Colin Farrell on Tom Cruise’s stunt work: ‘that’s mental illness, that’s not bravery’

If anyone doubts my devotion to Colin Farrell, know that when I was sick, I watched his 2006 Miami Vice. I guess I thought I was sick enough not to care about the plot. He was pretty, though. They all were. Colin gave a Role Recall interview recently. Those are abbreviated career retrospectives in which the actor discusses some of their notable films. Shockingly, Miami Vice was not ‘recalled’ in the list of films they chose. One of the big ones mentioned was Minority Report. I loved Minority Report and haven’t seen it in ages. That’s what I should’ve watched when I was in bed. The film was highlighted in Colin’s interview for a few reasons. Mainly it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary this week. Colin had only recently exploded on the scene after getting acclaim for his performance in Tigerland. Next thing he knew, Steven Spielberg was calling and suggesting Colin star opposite Tom Cruise. It was a heady experience, to be sure. And a memorable one. Colin remembers Tom not only as competitive, but “physically engaged” as well. But Colin doesn’t want to follow in Tom’s footsteps where stunts are concerned. He’s not as impressed by Tom hanging off of airplanes in his films.

Everything changed for Colin Farrell after Tigerland, Joel Schumacher’s 2000 war drama that introduced the early-20-something Irish actor to the world and landed him loud critical acclaim.

“I had these opportunities that were just being thrown at me. It was insane. It was something that I don’t know if you can ever be prepared for the kind of success that was being offered to me so fast, you know?”

One of those opportunities included a chance to work with both Hollywood’s most famous director and its most famous leading man. The Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi thriller Minority Report, released in theaters 20 years ago on Tuesday, had locked up Tom Cruise to play “precrime” chief John Anderton, who becomes the accused in a futuristic society’s method of arresting people, before they commit a crime, with the help of three psychics known as “precogs.” Matt Damon had a scheduling conflict, and now they needed their antagonist Danny Witwer, agent from Department of Justice.

“I got a call from my agent saying, ‘Steven Spielberg wants to meet you.’ Which was a shocker. You know, ’cause I’d grown up watching Jaws and Close Encounters [of the Third Kind] and Indiana Jones,” Farrell recalled. “And we sat down and we talked, and I shared a sardine sandwich with him, which was enough for me. If I didn’t get the role, just to share a sardine sandwich with Steven Spielberg — I’d nailed the day.”

Farrell was also bowled over by the experience of working with Cruise.

“I was 24 or 25 and it was my third or fourth film, and I was just going ‘What the hell?’ You know, he’s very competitive and very physically engaged,” he said. “I remember him walking on the set and screaming, ‘Are we making an action movie? Then why don’t I hear action?’”

“Did you see the stunts he did on Mission: Impossible where he’s holding onto the side of the plane?,” he asked. “I mean, that’s mental illness. That’s not bravery. I mean, that’s mad.”

[From Yahoo!]

Reading this and watching the video of Colin’s interview, I wouldn’t say he was “bowled over” by Tom. I would go so far as to say there was no love lost there. We’ve heard from many actors that Tom is intense, and Colin is not, so it doesn’t surprise me they didn’t mesh on set. Plus, this was Colin’s first big film after just getting a name for himself and Tom had already arrived. And with Tom being “competitive and very physically engaged,” it sounds like they were oil and water together.

As for the stunt work comments, not my favorite phrasing but I agree with the gist of it. I admit I am usually wowed when I hear the stories of Tom’s stunts, but my second thought is always, “why?!” What does he have to prove? It has to be for himself because we stopped caring if it’s really Tom or a stunt person. Plus, stunt work is someone’s job, why not let them do it? I seriously wonder how much it costs to insure Tom at this point. But it does seem like there is something inside Tom that propels him to do these outrageous feats and it has nothing to do with us, the audience. So maybe Colin is on to something. Of course, this is from a man who endured a makeup chair for four hours every day for total of less than 15 minutes of screen time in a three-hour movie, so they all have their quirks, you know?

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59 Responses to “Colin Farrell on Tom Cruise’s stunt work: ‘that’s mental illness, that’s not bravery’”

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  1. Solidgold says:

    Lol… I used to be obsessed with Colin when he first appeared on the Hollywood scene. What a talented mess. 😍

    • KLO says:

      Yeah I used to think he was just a pretty boy but he always amazes me in every movie I´ve seen him in. To me he is one of the absolute greats of his generation. Love him.

  2. Pinkosaurus says:

    No one can doubt Cruise’s work ethic. Too bad royalty is hereditary. I’d love to see him take on Prince William’s role, arriving and screaming about how he’s here for SERVICE! LET’S GET SOME SERVICE GOING FOR THESE PEOPLE! The waiting crowds would have no idea what just hit them. Anyway, I try not to support problematic people but Cruise’s movies are always entertaining enough to be worth the popcorn and ticket.

