The Women of ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’

Claudine Zap
Movie Talk

The action thriller "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" is already getting raves for its star Tom Cruise and the film series' heir apparent, Jeremy Renner. But two lesser-known cast members are stealing the show: Paula Patton and Léa Seydoux. The rivals square off in a hair-raising fight scene -- which IGN dubbed the "babe battle" -- that makes some of Cruise's antics look tame.

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Searches on Yahoo! for the actresses are also scorching the Search box. Here, a primer on the two action co-stars.

Sure, Cruise does his own stunts. But so does Paula Patton. The 36-year-old plays agent Jane Carter, who kicks, boxes, and shoots her way through the movie -- sometimes in skirts and heels.

The added benefit of the physical role, the actress told the website Showbiz, was that she trained for the shoot just five months after she gave birth to son Julian Fuego (with husband, singer/songwriter Robin Thicke): Doing her own stunts helped melt away those pregnancy pounds. Plus, "Once I felt like I could do those things, I felt like I could really be Jane Carter."

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The L.A.-born actress, who had roles in "Hitch" and "Precious," said working with Cruise was an "amazing experience." "Those are the moments you dream of as an actress. He is very generous in that he wants to share the spotlight with everyone and make everyone shine."

Patton's archenemy in the film is played by Seydoux, a stunning new-comer. The French newbie has also been cast in American films such as Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood" and Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris." In 2009 the actress was nominated for a César Award (the French Oscar) for most promising actress for her role in the film "La Belle Personne." The 26-year-old, who is also a model, is the face for the Prada fragrance Candy.

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But that sweet face sure gets tough in "MI:4." Seydoux says about the part that peaks in the catfight with Patton, "To do this kind of scene, you have to put all your rage and the violence you have inside, and go crazy."

We're sure that fans will go crazy over the two stars.

See a clip from 'Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol':