentially dangerous, but everything’s potentially dangerous, so the word almost doesn’t have meaning anymore.
“Competent” was a really useful word because it was active. It suggests that if you train properly with the experts involved in any given stunt, you can create a dynamic physicality with mobility and injury prevention in place, so you could not only do the stunt but do it multiple times from multiple angles and at any given moment take a note on the performance.
We trained for about five months with Wade Eastwood, his stunt team, and his wife, Sam Eastwood. So when we get out onto the set, and it’s Venice and a night shoot and you’re backflipping off a bridge, or falling backward off a moving train as we did in the Norway sequence, we’ve done so much prep, you can just let go and know that work has meant you are safe.
So how do you combine that sense of having the stunt where you practice it and plan it and it has to go the same way every time with giving a performance where you make it up as you go along?