  3. MangoAngelesque says:

    I don’t think it’s just for Tom and that audiences stopped caring if it’s him. People constantly talk about it, it’s a talking point in every press junket, etc. I think the day he stops, people will make such a HUGE deal out of it being the “end of the era” for him, that he’s kinda locked into it now.

  4. Hic says:

    I think movies are probably the only area of TC’s life where he feels successful and have control.

    • Morning says:

      I think he’s constantly running in films (and trying to become a god) because he’s running away from the vulnerability of his childhood (abusive/neglectful father). He doesn’t do vulnerability but the only way you can heal from these childhood traumas (and I think most if not all of us have some sort of trauma from childhood) is by opening your heart and embracing the fact we are vulnerable. Would love it if a qualified psychologist could do a breakdown of TC’s particular brand of toxic masculinity, ’cause I think that’s what it is. A kind of overcompensating masculinity and overdoing.

      • Lux says:

        From a sound psychological perspective on the first part of his life, I would agree with you.

        Based on the majority of his nutty adult life, I think it’s because he’s second to Xenu in Scientology and the ability to execute the physical stunts just add to his own mythology/invincibility. It validates his position for the Scientologist and TBH, I think it instills actual belief in himself as well—kind of like how a future king has to justify for himself why he’s so special.

      • KLO says:

        That`s a really interesting take. But I can`t help but love him for several different things, one of them always having fantastic female characters in his movies. I can´t hate him but I know of all the ways he is very problematic, so i dunno…..

  5. Call Me Mabel says:

    Hecate, there’s a funny story my mom likes to tell about Miami Vice. When it first came out on DVD, she rented it from our local rental place (not a Blockbuster but an independent store). She actually wound up returning it and demanding her money back because it was so terrible.

    • DeniseMich says:

      I remember the controversy on the set of Miami Vice. Jaime did not enjoy the way Colin acted or how he was given preferential treatment.

  6. HeatherC says:

    As a mom of a special needs kid, Colin will always hold a special place in my heart for his advocacy for his own son. (This is one conservatorship I fully support, I have the same one over my son)

    • swiftcreekrising says:

      My friend’s son has Angelman Syndrome and I became aware of his advocacy work through her journey – he has an fan right here for all he does.

  7. girl_ninja says:

    Strong wording on Colin’s part but I agree with him. Like Colin I have never been impressed with those stunts and find them too risky even for the stunt people. People who are trained die on sets doing stunts and I think Tom kind of takes it too far.

    I too love Colin and am always happy when I see that he is healthy, happy and doing well.

  8. H says:

    Tom is what, an OT8? So, according to the cult he’s basically invincible. Hearing how Colin talks about Cruise, makes me love Colin even more.

    • SarahCS says:

      That’s what I think of every time these stories come up. He genuinely thinks he has special powers at this point. His life must be so weird.

      I always find it strange how some people can be mega rich/famous and still seem vaguely connected to reality while others are totally in the celebrity/rich bubble and their feet literally don’t walk on the same ground as ours do. So weird.

      • lucy2 says:

        Same here, I can’t ever get passed what I have learned about his cult, and I’m sure that’s playing a huge part of his thinking with these stunts.
        But of course, there are different rules for the celebrity cultists, they get top notch medical care, while other members were not so lucky.

    • Christina says:

      @H, Sarah, and Lucy, yeah, homie thinks he is the true leader of the Church along with Miscavage.

      When I was little and would walk past the Church on Hollywood Blvd, they had young adults out there recruiting and handing out Dianetics. And then, growing up, you’d meet people who were terrified if they didn’t complete whatever the Church made them do.

      All because of a maniacal LAPD officer. I wonder if he was like Trump about how dumb he thought Republicans are. He was right about Hollywood people wanting the discipline Scientology brought them. He grew a church off of the insecure Hollywood set. He probably hated them as a young cop. He created a religion for his own insecurity, to be the leader of a club he couldn’t otherwise get into.

  9. TaninMiami says:

    Michael Mann is a genius and Miami Vice is a masterpiece. That opening shot alone is perfection. Colin and Gong Li have incredible chemistry together. And those skies!! Nobody shoots the night like Mann.

  10. girl_ninja says:

    I’m back to say that I really, really loved Miami Vice with Colin and Jamie in it. I just thought it was so sexy, crazy and fun. That’s all.

  11. Emme says:

    Does Tom Cruise suffer from Little Man Syndrome? Is that why he takes all those risks?

    • Blue Nails Betty says:

      He absolutely does and it absolutely is.

    • Morgs says:

      I was just discussing with my husband if Tom Cruise would have had such a prolific career if he we’re four inches taller, and I think absolutely not.

