Actor Leah Remini has claimed Tom Cruise’s “psychotic rant” at Mission: Impossible staffers was all a publicity stunt orchestrated by the Church of Scientology – but it wouldn’t be the first time the actor has made headlines for his bizarre behaviour.
Remini, who is a former scientologist, said the viral audio clip of Cruise lambasting co-workers over coronavirus protocol breaches showed the star’s dark side.
“He is an abusive person. I witnessed it, I’ve been a recipient of it on a small level, and I’ve been told of similar abuse by his former girlfriend, his employees, and his friends,” Remini wrote on anti-Scientology blog The Underground Bunker.
“Tom does not care about the families of his crew; this is all for publicity.
“Tom does not believe in family values. I mean, how anyone is falling for this is just mind-blowing.
“I would bet that Tom had this rant written for him and had his Scientology assistant record and release it.”
Mission: Impossible 7 has already been marred by delays, starting in February when production was halted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Filming continued in Norway in September. However, in October it stopped again when 12 people tested positive on location in Italy.
Cruise’s rant received mixed reviews, with many arguing that the star was abusive.
But this isn’t the first Cruise controversy to make headlines.
‘Psychiatry is a pseudoscience’
In what has since been described as a car-crash interview with Matt Lauer, Cruise made the bold claim that “psychiatry is a pseudoscience”.
Speaking about fellow actor Brooke Shields’ decision to take anti-depressants following postnatal depression, Cruise argued with Lauer about whether or not psychiatry just “masked” mental illness.
“You don’t know the history of psychiatry, and I do,” Cruise said.
“[Shields] doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry. She doesn’t understand in the same way that you don’t understand it, Matt.”
The Top Gun actor also claimed there was “no such thing as a chemical imbalance in a body”, and called Lauer “glib”.
Cruise later advocated for vitamins and exercise as a method of combatting mental illness.
Cruise v Overton
Cruise’s confrontation with Lauer wasn’t the only time the star has clashed with an interviewer.
In an interview for 60 Minutes, Australia’s Peter Overton navigated an awkward and stern encounter with Cruise, after asking questions about his relationship with ex-wife Nicole Kidman.
“Here’s the thing Peter, you’re stepping over the line now. You’re stepping over the line and you know you are,” he said.
Cruise doubled down when Overton said the public wanted to know about his relationship with the Australian actress.
“Peter, you want to know,” he said.
“Take responsibility for what you want to know. Don’t say what other people want. This is a conversation that I’m having with your right now, so I’m just telling you right now, just put your manners back in.”
Cruise in space
Early in 2020, Cruise announced he would make history by becoming the first actor in a film that will be shot in outer space.
Teaming up with billionaire Elon Musk (AKA Space Karen), Cruise’s rocket ship is expected to blast off in October 2021.
Little is known about the film, other than it lists Mission: Impossible franchise writer and director Christopher McQuarrie as its story adviser and producer, and will be directed by Edge of Tomorrow‘s Doug Liman.
Fans can rest assured that Cruise will be in capable hands, with NASA confirming its involvement in the project.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the team was excited about collaborating with Cruise.
NASA is excited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station! We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA’s ambitious plans a reality. pic.twitter.com/CaPwfXtfUv
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 5, 2020
Oprah couch jump
We all knew the notorious couch jump was coming.
If there is one thing Cruise knows how to do, it’s get people talking.
Appearing on The Oprah Winfrey show in 2005, Cruise stole the show following the announcement of his new romance with Katie Holmes.
Cruise was on the show to promote War of the Worlds, but went off script and declared his love for Holmes, before spontaneously jumping onto the couch and cheering.
The incident, which seemed to many like some drug-induced mania rather than a romantic gesture, went as viral as was possible in the pre-Twitter era and is still Cruise’s most memorable stunt.
Brandon Ogborn, who wrote a play about Cruise’s media reputation called The TomKat Project said the moment was a defining moment in Hollywood.
“Culturally it was, in my mind, one of the first celebrity memes,” Ogborn told The Ringer.
“That clip was re-enacted so many times. It was kind of a watershed moment for internet culture.”