Paramount had to shut down Hollywood Boulevard to accommodate the crowds that flooded into the Mann Chinese Theater for Thursday night’s premiere of the summer’s big blockbuster, “Mission: Impossible 2.”
“Sometimes,” said a giddy Quentin Tarantino, borrowing Pauline Kael’s old line, “you can literally get drunk on a movie.”
The audience may not have been drunk yet, but they were rowdy. Even the typically restrained Leelee Sobieski was ready to be unloosed.
“I’m here because this is the kick-butt action film of the summer.” she said. “And of course I admire Tom Cruise.”
It might all have been too much for Cruise’s co-star, Thandie Newton. Exhausted and pregnant, she headed into the theater to take a load off. Nicole Kidman also ducked in early, her tall, graceful figure appearing for only a moment before she slipped past the velvet ropes like a ghost.
Cruise, on the other hand, seemed more than happy to linger, jogging into the theater only moments before the screening began.
“I learned a lot from the way John Woo makes movies. He’s like a choreographer,” Cruise explained, “but he’s constantly changing the little things to keep it spontaneous.”
“And I learned a lot about the real Tom Cruise,” director John Woo responded. “Before this, he’s always looked a little bit cold to me, but I saw his real character appear. It’s very charming — and very romantic.”