Tom Cruise brought some serious star power to CinemaCon in Las Vegas Wednesday.
The actor was on hand to promote Mission: Impossible – Fallout as part of Paramount Pictures' presentation, where Angela Bassett, Henry Cavill and Simon Pegg joined him onstage. And Cruise couldn't say enough nice things about his co-stars when E! News talked to him on the red carpet. Newcomer Bassett is a "powerful artist," he said, while Cavill is a "committed professional." As for Pegg, his longtime Mission: Impossible ally? "Six-Pack Peggles, I like to call him! He's got a really amazing eight-pack going!" he said. "He's almost like Eight-Pack Peggles!"
"I work with people that I respect, and I want to work with fun people and hardworking people. Making Mission: Impossibles—they're not easy. They're the hardest," said Cruise, who returns as Ethan Hunt in the film (in theaters July 27). "This is definitely the most challenging film I've ever made," he added, "because it's producing, it's acting, and we do all our own action work."
"These guys are so talented," he raved. "We have a good time. We work really hard."
Mission: Impossible – Fallout marks his sixth time playing the same role. But in real life, "I feel like Tom. I get to play Ethan and do some extreme stuff that Ethan does and be a lot smarter."
The first installment, released in 1996, was also the first film Cruise ever produced.
"I went to Paramount Pictures, and people were asking me to direct or produce, and I waited and waited and waited," he said. "At that time, it was a TV show [that aired between 1966–1973], and people were like, 'What are you doing a TV show for?' I'm like, 'No, no. I'm going to turn it from a Cold War TV series into a feature film.' You just hope that it's going to translate." He needn't have worried, as Mission: Impossible is the 20th-highest-grossing film series of all time. "I have such amazing memories," Cruise recalled. "It was an amazing experience for me."
Cruise doesn't look a day older than he did in the first movie. Asked what he does to stay in such great shape, he flashed his million-dollar smile and said, "I have no idea! I have no idea!"
To find out how he actually stays active, watch the video now.
And for more scoop on Mission: Impossible – Fallout, watch the interview with Henry Cavill.