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Cary Elwes Talks Operation Fortune, Being Star-Struck, & Joining Mission: Impossible (EXCLUSIVE)

Cary Elwes Talks Operation Fortune, Being Star-Struck, & Joining Mission: Impossible

We had the chance to speak with Cary Elwes who portrays ‘’shot caller’’ Nathan Jasmine in Operation Fortune. Elwes’ iconic portrayal of Westley in equally iconic The Princess Bride in 1987, scarred entire generations. Cary Elwes is a very busy man and currently has 6 upcoming projects, including some very big blockbusters: Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon, Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry on Ungentlemanly Warfare and of course, in July, Elwes will be joining Tom Cruise on the big screen in Mission: ImpossibleDead Reckoning Part One, some 31 years after they starred together in Tony Scott’s Days of Thunder.

Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Josh Hartnett and Bugzy Malone team up for a perilous infiltration mission in Guy Ritchie’s latest movie, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, now out in U.S. theaters.

Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) is a spy in charge of stopping the sale of a new weapon technology – a sale that is being managed by celebrity-obsessed billionaire and arms dealer, Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Fortune and his team recruit Hollywood’s biggest action star, Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) as they lead this dangerous undercover mission to save the world.

Cary Elwes On Operation Fortune, Mission: Impossible, & More

Cary Elwes Operation Fortune

We spoke about being star-struck and that one time he met Some Like It Hot and Sabrina director Billy Wilder, his most precious prop he kept from set, and how far he is willing to go in an action movie.

You can read our full interview down below:

FW: Danny Francesco says ‘’There’s a big difference between actors and movie stars’’. What do you make of that statement?

Cary Elwes: ‘’Ah it’s funny! You know, I think there are some actors who are movie stars, and there are some movie stars, who just happen to be actors. Obviously, he’s nervous about being used as a foil to infiltrate Greg Simmonds’s organization, played by Hugh Grant. So he’s trying to weasel his way out of it. You know there are some actors who are not movie stars, but Danny Francesco clearly believes that he’s only a movie star and that he doesn’t know how to act. He doesn’t know how to behave to pretend to be someday else. He’s just being a movie star.

Hugh Grant’s character is obsessed with celebrities, movie stars, and he’s obsessed with Danny Francesco. You, being the iconic Cary Elwes, do you also get star-struck? When’s the last time you met someone and thought ‘Wow, that was surreal’?

Oh, that’s very kind. You know, I often get star-struck. You know working in Hollywood, if you’re fortunate to live here long enough, you get to meet some of your idols. I remember one time I as walking down the street in Beverly Hills, I noticed a bold-headed gentleman, with big glasses, walking down the street by himself, and I literally almost got killed by traffic, running across the street, to greet this man. And it was Billy Wilder. And I stopped him and I said ‘Mister Wilder, I just have to tell you how much an influence you’ve had on my life.  And you’re just the most extraordinary director and it’s such a joy meeting you’ and he goes ‘Thank you very much. I appreciate it’. He shook my hand and smiled, and that was that. It was lovely.

As one does, just crossing the street to meet Billy Wilder.

Right, isn’t that great?

Absolutely! In my job, I have to speak with actors and directors, and I find that I never get star-struck during the meeting. I am nervous before, and then I realize ’Wow, I just met this incredible person’.

Oh yeah, you know, no one needs to be scared of actors, I don’t think. We’re just the same as everybody else, we just happen to spend a lot of time focusing on behaving differently {laughing}.

Yes, exactly. Like you said, it’s just about meeting the people who had an influence on your life. Now, your upcoming movies are very much action and spy movies. In real life, which of your previous or future co-stars, would you choose to team up with to save the world?

Well, you know, I’m lucky that I get to be in two movies where I have heroes that I would happily join forces with, if need be. Jason is a very capable of defending himself and those around him. And that goes the same for Mr. Cruise you know, he is very capable, they would make great spies in real life, and great agents. So yeah, they’re very capable people.

I think you can do a pretty good job at saving the world if you’re surrounded by Tom Cruise and Jason Statham. The odds are in your favor.

Yeah, I think you’re safe.

So, in Operation Fortune, you’re the agent who works behind the computer, who manages everything and gives the orders, which is very important, of course. But would you ever like to try a role where you have to be the agent on the field? At the heart of the action?

As far as out on the field, and shooting people, probably not. Well, sure I could try it, I’d love to try it. But I don’t know that people look at me and see that, necessarily.

Well, honestly, I don’t think anything could be harder than a sword fight with Inigo Montoya anyway.

Oh, you are very kind. That’s very funny, that’s very kind! Yeah, I mean I’d like to try it, I’d like to try anything, I’m open to try anything. That’s part of the job of being an actor. To try out stuff.

How far would you be willing to go in action movies, in terms of stunts for example?

I don’t know, I look at Tom, and I see the stunts that he does, that are literally, putting his life in danger. And I’m not sure I could do that necessarily. I admire him for doing that. I’m not sure I could go to that distance in terms of pushing myself. He is a unique individual. He’s both a stuntman and a movie star. A rare combination.

He really is. So, in Operation Fortune, Danny Francesco wants to keep the car he was driving in one of his movies, it is the most precious thing he wanted to keep from set. What’s the most precious thing, prop, that you kept from one your movies, or wish you had kept?

You know, I was given my sword, by Norman Lear, from The Princess Bride. That was very nice. So that’s really the only prop I have, I don’t really collect them so much. But that’s a nice one.

What was it like for you to be reunited with Tom Cruise on the set of Mission: Impossible, some thirty years after making Days of Thunders together?

It was great, Tom is the same guy he was, 31 years ago. He’s a wonderful professional actor, he’s a talented actor. Obviously a very talented stuntman. And his whole theory is that he can only do his best work if those around him, do theirs. And so he’s very encouraging, he’s got a wonderful work ethic, he’s very focused. And he makes it a very joyful experience for everybody. That was really fun to work with him after so many years.

I absolutely love your work, and I love the Mission: Impossible movies so much, when I saw your name attached to Dead Reckoning, I was thrilled. I can’t wait to see all the wonderful projects you have in the work.

Well thank you, I know, I’m very lucky! I seem to be very busy right now! I really appreciate talking to you, thank you so much!

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Written by Maëlle Beauget-Uhl

Reporter and news writer with an educational background in broadcast journalism at the New York Film Academy and a professional background in entertainment reporting and news writing.