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Tom Cruise made headlines from the set of Mission: Impossible 7. This time, it wasn’t for an incredible stunt. Cruise was in the news because audio of him yelling at crew members came out. The Sun first reported the leaked audio, in which Cruise reprimands crew members for disobeying coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols. Once the Cruise audio trended on Twitter, fans started comparing it to Christian Bale’s infamous on-set audio tirade too. 

Tom Cruise masked
Tom Cruise | Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Christian Bale’s rant on the set of ‘Terminator: Salvation’

Bale played John Connor in the 2009 sequel Terminator: Salvation. The entry directed by McG, set entirely in the future war against the machines, is not well-remembered by Terminator fans. However, Bale’s on-set behavior became legendary. 

A nearly four minute audio leaked of Bale yelling at cinematographer Shane Hurlut for walking through the shot while he was filming a scene with Bryce Dallas Howard. Bale yelled at Hurlut for interrupting the scene. Total Film reported (via The Guardian) that Bale took responsibility.

Christian Bale Terminator
Christian Bale | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

“I went overboard,” he told Total Film while also adding that the crew violated his trust by recording him. Note that it was not Hurlut’s first offense either.

“It’s the second time that he doesn’t give a f*ck about what is going on in front of the camera,” Bale said in the audio. “I’m trying to f*cking do a scene here and I’m going why the f*ck is Shane walking in there? I’ve never had a DP behave like this.”

Tom Cruise’s rant on the set of ‘Mission: Impossible 7’

The Sun reported that Cruise yelled at two crew members who were not social distancing while looking at a monitor. Cruise informed them in an impassioned lecture that more than one film is riding on Mission: Impossible 7.

“We are the gold standard,” Cruise said. “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*cking studio at night, insurance companies, producers and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies. We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf*ckers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!”

Game blogger Shabooty and reporter J.K. Cagaty were among many who compared the recording of Cruise to the recording of Bale. 

Fans prefer Tom Cruise’s rant over Christian Bale’s 

Many Twitter fans commented that Cruise’s motivations were more constructive than Bale’s. Cruise was furious because crew members were jeopardizing the health of the other crew members, and raising the risk of shutting down the whole movie. 

@ApplePasta wrote, “This wasn’t a Christian Bale ranting for no reason; he actually had a serious point to make.” 

Few fans were sympathetic to Bale’s rant. While the Hurlut may not have behaved very professionally on the set of Terminator: Salvation, he was only bothering a single actor. People were more understanding of Cruise’s stress breaking over protecting a whole industry than Bale losing it over a single scene in a movie. 

Former Jimmy Fallon writer Chase Mitchell joked that Bale would have come off better if he were yelling to save a crew member from injury.

Of course, it’s hard to get a consensus of the majority on Twitter. There were still plenty of Bale fans who understood his rage when the director couldn’t keep the set under control. Actor Martha Kelly appreciated Bale’s rant as a form of performance art. 


Christian Bale: How Tom Cruise Inspired His Role in ‘American Psycho’

Others, like @Pat_E_lite defended Bale, saying whatever you think of his one lapse on the Terminator set, it shouldn’t color the rest of his career. “Don’t let Christian Bale’s one embarrassing moment define his character and professional career,” Patrick wrote, adding that Bale made a sincere, mature apology on KROQ.