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Tom Cruise Defends Explosive Covid Safety Rant on ‘Mission: Impossible’ Set: ‘There Was a Lot at Stake’

Cruise sparked an industry debate after threatening to fire crew members who broke safety rules.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise on the set of “Mission: Impossible 7”

P Photo/Andrew Medichini

Tom Cruise broke his silence to Empire magazine (via Los Angeles Times) on the Covid-19 safety rant that went viral in December 2020. Leaked audio from the set of the latest “Mission: Impossible” movie revealed Cruise screaming at crew members and threatening to fire them after they broke the production’s Covid safety rules. Filming on the action tentpole had already been delayed twice at that point because of Covid, first when all Hollywood productions shut down and second when there was an outbreak on set.

“I said what I said,” Cruise told Empire in a recent interview, clarifying that he did not shout in front of the “entire crew” and only addressed the “select people” who were directly involved with the safety violation. “There was a lot at stake at that point.”

“All those emotions were going through my mind,” Cruise added about the production’s two previous Covid delays adding fuel to his rant. “I was thinking about the people I work with, and my industry. And for the whole crew to know that we’d started rolling on a movie was just a huge relief.”

The latest “Mission: Impossible” movie has not had a Covid delay since Cruise’s rant. The actor noted, “And here we are, continuing to film,” before throwing in a joke that he is available for “Zoom parties and kids’ parties also, you know!”

In the leaked audio, Cruise was heard telling crew members, “I am beyond your apologies. We are not shutting this fucking movie down. Is it understood? If I see it again, you’re fucking gone. And so are you. So you’re gonna cost him his job. If I see it on the set, you’re gone and you’re gone. That’s it. Am I clear?…Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason, and if you can’t be reasonable, and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired. That’s it.”

The audio sparked an industry debate about whether Cruise’s behavior and tone crossed the line. George Clooney said the intention behind Cruise’s rant was correct, but “it’s just not my style to take everybody to task that way.” Leah Remini, a former Scientologist who has long been critical of Cruise’s ties to the religion, condemned the rant as a publicity stunt. “Mission: Impossible” cast member Vanessa Kirby told press “being safe is the message” when asked to comment on the rant.

Paramount will release “Mission: Impossible 7” in theaters May 27, 2022.

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