Make and break for Mission: Impossible stars
IT'S easy to see how even an experienced actor could be intimidated by Tom Cruise.
Despite many jokes about his stature over the years, Cruise is a titan of the film industry and in his latest blockbuster, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, he does all of his own stunts, including purposefully putting a helicopter into a nosedive.
But for Swedish actor Rebecca Ferguson, he's her on-set buddy who happens to come with a few perks.
"He's a guy who just loves what he does and people love what he can give them. You get such support when you are part of his team," she says.
"Mission is his, he's producing it. He's the first on set and the last one off set. But then he's just a friend. He's someone you can go up to if you have issues.
"For some people it can be quite intimidating but because he's such a nice guy I can go up to him and go 'I don't get this' and he'll explain everything. Or he'll go, 'Do you want to do this?' and I'll say, 'F--- off Tom, I'm tired'. No I didn't say that but I could."
Ferguson returns with her wicked sense of humour to the Mission: Impossible franchise as Isla Faust, a former MI6 agent who works with The Syndicate and is an ally to Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team.
"I was so excited about the character that Isla is and how bloody fierce and cool she is," she says.
"It was never a guarantee for her to come back. It's all down to how people like the characters.
"When I found out (I was returning in Fallout) it was such a blissful happiness. She's one of my favourite characters I've ever done. I love her. She's not only an equal to the men but I love the mystique that comes around her. That continues in the Fallout film as well. You don't really know where you stand with her. You don't really know if you can trust her. There's always that question of what is her purpose really?"
She describes their characters as having a magnetic connection, rather than a romantic one. If Isla was just another Bond girl to be conquered in the bedroom, then Ferguson wouldn't be playing her.
"One of the most beautiful things with these two characters is it's not a love relationship. It's got nothing to do with sexuality," she says.
"It's so much bigger than just being interested in each other - that's teenage stupidity. These are two people who are bloody brilliant at what they do and are somehow magnets for each other - he goes left and she goes right. There's a trust in that and what is lovely and what you can play with is when you take these two magnets and separate them and still feel the tension in between."
Cruise made headlines around the world when he broke his ankle while performing a stunt for the film in London. During the two-month break, Ferguson fell pregnant with her second child.
"There's work and life - Tom breaks a foot and I make a baby," she laughs.
"It was a bloody nuisance (being pregnant while filming) but at the same time, when do you stop?
"They were such gentlemen and everyone around me was equally as happy as I was for the news. I was frustrated because I couldn't do all the stunts I wanted to - I was growing something equally as fast as he (Cruise) was healing - but I had the most incredible stunt team around me."
The biggest film in the franchise yet, Fallout features jaw-dropping action sequences as Ethan and his team travel the globe after a mission gone wrong.
"When the script came my way and we started talking about it, there were so many locations. It was like, oh my God, we're shooting in Paris, New Zealand, Norway and the UAE," Ferguson says.
"That's one of the highlights of these films.
"Tom and some other people got to take helicopters to some of the locations. My character didn't need to get to some of the locations and that really pissed me off. I said, 'Tom, I'm very disappointed I haven't got in a helicopter'. Then one day there was one waiting for Simon Pegg and myself and we travelled to and from work in a helicopter.
"I knew I would get it - I just know how to work my buddy."
Mission: Impossible - Fallout opens in cinemas on Thursday.