The biggest celebrity outbursts caught on tape

Amy Johnson
·6 min read
Tom Cruise, who plays "Ethan Hunt" in Mission: Impossible  Fallout, walks the red carpet of the U.S. premiere at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Tom Cruise on the red carpet for Mission: Impossible Fallout in July 2018. (Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The crew working on the upcoming Mission: Impossible 7 got more than they bargained for when Tom Cruise tore into them in a fiery rant over coronavirus protocol breaches.

But Cruise's colleagues are far from the first people to be on the receiving end of a superstar's burning wrath.

On Tuesday, a recording of his tirade was published by The Sun after the Hollywood star felt provoked after seeing two crew members standing together in violation of an on-set rule dictating people must keep a six feet distance between them.

Watch: Tom Cruise lashes out at Mission: Impossible 7 crew members

“We are the gold standard,” he yelled. “They’re back there in Hollywood making movies right now because of us.

“I’m on the phone with every f***ing studio at night, insurance companies, producers and they’re looking at us and using us to make their movies.

"We are creating thousands of jobs, you motherf***ers. I don’t ever want to see it again. Ever!”

Read more: Was Tom Cruise’s on-set rant justified?

For A-listers, their celebrity means people can be determined to catch them off-guard to see what they are like when their public-facing personas melt away.

With the prevalence of mobile phones and the abundance of recording equipment on movie sets, the stars are always just one bad mood away from making the papers for the wrong reasons.

Although some of them can be in sympathetic situations, others only have themselves to blame.

Christian Bale

Christian Bale at the 24th RNCI Red Nation International Film Festival and Awards Ceremony on November 15, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Red Nation Film Festival)
Christian Bale in 2019. (Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Red Nation Film Festival)

Christian Bale snapped on the set of Terminator Salvation when the film's cinematographer Shane Hurlbut walked into his field of vision while the actor was in the middle of a scene.

In a tape of the incident leaked to the internet, the actor directed his rage at Hurlbut, threatening to smash his lighting equipment while vowing to quit the film if Hurlbut did it again.

"I want you off the f***ing set, you p****," Bale shouted in part of the outburst. "No, don't just be sorry – think for one f***ing second."

He later apologised for the expletive-laden rant and said he and Hurlbut had settled things that very same day.

Bale said he had got so into his character John Connor that he was "half John Connor, half Christian Bale" when he lashed out.

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin attends the Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin at Saban Theatre on September 07, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Alec Baldwin attends his own Comedy Central Roast at the Saban Theatre in September 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Alec Baldwin hit headlines in 2007 when an upsetting voicemail he left for daughter Ireland, then 11 years old, went viral.

He called Ireland, who he shares with Kim Basinger, a "rude, thoughtless little pig" after she apparently missed a scheduled phone call.

Read more: Alec Baldwin ‘overjoyed’ to lose Donald Trump gig on SNL

The 30 Rock star also took a swing at his ex-wife, saying: "I don't give a damn that you're 12 years old or 11 years old, or a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn't care about what you do."

He apologised for his actions and it seemed to be all water under the bridge over a decade on when Ireland joked about the incident at a Comedy Central Roast for her father last year.

"Hi Dad, I'm Ireland," she said. "It's good to be here.

“I almost didn't even know about it because I haven't checked my voicemails from my dad from the last 12 years or something?"

Michael Richards

Comedian Michael Richards and Beth Skipp attend the Broadway opening night of "Colin Quinn Long Story Short" at the Helen Hayes Theatre on November 9, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
Comedian Michael Richards and Beth Skipp attend a Broadway opening night in 2010 in New York City. (Brian Killian/WireImage)

Seinfeld's Michael Richards, best known as Jerry’s nutty neighbour Kramer, severely damaged his own career with a racist rant delivered at a stand-up gig at the Laugh Factory comedy club in 2006.

Richards lost it after apparently being heckled by a small group of Black audience members and ended up shouting the n-word multiple times in reference to the audience members, with the whole thing caught on a mobile phone camera.

Footage also showed audience members leaving the gig during the outburst.

It subsequently received considerable media coverage with Richards later issuing an apology on the Late Show With David Letterman for going into a "rage".

He also apologised to civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Reese Witherspoon attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in February in Beverly Hills, California. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Reese Witherspoon ran into trouble with the law when she and husband Jim Toth were stopped in their car by a police officer after "one too many" glasses of wine at a restaurant.

Toth, who was behind the wheel, was being questioned by the officer when Witherspoon decided to intervene.

“I'm a US citizen and I'm allowed to stand on American ground... to ask any question I want to ask,” she said to the officer, who had told her to stay put inside the car.

Read more: The underappreciated films of 2020

As the officer approached her with handcuffs, the Legally Blonde star uttered the cringiest phrase in the book as she pulled a 'Do you know who I am?' on the officer.

"You're about to find out who I am," she said.

She was arrested for disorderly conduct, as was Toth for driving under the influence. She pleaded no contest to the charge, while her spouse pleaded guilty.

Dashcam footage of the incident made it out into the world, with Witherspoon left making multiple apologies. Earlier this year, she described the ordeal as “embarrassing and dumb”.

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Mel Gibson attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards in 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rant after being pulled over for suspected drunk-driving in 2006 led to his career being put on pause.

According to a police report published by TMZ, his racist tirade saw him make "a barrage of anti-Semitic remarks about "f***ing Jews" as well as a claim that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

Gibson subsequently issued an apology, saying he had said things he "did not believe to be true and which are despicable".

He added: "I have battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse."

In 2010, audio allegedly capturing an argument between Gibson and ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva was released.

Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva arrive at the Screening Of 20th Century Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" on April 28, 2009 at the Gruman's Manns Chinese Theater, Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva arrive at a film screening in 2009. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The male voice on the tape belonged to Gibson, according to RadarOnline, and made sexist and racist comments.

Read more: Mel Gibson's rep denies Winona Ryder's claims he made anti-Semitic comments to her

"You go out in public and it's a f***ing embarrassment to me," the male voice says on the tape, before using the n-word.

Following the allegations, Gibson was dropped by his representation at William Morris Endeavor.

Despite experiencing a career lull as the consequence of his own actions, his directorial comeback in 2016 Hacksaw Ridge garnered six Oscar nominations.

Watch: Christian Bale’s weight transformations