Leah Remini has praised fellow actor Thandie Newton for not mincing words about an on-set experience she had with Tom Cruise while making Mission Impossible II two decades ago. A noted critic (and former member of the Church of Scientology), Remini called the Westworld star's admission "brave."
"That takes huge balls to do what she did, and if more people speak out in that way, and be brave enough to do so, I think we might get somewhere," Remini said on an episode of the Scientology: Fair Game podcast. "Tom has gotten away with being this 'nice guy,' because that's what Scientology policy says — to create good PR in the world and make those 'good actions' known. But if you actually look at his actions, they're not consistent." She added that she was once punished for asking why Cruise was considered "the poster child" of the Church. "Tom is not 'this super-nice guy' in real-life."
In a July 7 interview with Vulture, Newton dished on a number of on-set anecdotes, inducing a Mission Impossible scene shot in Spain. "I was so scared of Tom," Newton confessed. "He was a very dominant individual. He tries super hard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot." The scene in question was a struggle to get right, partly due to what she called simply a "poorly-written" scene. "So this scene was happening, and Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the s—iest lines, and he gets so frustrated."
Cruise then tried to improve the scene by having them switch characters, which Newton said only made matters worse. "It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. It was a real shame," Newton said. "And bless him. And I really do mean bless him, because he was trying his damnedest... He wasn't horrible. It was just — he was really stressed."
Remini recently spoke out against the Church back in June, responding to sexual assault charges brought against another of its members, The Ranch alum Danny Masterson. "Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the lord," she tweeted at the time. "This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end!"