Hayley Atwell says that her screen test for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One involved two hours of stunt choreography.
When it comes to screen tests, most involve the actor(s) performing a scene to the camera. Some, like the recent Superman: Legacy screen tests, also involve full costume and makeup, but when it comes to the Mission: Impossible franchise, they want to make sure you can keep up with the action. Hayley Atwell revealed to The Telegraph that her screen test for Grace in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One was two hours of stunt choreography.
Hayley Atwell performed her Mission: Impossible screen test with stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood, which she said involved “two hours of stunt choreography just to see where my natural abilities lay.” Atwell continued, “We did an unarmed combat sequence and mixed martial arts to see if I was someone who could grapple and trap or someone who was more into high kicks. [It’s to] ascertain my natural style.“
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One writer/director Christopher McQuarrie explained the unorthodox screen test method: “Who the character has become is a byproduct of the process. So when we went into the screen test, we’ve not written a character that we’re trying to find someone to fit with. Rather, we’re looking for an actress who we want to work with and we’ll fit the character to her.” Once Hayley Atwell accepted the role of Grace, she went through another five months’ worth of stunt training.
“In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands,” reads the official synopsis. “With control of the future and the fate of the world at stake, and dark forces from Ethan’s past closing in, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all-powerful enemy, Ethan is forced to consider that nothing can matter more than his mission – not even the lives of those he cares about most.“
In addition to Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One also features Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, Rebecca Ferguson as Ila Faust, Hayley Atwell as Grace, Vanessa Kirby as Alanna Mitsopolis, Henry Czerny as Eugene Kittridge, Shea Whigham as Jasper Briggs, Frederick Schmidt as Zola Mitsopolis, and Esai Morales as the movie’s main villain. Pom Klementieff, Rob Delaney, Cary Elwes, Indira Varma, Mark Gatiss, Charles Parnell, Greg Davis, and Marcin Dorociński also appear.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One will hit theaters on July 12th. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two will be released on June 28, 2024.