Thandie Newton Recalls What It Was Really Like Working With "Dominant" Tom Cruise

Thandie Newton talks about her experience on the set of Mission: Impossible 2 with Tom Cruise. “He was a very dominant individual,” she claims in a new interview.

By Mike Vulpo Jul 07, 2020 7:17 PMTags
Tom Cruise, Thandie NewtonAlex Edelman/Shutterstock; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Thandie Newton is sharing her experiences from filming Mission: Impossible 2.

In a new interview with Vulture, the actress looked back on the 2000 movie. While she was never asked to be part of another project in the franchise, Thandie recalls working alongside Tom Cruise.

"I was so scared of Tom. He was a very dominant individual. He tries superhard to be a nice person," she claimed. "But the pressure. He takes on a lot. And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done."

Thandie went on to describe an evening where the duo was filming a night scene together. According to the actress, "Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the s--ttiest lines."

"We filmed the entire scene with me being him—because, believe me, I knew the lines by then—and him playing me. And it was the most unhelpful…I can't think of anything less revealing," she continued. "It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. 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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According to Thandie, she later received a phone call from Tom. While she thought an apology may be coming, Thandie was ultimately told by her co-star that they were going to reshoot next week.

Watch: "Mission: Impossible" Stars Expose the Real Tom Cruise

"The next time we shot it, I went in there and I just basically manifested all the—because I realized what he wanted. He just wanted this alpha bitch. And I did as best as I could," she shared. "It's not the best way to get the best work out of someone. He wasn't horrible. It was just—he was really stressed. I had the most extraordinary time, and you know who got me that role? Nicole Kidman."

E! News has reached out to Tom's team for comment and has not heard back.

He is scheduled to appear in back-to-back Mission: Impossible sequels. Release dates are to be determined partly because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

When looking back on the scene 20 years later, Thandie believes she would have handled things a bit different today.

"That was more just surreal than anything. Look, creative stuff is difficult. I was so tender and sensitive. And, also, if you think about the timeline of that, it was still early in my healing, in my recovery. I'd had good therapy. I'd realized that I was precious," she shared. "If it was me now, I would want to go in and go, 'Hey!' I'd be it. You wouldn't need to play me and I play you on that balcony. And I would have squeezed that spot. Bam!" 

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