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Mission: Impossible -Hayley Atwell on the Importance of Complex, Morally Ambiguous Female Characters

In an exclusive interview conducted by Alex Light for The Female Lead, Hayley Atwell, star of the new Mission: Impossible film, shares her thoughts on the portrayal of female characters in the action genre. The two delve into the significance of having complex, nuanced and morally ambiguous female characters within the action genre.

"No person on the planet is ever one thing - we are full of contradictions and capabilities"

Hayley Atwell

Atwell also touches upon the psychological profile of her character, Grace - contemplating the consequences of a 'strong independent woman' who struggles to trust others. She suggests that Grace's past experiences have led her to view trust as a potential threat to her survival, resulting in a wound born from a fear of needing connection - a fundamental aspect of human nature.

Hayley Atwell reveals that the director Chris McQuarrie expressed a desire to work with her unique talents, despite not yet having a specific character in mind. This collaborative approach granted Atwell a remarkable level of agency, allowing her ideas and perspectives to shape the character's development as the film progressed. She describes this creative freedom as liberating, fostering an environment without fear of judgment, mistakes, or limitations—only a multitude of choices to explore!

The interview ends with Alex Light asking Hayley Atwell what her advice would be for young aspiring actors. Atwell urges young people to reflect on their deep inner calling, asking themselves if they are willing to commit and dedicate their lives to pursuing a creative path regardless of the sacrifices. She encourages aspiring actors to trust their intuition, highlighting its vital role in personal survival and growth, particularly for young people who face external pressures and influences.

Mission Impossible 7 is out in cinemas today!


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