Keri Russell gets some different action

by: Andi Berlin
From: The Arizona Daily Wildcat, posted: 4/27/06

Everyone remembers “Felicity.” You know, it was that one college show you watched back in high school. It taught you the truth about dorm life, college guys, professors and awkward afro hair cuts. “Felicity” star Keri Russell is finally moving beyond her “groundbreaking” role and is starring in “Mission Impossible III” this summer. Although she refuses to talk about Tom and Katie (and her new haircut), she will tell us a little more about her role in a college conference call interview.

Wildcat: Who do you play in the movie?

Russell: I play Agent Lindsey Farris, part of the M.I. Force. Ethan Hunt is training all the new agents. I did months of stunt training, machine-gun assembly and jumping off buildings.

W: What was the most intriguing part of playing her?

R: The whole thing about, where does the government recruit these people? They go into these prep schools, or someone who is really physically talented. It has so much to do with the computer. I find that whole world fascinating, I mean, who doesn’t. I love movies like this, you know, like spy movies.

W: Where do you get your inspiration?

R: You can only find it from your own life, I guess. I feel like it’s less finding inspiration to be a special agent and more JJ (Abrams)’s writing. I just get his voice. I just think he’s so good at writing people and real and funny and heartbreaking.

W: What appealed to you most about doing Mission Impossible III?

R: Definitely JJ Abrams, who I’d worked with before, because I grew up and I was a dancer, I was very intrigued. JJ doesn’t know the word “no.” He’s not precious about things, he makes things constantly fun and includes things.

W: Did Tom’s willingness to do his own stunts rub off on you?

R: It has to rub off. I had to do all of my own stunts. I don’t think they ever use anyone else. That was part of the fun; that’s why you want to do a movie like this. It instantly helps you be comfortable and feeling okay with it.

W: What was the hardest part?

R: I would say the training segments were the hardest. Having to load a machine gun blindfolded within 30 seconds, that and the Filipino stick fight. If you make the wrong move, someone’s knuckles, nose or face is broken.

W: Do you think that this movie will live up to or even surpass the first two movies?

R: Whenever I do a project and I see it for the first time I have this cringe factor. This is the first movie that I’ve been a part of that I saw and thought it was awesome, so if that’s any indication.

W: Is it hard to break out of the role of “Felicity”?

R: I really feel like that break that I took after “Felicity” hugely impacted the way I look at myself. I think it’s good to take a break. People kind of start getting sick of seeing you. You kind of have to take a step back and regroup. If you’re not involved, it’s going to show up in your work.

W: What do you like better, film or television?

R: I’m just trying to constantly do things that interest me. I don’t think everyone wants to do the same job day in and day out. They’re all such individual experiences and all totally worth having.

W: Are there any more serious roles for you in the future?

R: I’m sure there will be. You never know what’s next. Racecar driver, teacher. There could be a million different things.