Thrillist: Why were you the right guy to pair with Cruise in this movie?
Jake Johnson: The casting process of this was a really weird one because I had just finished a season of New Girl. I really value time off and I’m not an actor who needs to be busy or more famous. I believe work leads to more work, so I think there’s something really nice to no work. I had told my team I wanted to take the summer because I knew we were back in the fall. But then they said, "A guy named Alex Kurtzman wants to Skype with you." I Googled Alex Kurtzman and realized I liked his work. I emailed Olivia Wilde, who had worked with him, and she wrote me, "Lovely man, really collaborative, really smart, I’d work with him again in a heartbeat." Alex had written this part with me in mind, so I thought, "OK…"
He wrote it specifically for you?
Johnson: Yeah. And then he said, "And it’s opposite Tom Cruise." And I said, "Oh, fuck, I’m not saying no to this one, am I?" Then I got deeply scared. I told Alex, "There’s no way I’m saying no to this, but I have to wrap my head around doing an action movie with Tom Cruise."