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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’s Haley Atwell Reflects on Time in the Spotlight

Photo from Mission Impossible Movie’s Instagram

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE’s Haley Atwell Reflects on Time in the Spotlight

By Movieguide® Contributor

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING star Hayley Atwell finally found a place in the spotlight. The actress revealed to Brian Davids of The Hollywood Reporter how her new role opened up many new opportunities.

“After 17 years in this industry, I’ve finally been able to do something at this level, with this quality of filmmaking, and I’d never been afforded that before.” Atwell continued, “I was finally given the trust and the platform to do lots of different things and to show more range and to show more emotional depth in a franchise or something of this size.”

After MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE’s director and writer, Christopher McQuarrie, saw Atwell perform for the first time, he told her, “That thing that you do on that stage, I want to bottle it and put it into a character. I just don’t know what the character is or what the story would be.” Atwell waited nearly ten years for that role to come via DEAD RECKONING.

Atwell starred in a number of movies, but she was never the center of attention—until now.

Davids said, “In DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, Atwell is finally at the center of a tentpole feature, and that is evident when Grace gets the better of Cruise’s Ethan Hunt multiple times during the first half of the film.”

“Her deft performance is the result of 17 years of blood, sweat and tears on stage, on TV and on the cinema screen,” wrote Deadline Editor Baz Bamigboye. “To bring off a particularly magnificent moment that she shares with Cruise can only work if you’ve honed your craft and paid attention to the minutiae of acting, the detail.”

Atwell opened up about the immense freedom that she had in her role. She got to shape her character as the film progressed.

Atwell said, “In the screen test, both McQ and Tom said, “Look, we haven’t got a script and we don’t have a character written, so we don’t know what we’re looking for until we find it, but we want to find the actress we want to work with, and then we will together in real time throughout the course of filming write that character based on what you give us.”

“I have this eternal gratitude to Tom and to McQ, who provided the resources and the support system every day on set so that I could thrive,” Atwell said. “It’s been a deliverance of a long time coming.”

A part of Movieguide®’s review of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE reads:

In MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, Tom Cruise returns as spy Ethan Hunt. Ethan’s boss at the Impossible Missions Force wants Ethan’s team to obtain the two halves of a cross-shaped key. The key grants people access to the source code of a super-powerful Artificial Intelligence entity. The entity has infiltrated all digital information and communications except for the world’s top intelligence agencies. Ethan’s boss wants the government to control the entity, but Ethan wants to use the code to destroy it. A deadly quest begins. Meanwhile, the entity is working with a ruthless, nihilistic assassin who wants to control the power for himself.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE tells a gripping story of good versus evil. It’s a superlative, high stakes spy thriller with explosive action, gripping suspense and great characters. DEAD RECKONING PART ONE has a strong allegorical Christian worldview, with the theme that, “The Cross of Christ holds the key to destroy evil.” However, -the movie has lots of strong action violence and some foul language, including four strong profanities. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for teenagers and adults.

Atwell and the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE cast are almost done filming DEAD RECKONING PART TWO, which should release in June 2024.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.