The Crown star's intense training even has her thinking about running a marathon.

By By Pam O'Brien
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Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Vanessa Kirby, 30, played a princess on The Crown. Now, she does her own stunts in Mission: Impossible-Fallout (in theaters on July 27). But she has even bigger passions. Here's what drives her:

Why She Loves Her Role On The Crown

"I loved playing Princess Margaret. I just love Margaret more than anything. I'm completely obsessed with her. I was so lucky to have had that role for two seasons. It was actually the most incredible thing to play a member of the royal family because you realize that it was tough to be them. The part gave me gratitude for my own freedom and being able to choose what I do." (Related: The Simple Gratitude Practice You Should Do Every Day)

How She Trained for Mission: Impossible

"Going from filming The Crown to Mission: Impossible was like night and day. Literally-I was doing night shoots in Paris for Mission: Impossible and coming back and shooting The Crown during the day. And playing a completely different character. It was quite weird. Even having my own hair was surreal! Also, I'd never done stunts before. I worked really hard with a trainer so I could run in a scene with Tom [Cruise] without vomiting! The first thing we did was go for a jog, and I was so out of breath I nearly had a heart attack. I didn't realize how unfit I was. Now I feel strong and I really like running. I'm even planning to run a marathon. Who would have thought that would happen?" (Related: 10 Races Perfect for People Just Beginning Running)

The Cause That Fuels Her

"When I was 18, I spent time in South Africa learning about conflict zones and civil wars. I heard about the adults living through these situations, but never the children. Today I work with an organization called War Child, and it's the most important thing in my life. It's the only charity that specializes in helping children affected by conflict. War Child tries to give these kids a semblance of their childhood."

Why She Gives Back

"I was recently in a Syrian refugee camp with War Child, and I saw firsthand what they do. It's the most important work there is. And it makes you think that we are all so lucky to have the things that we do, to choose what to do with our days, and we take that for granted. You meet people who don't have that and it makes you think every time you wake up in the morning, I'm one of the lucky few and I have a responsibility to be aware and help others. I'm going to go to Uganda with War Child soon. I'd like to dedicate half my life to working with them if I can. Acting can be very self-focused. You're playing a part, you're getting your makeup done, you're on the red carpet. I think the key to countering that is serving other people. It's asking yourself: How can I give back today?"

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