SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 03:  Tom Cruise attends the Australian Premiere of "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" presented by Paramount Pictures and Skydance at ICC Sydney on July 03, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Rocket K/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Tom Cruise Denies ‘Strange’ Rumor That Crew Members Can’t Look Him In The Eyes On Set

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

One of the more 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 Timeswhich sees Cruise conversing with his frequent “Mission: Impossible” collaborators Christopher McQuarrie and Simon Pegg seems to disprove that rumor.

In the story, “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I,” director McQuarrie asks Cruise to share the “strangest” story he’s heard about himself in Hollywood. Cruise responded that he was constantly confused by the false idea that people “aren’t allowed to look me in the eye.”

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

“I was able to work my way through all the bizarre mythology that surrounds it,” Pegg said. “On one side is Tom Cruise, this enigmatic movie star that everyone wants to know. And on the other hand, he’s just a boy. I like being normal with him.

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

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

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” will be released on Friday, July 14 in theaters.