Thandie Newton Reveals 'Scary' Experience Working With 'Dominant Individual' Tom Cruise

The British actor starred opposite the Hollywood star on 2000's Mission: Impossible 2.

Thandie Newton has shared what it was like working alongside Tom Cruise, calling the action star “a very dominant individual.”

In a new interview with Vulture, the British actor divulged what it felt like on the set of 2000′s Mission: Impossible 2.

“I was so scared of Tom. 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,” Thandie said.

Cast members of the film, Mission: Impossible 2, from left, Ving Rhames, Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton and Dougray Scott, prior to the premiere in Hollywood on May 18, 2000.
Cast members of the film, Mission: Impossible 2, from left, Ving Rhames, Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton and Dougray Scott, prior to the premiere in Hollywood on May 18, 2000.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The actor went on to tell the story of a scene shot in Spain in which the Hollywood star got frustrated with her and offered an “unhelpful” way of fixing what was wrong.

“Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the shittiest 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. And it was the most unhelpful … I can’t think of anything less revealing. It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. It was a real shame. And bless him. And I really do mean bless him, because he was trying his damnedest.”

Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton
SIPA USA/PA Images

Thandie also told a bizarre anecdote about how fast the action star developed a zit on his nose during the filming.

“I remember at the beginning of the night, seeing this slight red mark on his nose, and by the end of the night, I kid you not — this is how his metabolism is so fierce — he had a big whitehead where that red dot was,” she said.

“It would take anyone else 48 hours to manifest a zit. I saw it growing, and it was like the zit was me, just getting bigger and bigger.”

Of her overall experience with Tom, Thandie said: “He wasn’t horrible. It was just — he was really stressed.”

She credited his wife at the time, Nicole Kidman, for helping her get the role.

Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton and Russelll Crowe arrive for the premiere of Mission: Impossible 2 at the Empire cinema Leicester Square, central London.
Tom Cruise, Thandie Newton and Russelll Crowe arrive for the premiere of Mission: Impossible 2 at the Empire cinema Leicester Square, central London.
Michael Crabtree - PA Images via Getty Images

Thandie also revealed that Tom shared his Scientology religious beliefs with her.

“He was very generous and open about sharing Scientological stuff,” she said. “Christmas gifts would be something to do with Scientology,” including “a book with the greatest hits of Scientology, a bit like a Bible kind of thing.”

“I was curious, because it’s like, Wow, if it’s going to attract people, powerful, high-profile people, there’s got to be some glue that sticks this shit together. Didn’t find any,” she said, according to Vulture.

Thandie previously talked about working opposite Tom in an interview with Time, telling a funny story about breaking the ice with him with a joke about “bums and farts.”

Others stayed silent after the joke, she said, but Tom laughed. “Tom appreciates gutter toilet humour,” she told the publication.