Back in December, leaked audio of Tom Cruise ranting about the importance of COVID-19 safety protocols on his “Mission: Impossible 7” set went viral.
Now, the 58-year-old actor/producer is addressing why he felt the need to say what he said.
“I said what I said,” Cruise told Empire Magazine. “There was a lot at stake at that point. But it wasn’t my entire crew. I had the crew leave the set, and it was just select people.”
Cruise went on to explain how filming was “never shut down again” despite the pandemic. “And here we are, continuing to film.”
“All those emotions were going through my mind,” he added. “And for the whole crew to know that we’d started rolling on a movie was just a huge relief… It was very emotional.”
Actor Tom Cruise filming “M:I 7” in Europe. (Samantha Zucchi/Insidefoto/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
On the audio, Cruise can be heard yelling about crew members reportedly not following social distancing rules.
“If I see you do it again, you’re f–king gone. And if anyone in this crew does it, that’s it — and you too and you too. And you, don’t you ever f–king do it again,” he said. “They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf–kers.”
“That’s it. No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their f–king homes because our industry is shut down,” Cruise continued. “We are not shutting this f–king movie down. Is it understood? If I see it again, you’re f–king gone.”
Cruise claimed at the time that he was in close contact with studios, insurance companies and producers to set what he called a “gold standard” of filming amid the pandemic.
In September, Forbes reported that Cruise paid $700,000 for the cast and crew of the film to live on cruise ships in hopes of creating a safe bubble for the team to work in order to thwart any risk of a breakout.