      • KLO says:

        @Morgs love the way you put it haha. But what a career he`s had though, eh

      • BlinkB says:

        Until the relatively recent explosion of superhero films, actors in the main were closer to Tom’s height, so I don’t find it that unusual tbh. What is interesting though, is Tom doesn’t seem to have an issue with working with tall men. I always wondered how his ego fared working alongside Henry Cavill on MI (whatever number, I’ve lost count.) Not only is he tall, but INCREDIBLY built, and gorgeous too. I’m not sure Tom has that much of an insecurity around his build or looks, otherwise I wouldn’t see him approving those sorts of casting decisions, and we all know he controls EVERYTHING (insert maniacal laugh.)

    • BlackToyPoodle says:

      Not only does he wear 1.5-2” heels on his boots he also wears lifts inside his boots/shoes. Study the creases and the movement of the shoes/boots carefully. You’ll soon pick it up. If he’s 5’5”-5’6” (max) he can get to 5’9”- 5’10” on the red carpet with the lifts.
      Also: notice all the angles at which they film him, from below looking up, sitting at a table, couch (if not an action scene) never head to toe standing next to someone tall. I was watching segments of one of the MI films and the camera work was hilarious.

    • The Recluse says:

      Yep. I suspect he’s always been somewhat self conscious about his height, but part of this is his total commitment to his cult, and the rest is machismo. it’s going to get him killed.
      I’m also surprised that the IRS hasn’t audited him about the ‘free labor’ he receives from his ‘church’.

      • Morning says:

        Think the IRS tried to audit Co$ many times but the members filed hundreds of lawsuits against the IRS for something or the other so it just gave up.

        There’s nothing wrong with being short but he’s obviously insecure about it. Think his insecurity is from his abusive/neglectful father more than anything else. Still, a lot of people have healed from worst childhood traumas to go on to live balanced, healthy lives. His life is one of extremes and don’t think he’s that happy at the heart of it.

  12. amurph says:

    I think it was MI:Fallout that Cruise was so badly injured during a stunt that it halted production for over a year. If I remember correctly he had to jump a certain distance and went smack into the building. There’s one thing to make it look believably but it’s another to put yourself at risk.

    • Morning says:

      Yes, he broke his ankle or something jumping from the top of one building to another. He’s a loon and Colin is right.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      I just can’t help but think that he’s costing his productions SOOO much money in unnecessarily high insurance fees because Tom Flippin’ Cruise feels the need to risk his own bones in stunt work. And every time he gets injured and production has to be postponed or reshuffled is costing EVERYBODY quite a lot of money as well.

    • Morning says:

      Henry Cavill said Tom Cruise HALO jumped over 100 times for that latest MI movie, to get that scene just right. Is there any evidence doing these jumps make you even crazier than you already are (crazier as in reckless and excessively risk taking and not in a making-fun-of-those-with-mental-conditions way)? …due to varying oxygen levels or whatever…?

  13. saltandpepper says:

    Absolutely love Tom Cruise’s work. He brings so much energy and enthusiasm to the screen. One of the last truly great Hollywood stars.

  14. N says:

    Let’s be honest here, Colin Farrell isn’t someone who is known for having a running mouth. Something’s happening here. The power imbalance between Colin Farrell and Tom Cruise is so huge that Farrell must have been backed up by someone more powerful for him to attack Cruise. Who is more powerful than Tom Cruise? I can’t think of any stars in today’s Hollywood. Then it must have been someone behind the scenes, someone from the studio management. And not just some studio executive. It must have been someone with a C title on their business card. It seems someone higher up in Paramount’s food chain is not happy with Cruise. I wonder why.

    • Jenn says:

      I highly doubt there’s a conspiracy at work, but I agree that Colin Farrell doesn’t run his mouth. By every account he is a tender, kind person. So I don’t think he’s being unkind here; I think he meant what he said, and he’s honestly aghast that anyone would irresponsibly ALLOW Cruise to do those stunts (just to stay on Tom’s good side, probably). Just like how I think Stephen King really needs a hard-nosed editor, but his books print money, so no one dares to do right by him or his writing.

      • Morning says:

        Agree there’s no conspiracy here. Thandie Newton also criticised Tom Cruise.

      • N says:

        Sign. I typed a long ass essay, but it seems celebitchy mod didn’t want it. Anyway, I stand by my assessment. This definitely wasn’t spontaneous by Colin Farrell, especially he never worked with Cruise and didn’t seem to have past interactions. This is Hollywood we are talking about. Even as close as friends can get such as Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, they still are very careful about what they say to each other, even if they are complimentary. This definitely means someone higher up in Paramount isn’t happy about Cruise. As for what. Only insiders know.

    • Mornint says:

      But he has worked with cruise, on minority report. That’s what all this is based on: his experience with cruise on the set! Judging from the finished film, most of his scenes were actually with cruise.

