As of Wednesday, a recent Vulture interview with Thandie Newton about her experiences in the entertainment industry has been trending. In the new profile, Newton opens up about everything from being a Black woman in an industry obsessed with white blondes to sexual assault. Still, despite her poignant reflections, Newton’s comments about working alongside “Mission Impossible 2” costar Tom Cruise and his emerging face pimple trending online.
Touching on an array of topics during the interview, Newton did hilariously recall a day on set in which Tom Cruise had a quickly developing pimple.
The “Westworld” actress told a story of how she and Cruise were working on a complicated scene while filming the Mission Impossible sequence. “I don’t think it was a very well-written scene. I get angry with him. We’re frustrated with each other,” she told Vulture. When they did the scene, Cruise followed up by suggesting that they read each other’s lines. “It was the most unhelpful … I can’t think of anything less revealing. It just pushed me further into a place of terror and insecurity. It was a real shame,” said Newton. “And bless him. And I really do mean bless him, because he was trying his damnedest.”
“I remember at the beginning of the night, seeing this slight red mark on his nose, and by the end of the night, I kid you not — this is how his metabolism is so fierce — he had a big whitehead where that red dot was,” she recalled. “It would take anyone else 48 hours to manifest a zit.”
The anecdote racked up thousands of comments on Twitter and we get it. It is a pretty hilarious story, especially considering that it features one of Hollywood’s most popular and talked about actors.
Still, there are bigger takeaways from Newton’s interview.
Newton speaks candidly in the interview about the racism and sexual abuse she experienced early on and throughout her career.
She touches on various moments throughout her career that are appalling including her experiences of filming a racially-charged scene in the film Crash and the mistreatment and sexual grooming she experienced at the hands of a director as a teenager on the set of the Australian film Flirting. One incident in particular that stood out was Newton’s decision to step away from the Sony Pictures Entertainment produced film Charlie’s Angels which saw executive Amy Pascal at the helm.
According to Newton, she decided to back away from Charlie’s Angels when she met Pascal and the executive made racially insensitive comments.
“The head of the studio — I had a meeting with her, and she said, ‘Look, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but the character as written and you playing the role, I just feel like we’ve got to make sure that it’s believable.’ I was like, ‘What do you mean? What changes would you have to make?’ She’s like, ‘Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated.’ I’m like, ‘I’ve been to university. I went to Cambridge.’ She went, ‘Yeah, but you’re different.’ She’s like, ‘Maybe there could be a scene where you’re in a bar and she gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.’ She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character. Everything she said, I was like, ‘Nah, I wouldn’t do that.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.’ That was Amy Pascal.”
Newton explained that she didn’t sign onto the movie as a result.