Tom Cruise once told his The Mummy co-star, Annabelle Wallis, that no one is allowed to run on screen with him. The legendary Hollywood star is a constant source of attention, with strict rules of conduct and discipline on and off camera. Throughout the decades during which Cruise has been a movie star, not every film he’s made has been a hit. Of course, this is only natural in Hollywood, but for Cruise, it seems even when his films don’t succeed, people’s fascination with him never wanes.
This is but one of the reasons why Cruise’s status as one of the biggest names in the industry remains intact. Moviegoers love to hear about the often very mysterious private life of the star, and the internet is literally teeming with accounts of Cruise’s particular ways. Whether it’s his involvement with Scientology, his on set demands, or how he interacts with cast, crew, and the general public, it’s hard to think of another movie star who commands more interest. What’s more, it’s often only years after the fact that many of the stories about Cruise enter the public domain – especially when these stories come from former co-stars.
This is the case in a new THR interview with Wallis. In it, she states when she first asked if she could run on screen with Cruise, he told her “Nobody runs on-screen [with me].” But after sticking to her guns and intentionally being in the gym on a treadmill whenever Cruise turned up to work out, the Mission: Impossible star eventually changed his mind. Calling the moment “better than an Oscar,” Wallis said:
He’s on a different level, and, you know, I ticked a box. I got to run on-screen with him, but he told me no at first. He said, “Nobody runs on-screen [with me],” and I said, “But I’m a really good runner.” So, I would time my treadmill so that he’d walk in and see me run. And then he added all these running scenes. So, that was it. It was, like, better than an Oscar. I was so happy! (Laughs.) I was so happy that I got to run on-screen with Tom Cruise. But I don’t think it ever goes away and I hope it never does. It’s so wonderful to be excited by someone and in awe of what they’ve achieved in their lives. Yeah, good on him. And I hope the questions never stop. I love talking about him. It’s really cool.
While the moment was clearly a big one and a definite career highlight for Wallis, The Mummy failed to score much respect at the box office or among critics. It also wasn’t able to kick off Universal’s Dark Universe in a successful way, ultimately prompting the studio to completely rethink how it wanted to bring its classic monster movies back to modern audiences. None the less, getting Cruise to change his mind about how he works or wants to appear on screen is nothing short of impressive – particularly for an actor who wasn’t especially known to international audiences at the time. Hopefully, Cruise doesn’t associate The Mummy’s middling achievements with his decision to let a co-star convince him of doing things differently.
For those who aren’t big on Cruise but love to hear about his often bizarre personality quirks, his initial refusal to run with his fellow The Mummy actor will likely only add more fuel to anti-Cruise fires. However, given that Wallis sings the star’s praises, she certainly didn’t gain a bad impression of him after their time together. After all, Cruise is known as a perfectionist on and off set, and his filmmaking rules come from decades of learning what does and doesn’t work on screen.