Remember late last year when Tom Cruise flipped out on some COVID-19 protocol-breaking movie crew members? Some people applauded Tom for taking on-set social distancing and pandemic protocols seriously. Others thought he should have handled it differently, considering the power imbalance between an A-list movie star and the people who work under them. And that was all followed by suspicions that it might have all been for show, in an attempt to distract us from the real story (which will always be his connection to that allegedly awful alien-themed organization). Whatever you believe, please know that Tom Cruise stands firm in his belief that his on-set freak out was 100% justified.
Last December, Tom was filmed flipping his shit after seeing two crew members on Mission: Impossible VII sitting within six feet of each other behind a video monitor. That recording was posted to the internet, subsequently raising Tom’s likeability about three points (which I’m sure was nice for Tom, considering I’m sure he appreciates any time he’s lifted a little higher than usual). Tom recently spoke to Empire magazine about his viral pandemic moment. And he acknowledges that, much like the cushions on Oprah’s couch could tell you, he got a little carried away with his emotions. But, he stands by what he said. via The Hill:
“I said what I said. There was a lot at stake at that point. All those emotions were going through my mind. 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.”
What was at stake was a billion-dollar movie franchise finally getting to start filming after being on hiatus to deal with the pandemic, so I do get why Tom was so damn fired up about people staying six feet apart. But at what cost! Because not long after we heard that recording of Tom playing Volunteer OSHA Marshall went viral, did we hear that people on the set of Mission: Impossible VII were reportedly walking on eggshells around him on set. Apparently, some crew members were afraid that if Tom happened to see them washing their hands for 19.7 seconds instead of 20, or noticed one of the elastic straps on their mask snap, that they might get a public verbal flogging and find their asses unemployed. And that’s just not fair to anyone, really. Of course, there’s always the fear that Tom Cruise might one day corner you on set and single you out with an awkward, unwanted conversation. But usually, that fear is that he’s about to introduce you to an incredible personal growth journey, before asking if you know what an audit is.