"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" actress Paula Patton arrives at YVR airport in Vancouver. (March 14, 2011)

*Paula Patton says she jumped at the chance to take part in the next “Mission: Impossible” movie because it gives her the opportunity to perform stunts.

“‘Mission: Impossible’ came as a surprise,” she told Cinemablend.com. “It was an incredible opportunity for me, especially after being pregnant. I got to do all my own stunts. I got to be a very fierce, badass chick, if I can say that. It was a dream come true in many ways to be able to play this character.”

In “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol,” star Tom Cruise reprises his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt under director Brad Bird. The film is due in theaters on Dec. 16.