Tom Cruise is firmly standing by his explicit rant on the set of Mission: Impossible in December.
Five months ago, the movie's star and producer chastised some members of the crew for breaking COVID-19 protocols. "I have told you and now I want it and if you don't do it you're out. We are not shutting this f--king movie down! Is it understood?" Cruise said, according to an audio recording published by The Sun. "If I see it again you're f--king gone."
In a new interview with Empire magazine, Cruise defended his rebuke of the team. "I said what I said," he reflected, according to the Los Angeles Times. "There was a lot at stake at that point."
He clarified that he didn't berate the "entire crew," but rather asked everyone to leave except for some "select people" that he then criticized.
The Top Gun star, 58, admitted he became "very emotional" in the heat of the moment, while he thought about the ramifications of shutting down production again due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"All those emotions were going through my mind. I was thinking about the people I work with, and my industry," Cruise continued. "And for the whole crew to know that we'd started rolling on a movie was just a huge relief."
It seems to have paid off, as Cruise noted, "And here we are, continuing to film."
He also made light of the tense situation, joking that he's available to deliver a reprise performance for "Zoom parties and kids' parties also, you know!"
In the audio clip, Cruise could be heard calling out some crew members for "standing around a f--king computer," implying they were violating social distancing orders.
The three-time Oscar nominee shouted, "I'm on the phone with every f--king 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--kers."
He added, "No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their effing homes because our industry is shut down. It's not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education."
About a week after news broke of his on-set rant, the crew took some time off for a holiday break to regroup.
"They are off now and Tom took off for Dubai," a source on set told E! News at the time. "It's a much-needed break coming at the right time. It was very intense as it always is with Tom. Every M:I movie is a difficult one to film and this one is no exception."
The insider justified Cruise's response by saying the filmmaker is "a perfectionist and wants things done in a certain way." According to the source, "His intentions are good, but it does make for a very tense environment. Right now, everyone can regroup and come back with a fresh outlook."
The next Mission: Impossible film is still due out in May 2022.