George Clooney Weighs In on Tom Cruise Shouting Over COVID Guidelines: 'I Understand Why He Did It'

George Clooney says Tom Cruise is not in the wrong for demanding his crew adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols

George Clooney, Tom Cruise
Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/Getty

George Clooney says he understands why Tom Cruise lashed out at crew members on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 over COVID-19 guidelines being neglected on set.

In a two-minute recording, posted by The Sun on Tuesday and authenticated by sources to The New York Times, Cruise is heard yelling at members of the production team in London for reportedly violating on-set social distancing guidelines. Cruise explained that he's under pressure to lead by example of how a movie can shoot safely during the ongoing pandemic.

While promoting his new film The Midnight Sky, Clooney, 59, said in an interview with Howard Stern that he doesn't think Cruise, 58, acted inappropriately.

"He didn't overreact because it is a problem," Clooney told Stern in reaction to the leaked clip, according to E! News. "I have a friend who's an AD on another TV show who just had the almost exact same thing happen with not quite as far out a response."

However, Clooney says had the same thing happened on his set, he would have reacted a bit differently.

"I wouldn't have done it that big. I wouldn't have, you know, pulled people out," Clooney said. "You're in a position of power and it's tricky, right? You do have a responsibility for everybody else and he's absolutely right about that. And, you know, if the production goes down, a lot of people lose their jobs. People have to understand that and have to be responsible. It's just not my style to, you know, to take everybody to task that way."

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Tom Cruise</a>
Tom Cruise. Albert L. Ortega/Getty

Still, Clooney said he doesn't think Cruise is in the wrong for being so strict on following the protocols, put in place to keep everyone on set safe while filming during the pandemic.

"I understand why he did it. He's not wrong at all about that," Clooney said. "You know, I just, I don't know that I would have done it quite that personally, but I don't know all the circumstances so maybe he had it 10 or 15 times before."

The clip comes after the latest Mission: Impossible halted production in Italy back in February as the coronavirus outbreak began, but eventually resumed in Rome in October. Variety reported that the set was then shut down for a week in October after positive COVID tests and that they've been shooting in the London area for two weeks.

"No apologies. You can tell it to the people who are losing their f------ homes because our industry is shut down," Cruise is heard saying in the recording. "It’s not going to put food on their table or pay for their college education. That’s what I sleep with every night — the future of this f-----g industry! So I’m sorry, I'm beyond your apologies."

"I have told you, and now I want it, and if you don’t do it, you’re out," adds Cruise. "We are not shutting this f------ movie down! Is it understood? ... Am I clear? Do you understand what I want? Do you understand the responsibility that you have? Because I will deal with your reason, and if you can’t be reasonable and I can’t deal with your logic, you’re fired. That’s it. That is it. I trust you guys to be here."

The Midnight Sky follows the story of Augustine Lofthouse (Clooney), a scientist in the Arctic who embarks on a dangerous journey to warn a group of astronauts against returning to an uninhabitable Earth after a mysterious global catastrophe.

It hits Netflix on Dec. 23.

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