‘The Crown’ veteran Vanessa Kirby on holding her own with the very big boys of ‘Hobbs & Shaw’

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Universal Pictures(NEW YORK) -- While Vanessa Kirby had a small, key role in the action movie Mission: Impossible - Fallout, her character left the fighting to Tom Cruise and company.  But things are quite different in Kirby's new movie, Hobbs & Shaw.

Kirby plays Hattie Shaw, a rogue agent with the British spy service MI6 and the sister of Owen Shaw, the hard-case mercenary played by Jason Statham in the movie, which is a Fast and Furious spin-off.  Hattie finds herself fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with Statham -- and Dwayne Johnson, who plays Hobbs -- to stop the bionically enhanced baddie Brixton, played by Idris Elba.

So, what was it like keeping up with those guys -- especially for an actress who's best known for playing the chainsmoking Princess Margaret on the Netflix hit The Crown?

"I mean, not the easiest, did you notice?" she laughs to ABC Radio. "No, luckily they were awesome...they made it easy."

"To me, the main thing is just to make sure all the little girls in the cinema feel like they...have like someone on screen in that world who was as capable as [the men] were and she was her own kind of presence," she points out.

Hobbs & Shaw was directed by former stuntman and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch, which Kirby says helped a lot.

"You know, David is like one of the best stunt guys in the world. He was Brad Pitt's stunt double...years and years ago," she explains. "And the [stunt] team also did Atomic Blonde and Deadpool."

"Knowing that I had them...even though the training was so difficult, you go, 'Oh God, they probably will make me look good even if I'm terrible,'" she laughs. "So that was...quite reassuring."

Fast and Furious presents: Hobbs and Shaw opens Friday.

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