Tom Cruise Refused To Let Harvey Weinstein Ruin His Friend’s Film

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Harvey Weinstein was reportedly up to some tricks when Tom Cruise stepped in to stop him in his tracks.

Harvey Weinstein’s reputation for heavily editing films led to directors either having their projects shelved or drastically changed.
Todd Field’s friendship with Tom Cruise and Cruise’s encouragement pushed Field to pursue his passion for directing.
When Weinstein acquired the rights to Field’s film, Cruise provided guidance on how to protect the integrity of the project, resulting in a successful release and critical acclaim.

These days, Harvey Weinstein is synonymous with being a convicted felon for being a perpetrator of years of assault against up-and-coming actresses in the industry, and even his children have reportedly disowned him. However, he was once also known for being a producer for having a heavy hand when it came to editing projects. As such, those who refused to follow Weinstein’s direction would find that their film was shelved and those who agreed to the edits found that their film was nothing like the original project they agreed to work on.

One of these directors was Todd Field. Field started in the industry as an actor but over the years decided that directing was his true passion. With the encouragement of friends like Tom Cruise, who has been known to anger many in Hollywood, Field followed his dream and made his directorial debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

Weinstein was present at the festival and acquired the rights to Field’s film. Concerned the film would be a shell of itself when Weinstein was done with it, Field reached out to Cruise. Cruise, in turn, refused to let Weinstein ruin Field’s project, much to Weinstein’s chagrin.

Todd Field And Tom Cruise Met On The Set Of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’


Field and Cruise met on the set of Eyes Wide Shut, a film that actress Eva Herzigova refused to be in after she was offered the role of an underdeveloped character.

At the time that he landed the role of Nick Nightengale, the character who introduces Cruise’s Dr. Harford to the masked society in the film, Field has been a working actor for over a decade. He was slowly gaining success in his acting career and being cast alongside A-list actors in the process.

As a result of the 400 days it took to shoot Stanley Kubrick’s film, a record for the longest film shoot in history, Field and Cruise became friends. This friendship led to the two grabbing meals together and talking about their career goals.

Given that Field did not have a huge acting resume behind him and no directing experience, it seemed that his aspiration to become a director was all but dead in the water. However, after he expressed this desire to be behind the camera rather than in front of it, Cruise proved to be one of the first people to push Field to follow his dreams.

Tom Cruise Encouraged Todd Field To Become A Director


Given the lengthy process of filming Eyes Wide Shut, Field had the opportunity to speak with Kubrick about the art of directing.

Kubrick w as generous in explaining his shots and his artistry, but it was Cruise who recognized that Field had the talent to be a director if he would just stop getting in his own way. Because of this, Cruise encouraged Field to take on his first project as a director.

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At dinner one night, Field told Cruise that he had an idea to make a film based on a short story by Andre Dubus. The problem that Field was having was that he had no idea where to start with getting the rights to the story to develop a script around.

Never being one to shy away from a challenge, Cruise gave very simple advice to Field that forever changed the trajectory of Field’s career.

“You’re just making excuses,” Cruise said. “Figure it out.”

It was this tough love that led Field to acquire the rights to the story and eventually make In the Bedroom.

The film was both a box office and critical success. It would go on to win several awards and be nominated for five Academy Awards in 2002, including for Best Writing, attributed to Field.However, before any of this happened, the film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival the year before, and Miramax acquired it for distribution. The problem was, Weinstein wanted to make several changes.

This caused extreme anxiety and fear for Field who believed that his passion project would be torn to shreds. As such, he contacted the most powerful person in Hollywood he knew, Cruise, who knew just how to stop Weinstein in his tracks.

Tom Cruise Saved Todd Field’s Film From Being Destroyed By Harvey Weinstein


When Field learned that his film had been picked up by a studio for distribution, it should have been a dream come true. Instead, it turned into a nightmare when Miramax ended up being the studio.

Weinstein was a producer with a reputation for taking films from their original state and editing them down to something that was unrecognizable. Field did not want In the Bedroom to be transformed into something other than what it was.

“I was weeping in the bathroom,” Field explained to The New Yorker. “I called up Tom Cruise and said, ‘Something terrible has happened.’ He basically said, ‘This is how you’re going to play it. It’s going to take you six months, and you’ll beat him, but you have to do exactly what I’m going to tell you to do, step by step.'”

The plan that Cruise came up with was to let Weinstein do whatever he wanted with the film. Knowing that it would not do well with audiences in the state that Weinstein would leave it, Field would then “suggest that he release it the exact way it was when he’d bought it.”

Field did exactly as Cruise instructed and In the Bedroom was released exactly as it premiered at Sundance. It would also go on to gross “more than twenty-five times its budget and was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture.”

While it seemed like a death sentence for In the Bedroom to be acquired by Miramax, in the end, thanks to Cruise, Field came out a winner. His directorial debut cemented him as a bona fide director who would direct several more films over the course of his career, the most recent of which is Tár, released in 2022.

 

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