Mission Impossible actress Vanessa slapped by Joaquin Phoenix
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Mission Impossible actress Vanessa Kirby slapped by by ‘Napoleon’ co-star Joaquin Phoenix during filming and shocked everyone.

As part of their agreement to “shock each other” during filming, Joaquin Phoenix slapped Vanessa Kirby on the set of “Napoleon.”

As Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife and Josephine de Beauharnais’ wife, the 48-year-old Academy Award winner revealed to Empire magazine how they built trust while filming the Ridley Scott-directed historical drama, “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.”

The two discussed the idea of giving each other free rein to improvise physically before filming an intense scene.

Phoenix remembers, “She said, ‘Look, whatever you feel, you can do.’ I said, ‘So can you.’ She said, ‘You can slap me, you can grab me, you can pull me, you can kiss me, whatever it is.'”

As he continued, “Both of us wanted to avoid the cliché of period dramas, so we decided to surprise each other and create unexpected moments.

In other words, moments that are well-planned and designed.”

In the scene, the emperor and his wife, who had a passionate, volatile relationship, are divorcing in a grand ceremony. 

Kirby explained that we used the real words from their divorce in the church. It’s possible to go through an archival re-enactment of it and read out the lines and then go home. But we always wanted to surprise each other.”

Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby portray Napoleon Bonaparte

One of those moments was the unscripted slap, which was one of the moments when the duo agreed to ad-lib.

The “Joker” actor told Empire that, “we challenged ourselves to shock each other in moments.” As a result, “that’s what came out of that.”

The best feeling is having a creative partner who says, “Right, everything’s safe. I’m with you. We’re going to go to the dark places together,” Kirby said.

‘Napoleon’ is a “spectacle-filled action epic that tells the story of the iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise and fall,” according to its official synopsis.

It continued, “Against a stunning backdrop of large-scale filmmaking orchestrated by legendary director Ridley Scott, the film captures Bonaparte’s relentless journey to power through the prism of his addictive, volatile relationship with his one true love, Josephine, demonstrating his visionary military and political tactics in some of the most dynamic practical battle sequences ever filmed.”