Cary Elwes Is Soothed By Grunge and a Maltese Poodle

When Cary Elwes got a call about appearing in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, she agreed to the role before learning more about the role. He finds out his role is that of Director of National Intelligence Denringer. However, this character’s biography and place in the world of “Mission” has long been a mystery, even to him who played him.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” Elwes said in a video interview from his home in Los Angeles. “It was very secretive, so I got just the information I wanted, when I wanted it.”

But he knew exactly what his relationship with Tom Cruise was, having co-starred with him in the 1990s race car drama Days of Thunder more than 30 years ago.

“He was the same guy then and now,” said Elwes, adding, “He was the kind of person who inspired everyone around him to give 110 percent.”

Elwes, 60, spoke about music, cities, pets and entertainment that inspire her as well. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.


My music is very important to me. It helps define your day in terms of calming you down. My interests range from classical to jazz, blues, the beatles, zeppelin and grunge. To be honest, Nirvana and Pearl Jam changed the music. They invented a whole new genre. So there will always be a place for them.


London has changed so much in the 30 years I’ve lived there, so when I go back now, I find new places I really like. One of them is Marylebone. A walkable street area full of small restaurants, shops, boutiques and pubs. It’s very atmospheric and has very little traffic, so it’s perfect for sunny days.


I regularly travel to overseas filming locations. I made a promise to my wife and daughter not to leave for more than two weeks. If I’m away, I should find a way to get home or figure out a way to take me to where I am. As they grow, your children will try feathers to get out of the nest. So even when I’m not around, I try to use FaceTime or Zoom to spend as much time with my daughter as possible.


When I was a child, I had a cat, but I didn’t know how to get along well with a cat, or how to get a cat to go out with me. I never wanted to get a dog, but my girlfriend sent me a picture of a Maltese poodle and I was blown away. This is the first time I’ve had a pet as an adult, but there’s a love that I didn’t realize until I got one for myself and became part of the family.


I am an amateur historian, so I love reading about people’s stories and histories, especially historical biographies. Right now, I’m reading a biography called Hannibal by Patrick N. Hunt. I also read the memoirs of an old family friend, Carolyn Pfeiffer. She wrote a book about her life in the entertainment industry, Chasing the Panther: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Cinematic Life.


I was fortunate enough to stay at Stanley Kubrick’s house when he was studying Napoleon to make a movie shortly after ‘2001’. I witnessed some of his work, which set me on the path of a lifelong study of Napoleon. The only person more written about than Napoleon is Jesus, but the best biography is that of Felix Markham.napoleon


When I was studying film at Sarah Lawrence College, I had a wonderful professor who showed me mostly European cinema and really opened my eyes to the beauty and language of François Truffaut, Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini and all sorts of great European directors I had never seen before. It changed my whole perspective on movies.


Much of Spain’s coastline is sandy or rocky. Rocky outcrops are usually cliffs sculpted by erosion caused by the action of waves over centuries. What they have been doing in many areas has been carving these little tide pools. I first discovered it when I was a child. At the age of 5 or 6, there is nothing more exciting than encountering a miniature natural pool with crabs and small fish. What excites you as a child will always lead to life.


Watching a movie in a dark room with strangers and experiencing the same emotions together is priceless.


When I have downtime, I like to keep my brain awake and write. I published a memoir, As You Wish (co-authored with Joe Layden). But I can’t speak to what I’m working on right now. They are top secret.

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