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A promotional image from MIssion: Impossible Fallout shows Henry Cavill, Tom Cruise, and Simon Pegg standing in front of the Eiffel Tower.

It seems even the world’s biggest stars aren’t immune from the stress that’s come from the COVID-19 pandemic. Even Tom Cruise is feeling the strain -- especially since leaked audio from the Mission: Impossible 7 set revealed him ranting over the film crew’s approach to safety protocols. Now, he’s facing more intense scrutiny, too, as some have questioned whether the mask he’s been wearing on set is up to snuff.

Mission: Impossible 7 quickly shut down production earlier this year after the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold. When the cast and crew returned to Leavesden in the U.K. this fall, they were sure to stress how seriously they were taking safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

However, when The Sun leaked audio allegedly taken on the Mission: Impossible 7 set, it made it clear that even the crews that are taking the pandemic the most seriously may be struggling to get it right all the time. In the clip, Tom Cruise can be heard berating unidentified crew members for failing to follow safety protocols.

Of course, the leaked audio only created more curiosity about the situation on the Mission: Impossible 7 set. That has led to some interesting revelations about Tom Cruise’s own COVID-19 precautions.

According to TMZ, the mask that Tom Cruise has been wearing while filming the latest installment of the franchise may be one that the CDC recommends against. In photos from the set, the actor can be seen wearing a black mask that has valves on either side. The outlet reports that these kinds of masks are marketed as being good for use during physical activity.

However, masks with valves or vents may not prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC website, “the hole in the material may allow your respiratory droplets to escape and reach others.” The CDC also says that there is ongoing research regarding the effectiveness of these kinds of masks.

What this really speaks to is the general uncertainty that still looms over COVID-19. Even with the best safety measures in place, there is still an element of risk -- and that impacts everyone, even global superstars.

Despite elaborate safety precautions - including housing the entire cast and crew on a cruise ship, paid for by Tom Cruise - the Mission: Impossible 7 set has still felt the impact of COVID-19. In October, some crew members tested positive, which led to “crisis talks” between the star and the film’s director, Christopher McQuarrie.

The reaction to Tom Cruise’s outburst has been mixed. Some have praised him for prioritizing the safety of the Mission: Impossible 7 cast and crew. However, there are reports that multiple crew members have quit since his diatribe, though it’s unclear as to whether it was the impetus. While filming has not been completed, it appears production on Mission: Impossible 7 will shut down for the remainder of the year.

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