"He wasn't horrible," she clarified and claimed, "It was just — he was really stressed."
"Mission: Impossible 2" may have been a big movie for Thandie Newton's career, but working with Tom Cruise wasn't always a walk in the park, according to the actress.
As part of a sprawling profile with Vulture, the "Westworld" star recalled her interactions with Cruise on set of the John Woo-directed sequel, admitting she was "so scared" of him at the time.
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"He was a very dominant individual. He tries superhard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot," she said, explaining her assessment of him. "And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done."
She then pointed to filming one scene in particular on a balcony in Spain where it just wasn't clicking. "I don't think it was a very well-written scene. I get angry with him. We're frustrated with each other," she recalled, claiming the director wasn't much help because he decided "he didn't speak English."
"Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the shittiest lines," she went on to assert of the star. Newton claimed Cruise had them then rehearse the scene in each other's roles, presumably so she could see how he'd run the lines.
"It was the most unhelpful ... I can't think of anything less revealing. It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity," she added. "It was a real shame. And bless him. And I really do mean bless him, because he was trying his damnedest."
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"I remember at the beginning of the night, seeing this slight red mark on his nose, and by the end of the night, I kid you not — this is how his metabolism is so fierce — he had a big whitehead where that red dot was," she added. "It would take anyone else 48 hours to manifest a zit. I saw it growing, and it was like the zit was me, just getting bigger and bigger."
When she later relayed the days' events to Jonathan Demme, she called them "a nightmare" -- as he told her, "Thandie, shame on you for not backing yourself."
They later reshot the scene and Newton says she went in there and gave Cruise "what he wanted." She added, "He just wanted this alpha bitch. And I did as best as I could. It's not the best way to get the best work out of someone."
She made sure to say Cruise "wasn't horrible," but "really stressed" -- and added she "had the most extraordinary time" on the film. She also credited Cruise's then-wife, Nicole Kidman, for pushing for her to get the role.
Newton briefly touched on Cruise's affiliation with Scientology as well, saying he was always "very generous and open" about his beliefs.
"Christmas gifts would be something to do with Scientology," she added. "Like a book with the greatest hits of Scientology, a bit like a Bible kind of thing. I was curious, because it's like, 'Wow, if it’'s going to attract people, powerful, high-profile people, there’s got to be some glue that sticks this shit together.' Didn’t find any."
TooFab has contacted reps for Tom Cruise.