What if the actor was just... acting?
Former Scientologist Leah Remini suggested Tom Cruise was faking his outrage when he screamed at people breaking coronavirus safety guidelines on the U.K. set of the movie “Mission: Impossible 7.”
In a scathing essay for The Underground Bunker, the “King of Queens” star called Cruise’s “psychotic rant” a publicity stunt and said the incident proves he’s “an abusive dictator” just as he was taught by the Church of Scientology — a controversial religious movement of which he’s an outspoken supporter.
“Anything you see coming from Scientology and Scientologists, such as mask wearing and supposedly humanitarian efforts, is just a show. It’s for public relations reasons only,” she wrote last week after a British tabloid published a leaked audio recording of Cruise’s expletive-filled tirade.
The actor and producer of the long-running action series reportedly flew into a rage after spotting two members of his film crew standing within six feet of each other, a violation of COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The three-minute audio clip obtained by The Sun captured Cruise repeatedly berating his crew and threatening to fire them.
“We are not shutting this f---ing movie down! Is it understood?” Cruise shouted.
“I don’t ever want to see it again, ever!” he said. “And if you don’t do it, you’re fired. If I see you do it again, you’re f---ing gone. And if anyone in this crew does it, that’s it, and you too and you too.”
Remini, a Brooklyn native who blasted Scientology on her Emmy-winning A&E series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” said Cruise’s meltdown sounded familiar to her.
“This was the same reaction Tom gave his household staff when they did not have the right ingredients for him to make chocolate chip cookies,” she said. “This is the same type of tirade Tom launched into when an assistant had the audacity to serve him a drink in a chipped mug.”
Cruise has not publicly addressed the leaked audio recording.
He previously described “Mission: Impossible 7 1/4 u2033 as the “gold standard” for Hollywood studios seeking to resume filming during the pandemic. Production on the movie has been halted at least twice this year because of the virus.
Remini doesn’t buy that argument.
“Tom seems to think that Hollywood is incapable of making films without his help,” she wrote. “Saying such a thing indicates the godlike figure Tom believes he is, and what he is told by Scientology.
“To commend this behavior only signifies that those who find this behavior normal or brave were probably abused or are abusers themselves,” she added. “This is an actor with enormous power on the set of his film, this is not just a guy in the middle of a public place standing up to someone for not wearing a mask. This is Tom friggin’ Cruise wielding his power and threatening and degrading his crew.”
The Church of Scientology has previously called on Remini to “move on with her life,” describing her as “bitter” and “pathetic.”