Tom Cruise Tells Director He Makes “Mass Entertainment”; Reveals Weirdest Tom Cruise Story

Ahead of the much-anticipated release of Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One, director Chris McQuarrie has revealed what Tom Cruise told him during their first encounter in 2006.

McQuarrie, one of Cruise’s closest colleagues as director of the past three Mission: Impossible movies and producer of Top Gun: Maverick, first worked with Cruise on Valkyrie, and he told The Times newspaper the veteran action star explained to him, “I make mass entertainment.”

During the project about a wartime mission to kill Hitler, Cruise realised more money was required to complete the film, and decided to amend the script to make it for as wide a cinema-going audience as possible. 

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McQuarrie said, ““There is an outsized importance placed on Oscars,” McQuarrie says. “Films that not many people are going to see. A wedge has been driven into the industry. Are you an artist or an entertainer? Tom doesn’t see them as mutually exclusive.”

The director added that Cruise also revealed to him the weirdest story he had heard about himself. The actor responded that the greatest myth about him was that people on set “were not allowed to look me in the eye.”

Cruise’s friend and frequent co-star Simon Pegg also told The Times that Cruise’s determination to keep the film industry on its feet during the pandemic was behind his meltdown at a crew member who broke social distancing rules on the set of the seventh Mission: Impossible movie. 

Cruise was famously recorded shouting, “Do that again and you’re gone,” to the errant crew member. Pegg told The Times:

“Everything that Tom cares about, in terms of his job, was at stake due to the pandemic. For him there was a danger this virus could wipe cinema off the face of this earth.” 

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