George Clooney is defending Tom Cruise after the “Mission: Impossible” star lashed out at crew members for not following COVID-19 restrictions. In an audio recording, first obtained by The Sun, Cruise is heard yelling at two people on the movie set he apparently saw violating social distancing guidelines.
“If I see you do it again you’re f***ing gone,” Cruise, who is also a producer on the film, says in the expletive-filled recording which went viral this week.
In an interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, Clooney said Cruise “didn’t overreact,” Entertainment Tonight reports. “He didn’t overreact because it is a problem,” Clooney told Stern on the SiriusXM radio show.
“I have a friend who’s an AD [assistant director] on another TV show who just had the almost exact same thing happen, with not quite as far-out a response,” Clooney added.
Although he agreed that Cruise’s rant was warranted, Clooney said he would’ve handled it differently.
“You’re in a position of power and it’s tricky,” Clooney said. “You do have a responsibility for everybody else and he’s absolutely right about that. If the production goes down, a lot of people lose their jobs. People have to understand that and have to be responsible. It’s just not my style to, you know, to take everybody to task that way.”
In the recording, Cruise called the “Mission: Impossible” production, which is filming in London, “the gold standard” and said everyone in the industry is relying on them to do things safely.
“They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. Because they believe in us and what we’re doing,” he said. “I’m on the phone with every f***ing studio at night, insurance companies, producers, and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf***ers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!”
Clooney said he doesn’t think it’s necessary to call out specific people the way Cruise did, “but everybody has their own style.”
“The people who were on that shoot will tell us more about it,” Clooney said. “I understand why he did it. He’s not wrong at all about that… I don’t know that I would have done it quite that personally.”
Film production was one of the industries put on hold at the start of the pandemic, but shooting has resumed in some cities with new safety guidelines in place.
It is unclear what day the audio of Cruise was recorded. On Wednesday, London moved into “Tier 3: Very High Alert” meaning tighter restrictions are in place, closing down bars, pubs and restaurants except for takeout, shuttering theaters and banning indoor social gatherings.
The Tier 3 guidance still allows film and TV shoots to continue, according to Film London. However, there is a checklist of protocols that productions must follow, including social distancing, increased cleaning of equipment and keeping the number of people present to a minimum.