      • N says:

        This still won’t change my premise which is that unless there is some reason, stars do not normally go after each other, especially between two with huge gap of power imbalance.

      • Morning says:

        Well, why would they without reason? It’d be bad PR; they’d look like bad-tempered loose cannons. Your original premise was a little different though; you seemed to be saying the big studios could get/encourage/support certain stars to speak out against others at will.

      • N says:

        Well, that is my entire premise. Stars normally do not go after each other, unless either they have beefs or studios encourage them which means studio wants to put a subtle warning on the target star.
        Per your reply, Farrell worked with Cruise more than decade ago, and if they had feud, why only go after him now, but not then?
        And I have my theory which was included in my original essay reply that got removied by mod. It involves two stars feud that concerns neither Farrell nor Cruise directly, but they all got affected, because I also suspect a certain studio has been eyeing another one for quite sometime now, and the two stars belong to the respective studios.

  15. HandforthParish says:

    Colin has a typical Irish don’t give a fuck attitude.
    I love him.
    He is an incredibly talented effortless actor so I guess the Tom Cruise over-intense attitude is something he would just find absurd.

    • The Recluse says:

      Reminds me of when Richard Harris was on Letterman a long time ago. He totally took the mickey out Tom for traveling around all the time with this entourage of security all the time.

  16. Morning says:

    That Dr Drew on Tom Cruise being the product of serious neglect is correct, but I’ll just add abuse as well. That childhood trauma isn’t uncommon but he’s trying to become a god (via movies and Co$) to heal it, unconsciously. Just some armchair psychology.

    Colin is correct and honest. Didn’t Thandie Newton also say something about Tom being intolerable and over-demanding last year? He picks good action and SF films though. I will watch that follow-up to Edge of Tomorrow if Emily Blunt returns for it.

    I remember when Colin just got famous. He was doing interviews about how he shags everyone in sight or something; it was hilarious. He was far more outspoken when he was just “arriving” in showbiz. Kirsten Dunst then sort of made fun of him and his perhaps drunken interviews and decades later they did that film together with Nicole Kidman. He’s a good actor and I enjoyed Minority Report, though will add Steven Spielberg allowed way too much product placement (Audi etc) and his sentimentality as usual ruined it for me. Super corny script re the wife and child and that bit when Samantha Morton’s character was brought to his beachside house / retreat. I get he was trying to ground Tom Cruise’s character and show his emotional damage and motivations, but could have been done in a less saccharine way.

  17. norah says:

    Its not upto colin farrell to decide on what tom cruise does. when was the last time farrell was even relevant? cruise just had a 1 billion dollar movie – colin farrell is just jealous and it shows.

    • Moxyladyi says:

      Perhaps you haven’t heard. But Tom Cruise benefits are from slave labor provided by his cult. Members of which are horrifically abused and even
      undergo forced abortions. So. No. I don’t think anyone is jealous of that sociopath

    • Emme says:

      Tom Cruise has won 4 awards in his much longer career. Colin Farrel has won 8 awards in his much shorter career. Just saying’…….

  18. norah says:

    cruise has been around for 4 decades and counting – he is an intense actor and if people dont or wont appreciate that not cruise’s problem. its his money being affected so naturally he will want to be 100% –

  19. Leslie says:

    His comments on TC are right on. Love Colin Farrel especially in The New World

    • Jules says:

      @Leslie Just came to say that I love that Colin Farrell movie so much too! I hardly hear anyone mention it but it is a masterpiece!

      • Morning says:

        Good movie agreed, but he’s picked some awful ones like In Bruges, Alexander, SWAT, and Total Recall. He’s a good actor though. Just looking through his IMDb and remembered Phone Booth was a good thriller.

  20. Mothra says:

    “Intense” is usually a red flag, and it never proves me wrong. Love Collin Farrell and he’s a gem.

  21. Thinking says:

    I can’t remember at the the present moment what his other films felt like, but everything in Top Gun:Maverick looked realistic. So my impression is that he wants things to look real.

    After seeing this movie, I figure being active as possible is genuine interest of his. I used to think it was all PR, but I really do think he’s interested in these daredevil things. Also, since he doesn’t really have a family life anymore, maybe this fills the void. He probably needs something to do with his time.

    • kirk says:

      Thinking – agree that Tom Cruise being active is genuine interest. He also shares fairly graciously with others. Videos of him taking James Corden up in plane are hilarious.

      First Colin Farrell movie I ever saw was In Bruges, which was a comedy? Gah. My favorite movie scene with Colin Farrell is in Ava with Jessica Chastain when she’s going to kill him; I could watch that over and over again.

      • SuzeQ says:

        If only Cruise was that nice to people who aren’t famous — like the folks required to do unpaid labor for him.