Tom Cruise has been forced to self-isolate after 14 members of the “Mission: Impossible” cast and crew tested positive for COVID-19, a report says, delaying the U.K. production for the seventh “Mission” film in the franchise yet again.
Tom Cruise reportedly is “fuming” over this latest COVID-related delay in production perhaps partly because the megastar had launched into a controversial and expletive-laced tirade against subordinates in December for violating pandemic safety guidelines.
“Tom is absolutely fuming about what’s happened, especially given his rant to his staff last year,” a source told The Sun.
Sources told The Sun that four female dancers were “within a couple of meters” of the 58-year-old actor as they shot a nightclub scene this week. Ten crew members subsequently tested positive, forcing the actor to self-isolate.
In December, The Sun published an audio recording of Cruise flying into a rage after spotting two crew members at the Warner Bros’ Studio north of London, standing near a computer monitor together. The crew members were standing less than six feet apart, in violation of on-set rules, the New York Times also reported, after confirming the authenticity of the audio of Cruise’s rant.
“If I see you do it again, you’re (expletive) gone,” Cruise yelled. “And if anyone in this crew does it, that’s it — and you too and you too.”
“That’s what I sleep with every night,” added Cruise, who has produced and starred in all seven of the “Mission: Impossible” films, the first six of which earned $3.5 billion globally, Forbes reported. The seventh film is due for release in May 2022.
“The future of this (expletive) industry!” Cruise said. “So I’m sorry I am beyond your apologies. I have told you and now I want it, and if you don’t do it you’re out. We are not shutting this (expletive) movie down! Is it understood?”
Before Cruise’s tirade, the Italian production for “Mission: Impossible” was delayed twice because of COVID-19. The first time was in February 2020, when the epidemic raged in that country, and then in October, after 12 people on the Italian set tested positive, the New York Times reported.
Cruise’s outburst in December left the 50 other people on the Warner Bros’ set stunned, The Sun said. For calling out unsafe behavior, Cruise received support from a number of prominent people across the media, including Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist, and actor George Clooney.
They said the actor and producer was right to take the pandemic seriously and to worry that delays in film and TV productions could jeopardize thousands of industry jobs.
However, Clooney, Feigl-Ding and others disagreed with Cruise’s aggressive tone, especially coming from a very rich and powerful celebrity.
“I wouldn’t have done it that big,” Clooney said in an interview with Howard Stern, about how he treats people on sets when he’s acting, directing or producing. “I wouldn’t have pulled people out. You’re in a position of power. It’s tricky, you do have a responsibility for everyone 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 be responsible. It’s just not my style to take everybody to task that way.”
Meanwhile, for others, Cruise’s rant drew attention to his high-ranking role in the Church of Scientology. For them, his tirade was a reminder of some of the Church’s alleged troubling practices.
Daily Beast writer Marlow Stern, citing a 2020 report in the Tampa Bay Times, suggested that Cruise’s rant could have been part of Scientology’s P.R. effort to portray itself as taking COVID-19 seriously, even as it continued to admit adherents to services and spiritual counseling sessions at its international headquarters in Clearwater, Florida.
A spokesman for the church told the Tampa Bay Times that it enforced social distancing and decontamination practices at its facilities, using the “most powerful and aggressive decontaminant available.”
Nonetheless, Stern wrote that people may praise Cruise for “painting himself as a film-industry savior,” but in a work environment, Stern said, “there are better ways to get your point across than going on a power trip and publicly embarrassing a couple of people far below you in the pecking order.”