See Video: Behind the scenes

By Vincent C. Towerpast

Lights! Camera! Cappuccino!

Tom Cruise is back in full-action filming Mission Impossible 7 – “Libra” in Rome attracting tourists and movie fans in the latest spy thriller which is part of a franchise that has claimed box office success at just over a whopping $3.5 billion.

Despite the global pandemic and the second COVID-19 wave that is plaguing the country, the 58-year-old Hollywood actor/producer and his movie crew have skidded through the streets of the eternal city providing the locals and tourists with sneak peeks of co-stars Hayley Atwell, exciting car chases and motorcycle stunts.

Cruise along with his Lotus Production team have managed to outbid the nearly 600 film-permit requests that Capitoline offices have received during the lockdown period and have been granted rare film authorization at the country’s capital.

“This is a very big economic and organizational commitment, while adopting scrupulous measures to prevent the spread of the virus, with daily swab tests for the entire crew and cast and the disinfection of sets and equipment,” a Capitoline spokesperson told ANSA news.

Cruise and his production companies have claimed that approximately €35 million will be poured into production on Italy’ soil, more than €18 is expected to be spent in Rome, of which City Hall will apparently receive €1.1 million for various expenses including taxes, policing and rental fees.

Not everyone finds the screeching of wheels and the roar of engines music to their ears. Medical staff, patients and visitors at the Policlinico Umberto I hospital have complained about having their peace and tranquility invaded as they find themselves surrounded by a Hollywood film crew.

Roman COVID-19 patients upset

  • Chaos, under siege with cast, crew and film trucks scattered all over the hospital among the stretchers with the sick and COVID-19 patients who are now about 140, a health worker told La Repubblica.
  • Filming is happening about ten meters away from the hospital zone, strictly reserved for Coronavirus patients, reported La Stampa.
  • Families of patients have complained about the ‘unacceptable’ situation while trade unions representing hospital staff have called on the Lazio Region to intervene immediately, according to La Repubblica.

In addition, Italian media have reported that the hospital’s hall on the first floor has been transformed into a set to be used as a plan B for the film production should the weather turn bad. Cruise has also lined up to carry out the swab tests and as expected, the movie heartthrob has drawn a crowd of fans hoping to catch a glimpse, get an autograph or a Selfie with the actor. Surprisingly, some fans have been able to get fairly close to Cruise notwithstanding the social distancing rules and a squad of well-trained bodyguards who stand between the Hollywood actor and the public.

Motor Power

Cruise has been seen whipping around the ancient cobblestone streets delighting tourists and locals in a black BMW M5 with a 650 horsepower engine; riding an Italian Police-spec BMW G 310 GS which runs on 313.3 cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled engine and delivers 34 PS of maximum power; and of course he has jumped in the passenger seat of a classic Fiat 500, albeit banana-yellow in colour instead of the classic red.

Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible 7 with the working title Libra, is the seventh installment of the film series and the third film in the spy-thriller package to be directed by McQuarrie, following Rogue Nation and Fallout.

The cast includes: Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson,Vanessa Kirby and Toronto born actor Henry Czerny, all of whom reprise their roles from the previous films, along with Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, and Esai Morales, who will join the franchise.

Mission: Impossible Libra has also shot in Venice, England and other European countries including Norway. The latest segment is scheduled to be released next year by Paramount Pictures. A direct sequel, also directed by McQuarrie, will be released in 2022.

Movie reviews

The plots of Mission Impossible films are loaded with cryptic storylines and are more renowned for their breathtaking stunts and dangerous action sequences.

Director Christopher McQuarrie certainly raised the bar in entertaining fans with Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation back in 2015 which had action-packed scenes and things that “blow up real good.” When Cruise stepped into the role of Ethan Hunt, it really makes one wonder if this movie star had swallowed the Jackie Chan death wish pill?

Holy cow. That was really him hanging off a mountain cliff in Norway, twirling around the Burj Khalifa, the highest tower building in the world, and him dangling from an Airbus A400M as it takes off in ‘Rogue Nation.’ And in ‘Fallout,’ which some movie critics have deemed as one of the greatest action movies ever made, his sky diving stunts were cited as the “most technically difficult” in his career.

Meanwhile, Paramount studios are betting on great box office returns on the seventh and eighth Mission Impossible movies that are being shot back-to-back.  

Tom’s secret diet, training and style

Mens sana in corpo sana- Latin for  A sound mind in a sound body.

Cruise is the poster child for the ideal physique and look. Standing at 5’7” -1.70 m and weighing in at a recorded  170 pounds – 77 kilos, Cruise keeps in shape by doing a variety of sports including: fencing, hiking, jogging, kayaking, rock climbing and weights.

He has been maintaining his physique by following the David Beckham diet consisting of just 1,200 calories, grilled foods and a noticeable absence of carbohydrates. The diet means very little fat and a high intake of lean protein, like fish and chicken.

Cruise is said to have his own personal chefs who prepare small courses for him which include freeze-dried organic blueberries and nuts. And of course, no drugs.


Written by

Vincent Towerpast

English Language Consultant for Business English courses and Journalist - Foreign Correspòndent