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John Woo (Director, Mission Impossible 2)

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Jim Ferguson Interviews Director John Woo
of Mission Impossible 2

John Woo Pic #1
John Woo Pic #2
John Woo Pic #3

Jim Ferguson:  John, so nice to see you. Congratulations. What a wonderful directing job of "Mission Impossible 2."

Are you surprised that the audience leaving the theater at the screening last
night -- I was hearing, "I was more entertained by this one than I was the first one."  Does that make you feel good? (laughter)

John Woo: Yeah, I feel very happy about it, because that's also what we are trying to do.  You know, Tom [Cruise] and I wanted to make this one totally different from the first one, and we tried to create a new kind of hero.  A hero [who] have a great passion about life, about love, and really care about people.  Not like a James Bond type. The other thing is we try to make a romantic classic spy movie.

Jim: The two men fighting over the love of a woman.

John: Yeah, the good and evil both in love with the same woman.  And I'm so glad that everything worked so well, and people enjoyed the anthem, and also so involved in the love story.

Jim: [In] the original concept, the old TV show, the mission was [always] delivered in an exotic way, and I love the way that Tom receives the mission on top of a mountain.

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A Better Tomorrow
A Better Tomorrow
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The Killer
The Killer
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John: (laughter) Yeah, through a sunglasses.

Jim: In a missile! (laughter)

John: That was Robert Tong and Tom Cruise's idea. In the old TV series, they usually get a message from the recorded tape.

Jim: Now we have it in the sunglasses!

John, always dramatic. I loved it. Just short comments on some of the spectacular scenes.  Lets start with the car chase with Thandie Newton and Tom.  Was that difficult to do?  Was that a hard one?

John: That was quite difficult, and also that was my idea. I tried to use the car chase to establish their relationship -- how they start, how they didn't get along together, and then getting in love and liking each other, you know. And [I] try to make it in a romantic way.

Jim: And then the motorcycle jousting. It was like on two horses!

John: The idea came from an old movie called "Knights of the Round Table" starring Robert Taylor. There was a scene, two horseman, they charging each other with a long stick, and when they come closer and they stick together, to each other, they both fall off the horse.

Jim: That was wonderful.

And then Tom doing his own stunts on the mountain, I heard that you were praying. (laughter)

John: I was worrying and I was scared, and I panicked. I was so much worried about safety. I've never liked my actors get hurt, and if I know the stuntman, you know. But Tom was insistent on doing it by himself, because the scene was to establish his character.

Jim: Which it does!

John Woo Pic #4
John Woo Pic #5

John: To establish that he is a real person. He enjoy life, enjoy the nature, he has dreams, he has passion, just like any young man in the world. So, that's why he [Tom Cruise] like to do every shot by himself.

Jim: Well, that's just one of the many wonderful shots in "Mission Impossible 2." Don't miss this, you're going to be totally entertained by one of the best directors in the world.

John: (laughter) Thank you.

AsianConnections wishes to thank Jim Ferguson and John Woo for contributing their time and insights for this interview.

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