Tom Cruise Denies the ‘Weirdest’ Rumor That Crew Members Can’t Look Him in the Eye on Set

Tom Cruise’s larger-than-life status as a Hollywood daredevil and savior of cinema has become so overpowering that it’s often difficult to separate the myths about him from the actual man. The actor is famously tight-lipped about his personal life — and involvement with Scientology — when promoting his work, preferring to talk about his death-defying stunts and his passion for theatrical distribution. But that hasn’t stopped rumors about his perfectionism and allegedly abrasive behavior from circulating.

One of the most outlandish urban legends to emerge about Cruise over the years has been the idea that he forbids cast and crew members from making eye contact with him on set. But a new story in The Times, which sees Cruise in conversation with his frequent “Mission: Impossible” collaborators Christopher McQuarrie and Simon Pegg, seemingly debunks that rumor.

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In the story, “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part I” director McQuarrie asks Cruise to share the “weirdest” story he’s heard about himself in Hollywood. Cruise replied that he was consistently befuddled by the false idea that people “were not allowed to look me in the eye.”

Pegg echoed the sentiment that Cruise is more normal than his intense public persona might suggest.

“I’ve been able to hack my way through all the bizarre mythology that surrounds him,” Pegg said. “On one side he’s Tom Cruise – this enigmatic film star everyone wants to know about. And on the other, he’s just a guy. I like being normal with him.”

Pegg recalled Cruise’s infamous 2020 outburst on the “Dead Reckoning” set in which he berated crew members for breaking COVID protocols. While the profanity-laden video that leaked revealed a side of Cruise the public rarely sees, his devotion to on-set COVID safety and keeping productions alive during a pandemic was well-received within the industry.

“Everything that Tom cares about, in terms of his job, was at stake due to the pandemic,” he said. “For him, there was a danger this virus could wipe cinema off the face of this earth.”

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” is set to open Friday, July 14 in theaters.

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