Hollywood was quick to credit Tom Cruise with saving the film industry in 2022 after the success of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. But the actor was trying to put the burden of the business on his shoulders long before “Maverick” hit theaters.
In 2020, Cruise’s upcoming blockbuster “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I” was the first major Hollywood film to resume production during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The on-set safety protocols that producers developed provided a model for the rest of the industry to get back to work soon after. But Cruise quickly went viral when a video leaked of him berating crew members for standing too close.
“You can tell people who are losing their fucking homes because our industry is shut down,” Cruise was overheard saying to employees who were seen violating protocol. “He won’t put food on their table or pay for their college education. This is what I sleep with every night – the future of this fucking industry! So I’m sorry, I’m beyond your apology. I told you, and now I want it, and if you don’t, you’re out. We are not closing this fucking movie! Is it understood? If I see him again, you’re fucking gone.
While many were initially shocked to hear Cruise speak so candidly, much of Hollywood ultimately praised the actor for his commitment to safety. And now that the finished film is months away from its theatrical release, the crew is able to reflect on the incident in hindsight. In a new interview with Entertainment Weeklydirector Christopher McQuarrie recalled the complicated emotions that triggered Cruise’s outburst.
“It all happened in a very complicated and very uncertain time,” McQuarrie said. “Obviously, we’re grateful that people took to it the way it was intended. We were fighting to keep the industry alive, we were fighting to keep people employed, we were fighting for the studio, we were fighting for theaters, and we’re still doing it. We’re still there doing it. I’m just glad people understood the intention behind it.”
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I” will be released in theaters on Wednesday, July 12.