Tom Cruise Screams at 'M:I 7' Crew for Breaking COVID Protocols in Epic Leaked Rant

"We are NOT shutting this f***ing movie DOWN!!"

tom cruise mission impossible covid
Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images
Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images

There are few things in this world better than unhinged celebrity rants—unless, of course, you're the unfortunate person on the other end of the rant. On Tuesday night, Tom Cruise went viral for an audio clip obtained by The Sun in which he dressed down at least two members of his Mission: Impossible 7 crew while they were shooting the movie at the Leavesden Warner Bros. Studios in England. Apparently, a couple of crew members were standing too near each other at a computer screen to be in compliance with the production's strict COVID-19 protocols, and Cruise laid right into them, to spectacular, extremely quotable effect. Here's the transcript.

Their unique burden

"We are the gold standard," he begins in the leaked audio. "They're back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of US!! Because they believe in us and WHAT we're DOING!! I'm on the phone with every f***ing studio at night. INSURANCE COMPANIES!! PRODUCERS!! And they're looking at us, and using us to make their movies."

Why it matters

"We are creating THOUSANDS of JOBS, you motherfuckers!"

The consequences

"I don't EVER WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!! EVER!! And if you don't do it, you're fired! If I see you do it again, you're f***ing gone. And anyone on this crew does it, THAT'S IT! And you, too. And you, too. And you. If you ever do it again, that's it."

Zero tolerance policy 

"No apologies. You can tell it to the people who are losing their f***ing homes because our INDUSTRY is shut down. It's not gonna put FOOD ON THEIR TABLE, or pay for their COLLEGE EDUCATION. THAT'S what I sleep with every night. The FUTURE of this F***ING INDUSTRY!! So, I'm sorry, but I am beyond your apologies. I have told you and now I want it and if you DON'T do it, you're OUT!"

They are not shutting the movie down

"We are not shutting this FUCKING MOVIE DOWN!!"

Their responsibility

Is it understood? If I see it again, you're fucking gone. And so are you. So YOU'RE gonna cost him HIS job. If I see it on the set, YOU'RE gone, and YOU'RE gone. That's it. Am I clear? Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that you have?

He's reasonable

Because I will deal with your reason. And if you can't be reasonable, and if I can't deal with your logic, you're fired. That's it. That is it. I trust you guys to be here. That's it. That's it, guys.

That's not it. Not at all.

"That's what I'm thinking about. That's what I'm doing today. I'm talking to Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros. Movies are going because of us. We shut down, it's going to cost people their fucking jobs, their homes, their family—that's what's happening. All the way down the line. And I care about you guys. But if you're not going to help me, you're gone. OK? Do you see that stick? How many meters is that? When people are standing around a fucking computer and hanging out around here, what are you doing? [audio ends]

On the one hand, Cruise understands how crucial it is to keep social distancing at work, and this is probably something close to what rattles around in our own heads whenever we see someone touching all the groceries or wearing their mask under their nose. On the other, he's a boss screaming at his staff.

On the one hand he's obviously under immense pressure leading a franchise film that was the first major blockbuster to start shooting amid all of this. On the other hand… all that deranged Scientology stuff.

At least we can all agree that it's important to keep staying as safe as possible in these very uncertain times. That's what Ethan Hunt would f***ing want.

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.