Paula Patton Talks Kissing, Cola and Coleman

Is there a sexier actress on the planet than Paula Patton? Doubtful. Since ditching production-assistant jobs for the other side of the camera in 2005, Patton has heated up the big screen in films like Precious, Swing Vote and Just Wright. As her latest movie, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, drops on DVD, Mrs. Robin Thicke opens up to Made Man about soft drinks, her surprising childhood neighbor and the best way to kiss. Gentlemen, take note. —Shawn Donnelly

MADE MAN: The Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol DVD hits stores today. What’s the best reason we should check that out? PAULA PATTON: Why shouldn’t you check it out?!? It’s a great movie, and it’s so much fun when you get the DVD because you get the outtakes and you get the commentary, and it’s a great way to watch a movie again and again and again.

MM: Favorite part about filming it? PP: I loved every single day on that movie. It was a dream come true! Working with Tom Cruise was a phenomenal experience. But I think probably my most fun, most challenging scene was the fight I have with Léa Seydoux, a beautiful blonde French actress.

MM: You started your career as a production assistant. Now you’re a major Hollywood actress. Any advice for someone trying to make a career shift? PP: I think, if you have a dream, you can’t ever let go of it. And no matter what anyone says, if you really feel in your heart that you’re meant to do something, you have to attack it full on, and you can’t have a Plan B. You just have to say, “This is what I’m going to do.” By any means necessary. Well, not by any means. But, by most means.

MM: You’re piling up the love scenes now. Who’s the best onscreen kisser you’ve ever been with, and why? PP: Oh god, you know I’ll never tell. I love you, but I can’t ever tell you that. Plus, I’m married. You’re only going to get me in a lot of trouble!

MM: Got any general tips on kissing, for guys? PP: You know, you don’t need to use a lot of tongue. You can just… a light little flutter, in and out. You know? Leave them wanting more. I think that makes for a great kiss. Maybe don’t go for the whole tongue down the throat. Light tongue work.

MM: What do women like you look for in a guy? Especially if they can’t sing like your husband. PP: I think most women really love a man who’s complimentary. And someone who, when he’s with his woman, is very protective.

MM: You’re now working with Pepsi NEXT. Somebody told us it’s got real cola taste but 60 percent less sugar. That can’t be true, can it? PP: It really is! And honestly, when Pepsi asked me if I would go out there and represent Pepsi NEXT, I said, “Well, first, I’ve got to taste it to see if I really like it.” And I was really blown away because it’s 60 percent less sugar, it’s only 60 calories, and it tastes the same as the cola you love.

MM: Finally, you grew up with Gary Coleman as your neighbor. Did he ever yell at you to get off his lawn? PP: No, he was so kind, actually. This was at the height of Diff’rent Strokes, and having Gary Coleman live across the street was like the biggest thing in the world. And when he came over for my third-grade birthday party, he only made it that much cooler. Everybody was like, “How’d you get Gary Coleman to show up?!?” He couldn’t have been nicer. And he also had the coolest train set I’ve ever seen.