“The Protégé” actress Maggie Q has only wonderful things to say about Tom Cruise, whom she starred with in the J.J. Abrams-directed “Mission: Impossible III” from 2006. In a recent sitdown with Collider, she talked about playing the small but impactful role of Zhen Lei opposite Cruise as Ethan Hunt, and how Cruise went out of his way to make her feel included on the set.
“Tom’s a leader. And again, when you work with people at his level, there is a reason they are where they are, period. There’s no question. He’s not my best friend so I’m not talking about him personally, but I am talking about him as a professional. On set his enthusiasm never waivers. I’ve never seen it waiver. I’ve never seen somebody who loved what they did more and I’ve also never seen somebody who was so encouraging of those around him in the thing that he loves,” she said.
She also recalled a particular anecdote where Cruise helped secure a bigger trailer than she expected or was used to on previous films.
“When I got on that film, the call sheet was [long] and I was [lower down]. I was working with some of the best people in the business and it was so exciting and they were so great. I remember the first day I got to set in Italy, I was looking for my trailer and I couldn’t find it. I went to one of the PAs and I said, ‘Oh, I can’t find my trailer.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, this is your trailer.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh no, that’s not my trailer. It’s a mistake,’ because I’m a very small fish and I have a very small trailer in my contract,” she recalled.
“Tom’s producing partner comes in and she says, ‘Hey, Maggie, I heard there was some confusion with your trailer.’ And I said, ‘Oh, there is. They have the wrong one for me and I’m just waiting for them to give me the right trailer.’ She said, ‘No, I checked it. That’s your trailer.’ And I was like, ‘That’s not possible!’ And she said, ‘Oh no, Tom came yesterday to check it out and make sure that everything was A-OK and they had your contracted trailer in the basecamp with all the rest of the trailers and he said, absolutely not. You’re getting rid of this and you’re getting her the same trailer everyone else has because she’s a part of this movie and I don’t want her coming to set feeling like she’s less than. It’s not okay.’”
Maggie Q recalled wondering, “‘Is this a joke?’ And I go in and it’s got a staircase in it and another story, and there’s a fireplace and I’m like, ‘What is happening right now?’ So he went out of his way to make sure that as the lowest, I’ll call it, priority on the call sheet with all the names that I was working with on the movie, that I felt like I was included.”
“Mission: Impossible 7,” the latest installment in the espionage franchise, opens on May 22, 2022.