Thandie Newton Tom Cruise Mission Impossible premiere
Co-stars Tom Cruise and Thandie Newton arrive for the Gala Premiere of the Mission Impossible sequel, M:I-2, at the Empire Leicester Square, central London. Photo by Michael Crabtree – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images.

Hollywood’s resident Scientology ambassador Tom Cruise isn’t so great on set, says Thandie Newton.

In a new interview with Vulture, Newton recalled her time working with her Mission Impossible co-star as a “nightmare” saying Cruise was “really stressed” and “dominant”. “I was so scared of Tom,” the Westworld actress, now 47-year-old says. “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.”

The big claims didn’t stop there. Newton detailed how the duo struggled through the filming of a night scene on the balcony. “I don’t think it was a very well-written scene,” Newton begins. “I get angry with him. We’re frustrated with each other. And we’re looking out over Spain. It wasn’t going well. And [Mission Impossible director] John Woo, bless him, wasn’t there. He was downstairs looking at everything on a monitor. And John had made a decision at the beginning of the movie, unbeknownst certainly to me, that he didn’t speak English. Which I think was very helpful to him, but it was extremely unhelpful to the rest of us. So this scene was happening, and Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the shittiest lines.”

“And he gets so frustrated with having to try and explain that he goes, ‘Let me just – let’s just go do it. Let’s just rehearse on-camera.’ So we rehearsed and they recorded it, and then he goes, ‘I’ll be you. You be me.’ So 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. 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.”

Perhaps the funniest part of the interview was Newton revealing that Cruise had got “so stressed” during this scene that a blemish on his face grew and grew. “I remember at the beginning of the night, seeing this slight red mark on his nose, and by the end of the night, I kid you not – this is how his metabolism is so fierce – he had a big whitehead where that red dot was,” she said.

“It would take anyone else 48 hours to manifest a zit. I saw it growing, and it was like the zit was me, just getting bigger and bigger.”

Newton said strangely enough it was Cruise’s wife at the time, Australian actress Nicole Kidman who had got her that role. “She was a huge advocate for me,” says Newton.


As for Christmas presents, Cruise would gift cast and crew something to do with Scientology. “Like a book with the greatest hits of Scientology, a bit like a Bible kind of thing. I was curious, because it’s like, ‘Wow, if it’s going to attract people, powerful, high-profile people, there’s got to be some glue that sticks this shit together.’ Didn’t find any.”

Not surprised, to be honest.