At the end of last year Tom Cruise made headlines not for a radical stunt he was doing on the set of the new Mission: Impossible movie, but for leaked audio from the set that appeared to show him verbally unloading on some members of the crew who were apparently standing too close together for the coronavirus protocols. Nobody has spoken officially about what we all heard, so it was possible that what we heard was something other than what it sounded like. Perhaps it wasn't even real. But now Tom Cruise has spoken on the record about the audio. It is him, he said everything we heard, and he stands by it all completely.
Speaking with Empire Magazine (via the Los Angeles Times), Tom Cruise says, very simply "I said what I said," confirming that the tape that was released last December wasn't fabricated or altered in any way. The actor admits that he's been very emotional about the entire situation and did not want to see production on the two Mission: Impossible movies shut down due to people on set not following the rules. The fact that the movie was even being made under these circumstances was a big deal, and Cruise says he didn't want to see people's jobs end due to the pandemic. According to the actor...
All those emotions were going through my mind. I was thinking about the people I work with, and my industry. And for the whole crew to know that we’d started rolling on a movie was just a huge relief.
One thing Tom Cruise did clarify to Empire, is that his emotional outburst did not take place in front of the film's entire crew. Instead, he asked the majority of the crew on hand to leave, and he was speaking only to "select people." Only the people that needed to hear what Cruise had to say were the ones hearing it, at least until the recording came out.
Tom Cruise's recorded outburst resulted in a variety of different opinions at the time. Many were quite supportive of Cruise for taking the pandemic seriously and trying to make sure that others did as well. Other's were less complimentary, feeling that the actor was potentially abusing his position of power on the set, perhaps agreeing with the message, but not the way it was delivered.
Wile not everybody was entirely supportive of the method, it does not appear Tom Cruise regrets it in the slightest. He says he was focused on making sure the movie went forward because of all the people whose jobs were dependant on it. Cruise isn't just the star but he's a producer of the Mission: Impossible franchise, and thus he has a higher level of responsibility. Mission: Impossible 7 is currently set for release next May, with Mission: Impossible 8 following in 2023.