Saving lives shouldn’t be Mission Impossible   

The Venice filming of Mission: Impossible 7, had been stalled in February when the pandemic first hit and then in October.


Ambica Sachin

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Published: Wed 16 Dec 2020, 8:32 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Dec 2020, 8:34 PM

He’s the one who famously jumped up and down, like a trampoline-obsessed toddler, on Oprah’s couch while announcing his love for Katie Holmes. So, obviously, we all knew Tom Cruise wasn’t Mr Cool in real life.

Therefore, when a secret audio recording of the Mission Impossible star going ballistic on the London sets of the latest franchise of the 24-year-old series, went viral, it wasn’t exactly ‘news’. He might look a decade younger than 58 and has fronted some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, but let’s face it, he’s a Scientologist who has had worse things written and implied about him over the years.

The Venice filming of Mission: Impossible 7, had been stalled in February when the pandemic first hit and then in October, 12 of their crew members had reportedly tested positive delaying the movie further. There’s a lot at stake for Cruise as well as Hollywood right now.

The secret recording of his rant against crew members who were allegedly not maintaining social distancing protocols on set was leaked to The Sun, which ran with the story. After all, nothing like a superstar caught in the midst of a temper tantrum to make your news go viral.

Except in this case, Cruise has a point actually. Very many, in fact. Hollywood is going through its roughest year ever, with many theatres shut and a lot more movie filming at standstill in the wake of Covid-19. While most A-list actors can afford to sit out the pandemic, the case is not the same for the average cast and crew, including those in the supply chain who ensure things run clockwork smooth on sets.

Whether in Bollywood or in Hollywood, there are thousands of people associated with the film industry who have been faced with bankruptcy and worse in the absence of work. So when a movie like MI7, with millions hanging on its back, takes off, there is more than just Cruise’s street cred on the line.

Like the Top Gun actor shouts out in an expletive-ridden tirade: “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.”

Last week, Christopher Nolan had ripped into Warner Bros. for blindsiding many talents by announcing their 2021 slate of big-ticket films will now stream directly on HBO Max, a move seen as suicidal by most Hollywood insiders. At a time when the very existence of the industry is at threat, Cruise’s rant, as one of the few major stakeholders to stand tall and continue filming in the middle of a pandemic is understandable. “They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us,” he can be heard shouting out. “We are creating thousands of jobs, you *****.”

The star is said to have let loose on around 50 Warner Bros. staff at the London location of the shoot with most said to be shocked by the diatribe. “That’s it. No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their f**ing homes because our industry is shut down. It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education.” And then: “We are not shutting this f*ing movie down. Is it understood? If I see it again, you’re f**ing gone.”

Too vitriolic just because two people were seen standing close at a computer screen on the sets of a movie where strict social distancing measures were being enforced? How would you react if you see someone without a mask standing close to your loved ones right now?


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