Thandie Newton has revealed she was surprised by the support she received after speaking out on her encounters in Hollywood.
In an interview with Vulture in July, the actor said she was “scared” of Tom Cruise while the pair were working together on Mission: Impossible 2. She also called him “a very dominant individual”.
The Westworld star said at the time: “He tries super hard to be a nice person. But the pressure. He takes on a lot. And I think he has this sense that only he can do everything as best as it can be done.”
Newton recalled a specific situation while filming when Cruise was dissatisfied with the actress’ performance in a scene (“Tom was not happy with what I was doing because I had the shittiest lines”), and suggested rehearsing the scene by saying each other’s lines, after realising “it wasn’t going well” and the actors “got frustrated with each other.”
Now she has told Variety and iHeart’s podcast The Big Ticket that she was “surprised by the appreciation” she got after speaking out.
“I thought that I would be in trouble because that’s kind of what I’m used to”, she said.
Newton had also claimed that film producer and former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal was the reason she quit Charlie’s Angels.
According to Newton, the film producer began “reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a black character”.
Pascal allegedly felt that the character would need to be changed if Newton took the role because she was written as having been to university and was educated.
When Newton pointed out that she was educated and had studied at Cambridge, Pascal apparently said: “Yeah, but you’re different.”
Newton recalled Pascal as suggesting: “‘Maybe there could be a scene where you’re in a bar and [the character] gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.'”
Later, in a statement, Pascal said she was “horrified” to hear Newton’s account.
“While I take her words seriously, I have no recollection of the events she describes, nor do any of her representatives who were present at that casting session,” she said.
Newton has now explained that she just “happened to be an older woman who has recognised that knowing the truth and speaking the truth has benefited me a hell of a lot more than being silenced or seeing people silenced around me”.
“And I have nothing to lose,” she added. “I have nothing to lose because I could just then not get hired, which is kind of normal for people in my generation anyway… It’s not about confessionalism, it’s not even about my confessions. It’s about that this is the reality of what people face.”
Newton refused to comment on whether Cruise has contacted her since the Vulture interview, but said she knew it “made people frightened”.
She said: “Individuals were very frightened…It’s like how far back do you go?”