‘He didn’t overreact’: George Clooney defends Tom Cruise’s rant at crew who broke Covid-19 SOP

Clooney said Cruise’s reaction was understandable as Covid-19 is a major concern for the film industry. — AFP pic
Clooney said Cruise’s reaction was understandable as Covid-19 is a major concern for the film industry. — AFP pic

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PETALING JAYA, Dec 18 — Hollywood star George Clooney has defended Tom Cruise for going on an angry rant against Mission: Impossible 7 crew members who broke physical distancing rules on set.

Clooney, who spoke on The Howard Stern Show radio broadcast on Wednesday, said Cruise “didn’t overreact” as any delay in production due to a Covid-19 infection could spell disaster for the film industry.

“Well, he didn’t overreact, because it is a problem.

“I have a friend who is an (assistant director) on another TV show who had almost the exact same thing happen with not quite as far-out a response,” said Clooney.

However, the 59-year-old said he would’ve favoured a softer approach if he was in Cruise’s shoes, adding that he wouldn’t have shamed crew members on the spot for their mistakes.

“I wouldn’t have done it that big, I wouldn’t have pulled people out.

“You’re in a position of power and it’s tricky, right? You do have a responsibility for everybody else and (Cruise) is absolutely right about that, and if the production goes down, a lot of people lose their jobs.

“People have to understand that and they have to be responsible. It’s just not my style to take everybody to task that way.”

Cruise, 58, became a hot topic online after British tabloid The Sun published an audio clip of him yelling at Mission: Impossible 7 crew members for allegedly huddling closely around a computer monitor.

The incident is believed to have taken place in the United Kingdom where filming for the latest instalment of the spy action franchise is underway.

In the clip, Cruise threatened to fire staff members and berated them for throwing caution to the wind by not practising physical distancing.

“I don’t ever want to see it again, ever! And if you don’t do it, you’re fired. If I see you do it again, you’re f***ing gone.

“That’s it! No apologies. You can tell it to the people that are losing their f***ing homes because our industry is shut down.

“It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education,” said Cruise.

The Sun reported yesterday that five Mission: Impossible 7 crew members called it quits after Cruise had a second outburst on Tuesday night.

The tabloid quoted a source who said that the leaked audio clip of Cruise raised tensions on set, leading to another furious tirade.

“Since it became public, there has been more anger and several staff have walked.

“But Tom just can’t take any more after all the lengths they have gone to just to keep filming at all. He’s upset others aren’t taking it as seriously as him,” said the source.

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