I totally crashed a Lamborghini in a soon-to-be 7-film action franchise like Mission: Impossible, its nearly impossible to not have a few sports car causalities along the way. During episode 201 of the M:I-devoted Light the Fuse podcast, star Maggie Q who plays field agent Zhen Lei in Mission: Impossible III, admits that during filming she managed to do just that. In a frightening stunt-gone-wrong scenario, the actress tells a memorable but harrowing story of how she crashed an Italian sports car due to a wardrobe malfunction.
When Q received a call from a friend of a friend about an audition in Hollywood, the model-turned-actress had no idea that call would end up changing her life. For her first U.S. film after a time spent training under filmmaker and actor Jackie Chan, Q joined the cast of J.J. Abrams $200 million dollar production of M:I 3, starring Tom Cruise. Through a flu-induced stupor, Q snagged the role of Zhen, a member of Ethan Hunts (Cruise) espionage force, tasked with safely returning Hunts protege Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell). When the mission takes a turn for the worst, Zhen accompanies Ethan on a tense mission to capture the man responsible.
It was a fender-bender with a Lamborghini into a Mercedes. We had four of them, and one of them we were gonna blow up – so thats okay – but we had three other ones, like in case… What happened was the sun was going down and J.J. really wanted to get this shot…The problem was the action team wasnt there because we werent supposed to do the shot that day… I had these, like, monster heels on, and they were super strappy… The pedals are very close together, its this Italian sports car, whatever, so I went from pressing the gas to the brake and I couldnt move my foot… and Im trying to pull, but its a strappy heel… So I cant pull my foot out… and theres extras standing in front of the Mercedes, and Im now coming in hot… This guy jumps out of the way…I hit the Mercedes and the Lamborghini guy runs in and… my foot is still stuck with the heel in the accelerator, sort of jammed.
Despite protests of going on with the shot in the absence of the action team, the assistant directors got Q strapped into the car and called Action! Unfortunately, the strappy heel that completed her super spys fit made maneuvering a cramped luxury vehicle quite difficult. Barely missing a handful of extras, Q crashed the Lamborghini into the Mercedes. When one of the assistant directors approached her, Q recounts that the man said, something so insensitive and so gross, that she broke down into tears and went to cool off in her trailer. The actress says that director Abrams went to her trailer and said, When can you ever crash a $350 thousand car and just walk away? She went on to say, Only on a Mission: Impossible, do they have three other Lamborghinis lined up as back-up.
How Tom Cruise Went Out of His Way to Make Maggie Q Feel Included on Mission: Impossible III, I’ve never seen somebody who loved what they did more in honor of the release of The Protégé, Maggie Q joined us for an episode of Collider Ladies Night to retrace her steps in film and television, and to discuss the key moments that contributed to paving the way to where she is today. We discussed her early years working in Asia and her experience headlining The CW’s Nikita, but another big title on her filmography we absolutely had to hit was Mission: Impossible III.
The J.J. Abrams directed installment saw Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt returning to the IMF and working alongside a team that included Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Q’s Zhen Lei. A somewhat small role in the film perhaps, but one that made a big impression with fans still calling for her return to the franchise, 15 years after release.
Tom’s a leader. And again, when you work with people at his level, there is a reason they are where they are, period. There’s no question. He’s not my best friend so I’m not talking about him personally, but I am talking about him as a professional. On set his enthusiasm never waivers. I’ve never seen it waiver. I’ve never seen somebody who loved what they did more and I’ve also never seen somebody who was so encouraging of those around him in the thing that he loves.
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