Tom Cruise gave Tár director ‘step-by-step’ instructions to save previous film from Harvey Weinstein

Todd Field has recalled how Tom Cruise helped save his first film from interference from Harvey Weinstein.

Field, whose latest film Tár has been drawing rave reviews and Oscar buzz, starred alongside Cruise in the 1999 Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut.

The incident with Weinstein came back in the early 2000s, when Field had just directed his first film, In the Bedroom.

After the film was well received at the 2001 Sundance film festival, it was acquired by Miramax, the company owned by the powerful producer – now a convicted sex offender.

Speaking to The New Yorker, Field revealed that he was concerned about Weinstein’s reputation for imposing substantial re-edits on films distributed by his company.

“I was weeping in the bathroom,” Field recalled. “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.’”

According to Field, Cruise told him to acquiese to all of Weinstein’s suggestions. When the film then inevitably tested poorly with preview screening audiences, Field was then told to remind Miramax of the film’s festival acclaim, prompting them to return to the original cut.

Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek in Todd Field’s indie hit ‘In the Bedroom' (Miramax)
Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek in Todd Field’s indie hit ‘In the Bedroom' (Miramax)

The advice worked, and the film ended up making back more than 25 times its budget, garnering five Oscar nominations.

Field’s debt to Cruise doesn’t end there. According to Field, it was Cruise who first insisted that he should be a filmmaker, telling him over dinner: “You’re going to make movies.”

After Field admitted he had wanted to adapted a 1979 short story by Andre Dubus, but had been unable to work it into a film, Cruise then told him: “You’re just making excuses. Figure it out.”