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Hayley Atwell Reacts to Tom Cruise Dating Rumors, Says He’s Like an Uncle: ‘It Feels Grubby’

Hayley Atwell Reacts to Tom Cruise Dating Rumors
Hayley Atwell and Tom CruiseVincenzo Landi/

Hayley Atwell has heard the rumors about whether she’s dating Tom Cruise — and she’s not thrilled about the speculation.

Atwell, 41, said that she thinks of Cruise, 61, and their Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie as “sort of two uncles,” which makes the romance rumors all the more uncomfortable.

“I would be like, ‘Oh, there’s some weird rumors, and it feels base, it feels a little dirty, it feels grubby, it’s not what I’m about,'” she told The Independent in an interview published on Saturday, July 8. “Why are things being assumed or projected onto me about my relationship with my work colleague and boss?”

Atwell went on to say that she finds the speculation “upsetting” in part because Cruise is a colleague. “It’s involving people in my actual life, my personal life, who have to be on the receiving end of that,” she explained. “It becomes invasive.”

Hayley Atwell Reacts to Tom Cruise Dating Rumors 2
Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell Richard Milnes/Shutterstock

Having been the subject of plenty of rumors himself, Cruise was able to offer her some advice about the situation. “When I’ve talked to him about it, he’d be like, ‘You know exactly who you are. You know what you’re about. And that is the only thing that matters. It doesn’t matter what people think of you, if you are in integrity with yourself, if you know what your value system is,'” Atwell recalled her costar saying.

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Atwell stars alongside Cruise in the latest Mission: Impossible installment, which hits theaters on Wednesday, July 12. Cruise reprises his role as spy Ethan Hunt, while Atwell plays a new character named Grace. Atwell noted that Grace is not a love interest for Ethan, who already shares a fair amount of sexual tension with Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson).

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Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell Cinzia Camela/LiveMedia/Shutterstock

According to Atwell, she and Cruise decided that Grace and Ethan should have more of a “sibling thing” between them. “The audience would not want someone else coming in and going, ‘Oh, excuse me’ – you’d have to earn that,” she told The Independent. “[Tom and Christopher] love seeing women thrive and be in their own power, so if I ever tried to play small or flirtatious, or play damsel, they would probably be like, ‘What are you doing? That’s not you!’”

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Earlier this year, Cruise sparked dating rumors with Shakira after the duo were spotted hanging out at a Formula 1 race in Miami, but an insider exclusively told Us Weekly in May that the pair weren’t pursuing a relationship. In 2014, Cruise was rumored to be dating Laura Prepon, but the actress, 43, quickly shut down speculation. He was previously married to Nicole Kidman — with whom he shares daughter Isabella, 30, and son Connor, 28 — from 1990 to 2001. Cruise later married Katie Holmes in November 2006 after welcoming a daughter in April of that year. The former couple split in 2012.

Atwell, for her part, got engaged to musician Ned Wolfgang Kelly in April.

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