“I was so scared of Tom,” the actress, 47, admitted in the Monday, July 6, issue of New York magazine. “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.”
While discussing the 2000 spy movie, Newton recalled one scene in particular in which she and the Oscar nominee, 58, stood on a balcony overlooking Spain.
“Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the s–tiest lines,” she said. “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.”
Although the London native believes Cruise meant well, she remembered feeling that his idea was “the most unhelpful” way to go about preparing for the scene.
“It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. It was a real shame,” she told the publication. “And bless him. And I really do mean bless him, because he was trying his damnedest.”
Later that night, Newton called her friend Jonathan Demme, who previously directed her in Beloved and The Truth About Charlie, to tell him about her “nightmare” day on set.
“As I was describing it, it was clear that I thought I was the big f–king problem. And Jonathan was like, ‘Thandie, shame on you for not backing yourself.’ He was really sweet,” she recounted. “And then Tom called and I thought, ‘Oh, this is it. The apology.’ No, he was just like, ‘We’re going to reshoot this next week.’ I’m like, ‘Way brilliant.’”
The second time around, the Westworld star knew what to expect from Cruise — “He just wanted this alpha bitch” — and completed the scene. She remembered his then-wife, Nicole Kidman, being a “huge advocate” for her at the time too.
“It’s not the best way to get the best work out of someone,” she said. “He wasn’t horrible. It was just — he was really stressed. I had the most extraordinary time.”
Newton told New York that she “was never asked” to return for 2006’s Mission: Impossible III.
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