Is Ethan Hunt A Good Spy Or Just Really Lucky? The Mission: Impossible Cast Debates

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible

We tried to count the number of times that Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) narrowly escaped death over the course of six Mission: Impossible movies. We ran out of fingers and toes. Ethan Hunt hates to lose. And in his pursuit of justice, Ethan's extreme confidence in his reckless method usually plunges him into life-threatening danger. And somehow -- usually to Ethan's own shock -- he survives. So when CinemaBlend traveled to Paris recently to cover the world premiere of Chris McQuarrie's Mission: Impossible -- Fallout, we asked the cast if they considered Ethan Hunt to be a good agent, or just a really lucky one. Their answers were very insightful, starting with McQuarrie, who explained:

Luck plays an enormous part. We talked about that in Rogue Nation, and how luck and fortune favor the prepared. And that Ethan Hunt just throws himself headlong into it knowing that he will figure it out.

Ethan Hunt usually endangers his closest teammates when he throws himself into a mission, so we also asked Simon Pegg, whose character, Benji, has loyally assisted Ethan on numerous adventures over the years, and is now wondering if that has been a good idea. When we posed the "lucky or good" question to Pegg, the actor reflected:

I think he's a good agent, but he's starting to wonder whether or not he is, you know? There's a part of it which is luck. He's managed to survive by his sheer wits and his physical aptitude. But even he is starting to ask that question of himself, in this movie, and that's a really interesting proposition, I think in these films. You have this guy who is... yes, he's a scalpel. But he's a very, very forward-motivated kind of empowered scalpel. I think in this film, he's starting to think, 'Maybe all the cuts I made over the years have just caused too much bloodshed?'

Of course, we posed the question to the man himself, Tom Cruise, who has been playing Ethan Hunt for the better part of 22 years -- ever since Brian DePalma introduced IMF agent Ethan Hunt in 1996's Mission: Impossible adaptation. Cruise took the diplomatic approach, telling CinemaBlend:

I think he's definitely both. I think he's both. He's very dedicated. And you want a little bit of luck, also! You'll take as much luck as you can get.

Listen to insight from the full Mission: Impossible -- Fallout cast -- including Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby and Angela Bassett -- as they discuss Ethan Hunt's ability to stay alive in the face of danger below:

Mission: Impossible -- Fallout arrives in theaters in July 27, and demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. We'll continue to roll out coverage from the Paris world premiere as we get closer to release, but basically, get your tickets now. And while you wait, give a listen to the latest episode of our official podcast, ReelBlend, which we recorded in Paris the night that we interviewed Tom Cruise. It's a fun episode that I think Mission fans will dig. Rate, review and subscribe!

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Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.