The Inspiration Behind “Mission: Impossible” Star Pom Klementieff’s Character

Pom Klementieff in Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
Paramount Pictures

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” is finally here, and it’s a thrill-a-minute from start to finish. This week, several of the film’s stars — including the one and only Tom Cruisehit the red carpet in Sydney for the Australian premiere of the long-awaited blockbuster. Long-time “Mission: Impossible” star Simon Pegg was also there, along with Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff, who are both newcomers to the franchise. Speaking to POPSUGAR Australia, Klementieff gave us the scoop on the development of her character, and the input she had.

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” Synopsis

In “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One”, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the IMF team must track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity if it falls into the wrong hands. With control of the future and the fate of the world at stake, 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 the mission — not even the lives of those he cares about most.

Pom Klementieff’s “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” Character

In the film, Pom Klementieff plays Paris, a dangerous villain who’s working with Gabriel (Esai Morales).

Paris and Ethan (Cruise) go head-to-head in combat during the film, and in their fight scenes, Klementieff asked Cruise to actually kick her — but more on that in a moment.

Pom Klementieff in Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
Pom Klementieff in Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. Credit: Paramount Pictures

Developing Paris As a Character

POPSUGAR Australia sat down with Pom Klementieff and Simon Pegg to chat all things “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One”. One of the things we were most interested in was the development of Klementieff’s character, and how much input she had into her development.

As it turns out, Klementieff made “so many!” suggestions, many of which made the final cut of the film.

Klementieff says that her character was developed with a lot of improvisation during filming. The moment where Paris draws a heart in the train sequence, for example, was improvised in the moment.

“I would come to set and ask McQ (director Christopher McQuarrie) ‘who do I kill today?!’” she says.

But Klementieff also had a hand in the aesthetic portrayal of Paris.

“Even in the makeup in Venice, in the white mask with the teardrop, it was inspired by this character from Commedia dell’arte…” she says. “I thought it would bring something a little melancholic about the character and bring some mystery and something a little bit eerie and dangerous, you know, almost like war paint.”

Noting that “there’s something a little bit ironic” about Paris’ style, Klementieff adds: “she just has fun, she’s a rebel and she’s a punk in some ways”.

Pegg chimes in: “That little kilt that you wear in the first scene is really cool. It’s almost like, against type, you know?”

Klementieff agrees.

“I wanted to be able to do high kicks, as well, so I didn’t want to be restrained with my pants!” she laughs. “That sounds weird!”

“Neither did I,” Simon jokingly adds.

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” Trailer

Why Pom Klementieff Wanted Tom Cruise to Kick Her

Recently, Klementieff has made headlines for saying that she asked “Mission: Impossible” star Tom Cruise to actually fight her in their fight scenes — a request Cruise denied. We had to know more.

Klementieff laughs.

“I know! It became a headline!” she exclaims. “But the thing is, Tom is so skilled, and he has so much control, and he’s so good at all the fight scenes, and I’ve been training for years. When two people are in sync, and they know how to be in control of everything, if you have a little bit of contact, it kind of helps the scene.”

She adds, “It helps you be in the vibe of a fight, and it reads better on camera”.

There are, of course, some requirements to making this work. Klementieff says that “both people have to be in sync and to know exactly when to stop the hit”. Klementieff was up for the challenge, but Cruise wasn’t prepared to risk hurting her.

“I was asking him to do that to me, but he’s such a gentleman that he wouldn’t do it,” she says. “I kept asking!”

“He does it to me without asking,” Simon jokes.

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” is in HOYTS cinemas from July 8, 2023. Buy tickets here.

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