Thandie Newton recalls being ‘scared’ of Tom Cruise while filming ‘Mission: Impossible 2’

The 'Westworld' actress says his legendary perfectionism is all too real

(Credit: Getty Images)

Thandie Newton is a respected Hollywood veteran but even she gets nervous. She says that happened when she was working with Tom Cruise, who left her “scared” when the two filmed Mission: Impossible 2.

Newton opened up about her time working with the action star in 2000 in a new full-length feature with Vulture that was published Tuesday. She touched upon her career milestones and setbacks but it’s her account of her experience with Cruise that is causing a stir.

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Thandie Newton
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Newton played Nyah Nordoff‑Hall, the love interest of Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in the franchise. But despite the exposure being in the franchise brought her she didn’t totally enjoy the experience.

“I was so scared of Tom. He was a very dominant individual. He tries super hard to be a nice person. 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,” she shared.

The Beloved actress revealed one intense incident that took place while they were shooting in Spain. It involved them being on a balcony with extras and pyrotechnics. There was a lot going on in the scene and she got upset.

“And I don’t think it was a very well-written scene. I get angry with him. We’re frustrated with each other,” she recounted.

Thandie newton
HBO/ YouTube

John Woo, the director of the film, was watching everything that happened on a monitor downstairs and made it a point not to speak English, Newton remembered. Cruise took command of the scene instead and decided they would do a role reversal.

“So we filmed the entire scene with me being him — because, believe me, I knew the lines by then — and him playing me,” she recalled.

“And 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. 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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Newton felt that Cruise wanted to get a certain type of response from her performance by pushing her so hard. She didn’t agree with his methods but did her job.

“And 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. It’s not the best way to get the best work out of someone,” she told the outlet.

Still, the 47-year-old British born actress does not have bad feelings for the Top Gun star despite his intensity.

“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,” she said.

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“I’ve never actually outright asked her, but when your husband is like, ‘Who would you mind me pretending to shag for the next six months?’ You know what I mean? It’s kind of nice if you can pick together. Nicole was a huge advocate for me.”

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