Hollywood star Thandie Newton is speaking out this week to reveal why she was “so scared” of Tom Cruise while working with him on the set of “Mission Impossible 2.”
In a new interview with Vulture , Newton recalled a difficult memory of an altercation she had with Cruise on set. “He was a very dominant individual. He tries super-hard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot. And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done,” Newton said. “There was one time, we were doing this night scene, there were so many extras with pyrotechnics and you name it, and it was a scene with him and me on the balcony. And I don’t think it was a very well-written scene. I get angry with him. We’re frustrated with each other. And we’re looking out over Spain. It wasn’t going well.”
Newton added that director John Woo offered no help to them because he had “made a decision” that he didn’t speak English. She came to the conclusion that her character’s lines just weren’t right, leading Cruise to offer a solution that she found to be less than helpful:
“And he gets so frustrated with having to try and explain that he goes, ‘Let me just— let’s just go do it. Let’s just rehearse on-camera.’ So we rehearsed and they recorded it, and then he goes, ‘I’ll be you. You be me.’ So we filmed the entire scene with me being him —because, believe me, I knew the lines by then— and him playing me.
“And it was the most unhelpful… I can’t think of anything less revealing. It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. It was a real shame. And bless him. And I really do mean bless him, because he was trying his damnedest.”
When she recounted what happened to Jonathan Demme later that night, he chastised her for taking the blame and not “backing yourself.” She then received a phone call from Cruise that evening, and though she expected him to apologize, all he said was that they would be reshooting the scene at a later date. “And the next time we shot it, I went in there and I just basically manifested all the— because I realized what he wanted. He just wanted this alpha b—-,” she remembered. “And I did as best as I could. It’s not the best way to get the best work out of someone.”
Despite this negative memory, Newton stressed that she does not think Cruise is a bad person, or even a nightmare to work with. Rather, she feels he puts too much pressure on himself. “He wasn’t horrible. It was just— he was really stressed,” she concluded. “I had the most extraordinary time.” It remains to be seen if Cruise will find himself being “cancelled” because of this story.