Do You Have What It Takes To Be A CIA Agent?


When you’re a kid, any career seems within the realms of possibility (as I grew up I discovered this couldn’t be further from the truth), and I always fancied the idea of working as a spy or undercover agent.

If you knew me now, you’d realise how utterly preposterous that’d be, but evidently from an early age I’d been subjected to way too much James Bond, which not only distorted my expectations in terms of a career, but also what I should expect from women.

Through my adolescence, I learnt that both working in intelligence and bedding a stunning woman were equally ridiculous goals for me, so I instead become a struggling writer who writes about his struggles with women.

At the age of 24, I’d completely given up on the idea of fulfilling my childhood dream of working for the CIA or FBI – until a few days ago – when I was asked to go along to a rigorous boot-camp in celebration of American Made that would determine if I could cut the mustard for the CIA in their covert operations.

Thinking that this was finally the opportunity I’d been waiting for my whole life (and an opportunity to get out of the office for a few hours) I accepted the challenge with both hands.

Thankfully, when I turned up, it wasn’t quite the arduous boot camp I was expecting, which was actually A-OK with me given that I’d had a particularly heavy lunch.

I was greeted by an imposing man who insisted on being referred to as ‘sir’. He looked the part – kitted out in army boots, cargo pants, camouflage t-shirt, handcuffs, bulletproof vest, aviator shades and a black cap. He was American too, which made the whole getup more believable – but to be honest – if I hadn’t known any better, I’d have thought I’d just got the wrong address and stumbled onto a porn set.

Despite the outfit, it was his clipboard that was by far the most unnerving thing; I wouldn’t trust a man with a clipboard as far as I could throw him, so I proceeded with vigilance and extreme caution.

He put me through a number of tests that were clearly designed to separate the wheat from the chaff, but I was keen to show this actor, sorry agent, that I was most definitely a wheat and not a chaff. (Also, what the hell’s chaff.)

He sat me down at a polygraph – which is essentially just a lie detector test – and asked me a series of simple questions. It was at this moment I realised I was in over my head because I was sweating profusely, and within minutes he’d discovered that I’d lied excessively on my CV. Damn, he was good.

The next challenge was a reaction test that involved us having to click a button when a light changed from red to green. This is where I got my revenge for the lie detector test because I smoked him on all three occasions, and if he wasn’t so scary, I’d have definitely gloated a little more.

At this point, I was beginning to question whether Tom Cruise had gone through a similarly tame audition process for the film, but I didn’t want to voice my concerns because the bloke could have easily put my head through a wall, so I continued to smile and play along.

We moved onto a giant metal wire where we had to navigate a loop along the wire without touching it and setting the alarm off. I was shite – I barely got halfway after ten attempts –  and for everyone’s sake, we swiftly moved onto the last challenge.

To be fair, he’d saved the best until last, and it actually had a degree of relevance to the film, which was cool. For those of you who don’t know, TC plays a former pilot turned drug smuggler in the movie, and for this task I had to take-off and land a remote control helicopter. It was fun, but again, I was shite.

That pretty much rounded off proceedings, and although he didn’t actually tell me, I’m sure I passed with flying colours, so I’ll be expecting a call for my first mission any time soon.

In all seriousness though, it was pretty enjoyable, and the guy was very entertaining. You’ll be glad to know that the film is way more exciting and exhilarating than my afternoon – so if you wish to see someone do a much more convincing job of someone working for the CIA – then I suggest you go and see American Made, because Tom Cruise is way more suited to all that action stuff than I ever will be.

Nope, it’s back to the ol’ writing for me, and to be honest, I’m absolutely fine with that.

American Made will be in cinemas from 25th August in the UK, and 29th September in the US.

You can check out the trailer below:

Additional images via Universal Pictures

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