While Universal's 2017 film The Mummy failed commercially and did not kickstart the 'Dark Universe' franchise the studio had hoped for, actor Jake Johnson has good memories of his time on the project, even though he was initially reluctant to be a part of the movie, based on the number of stunts he felt he would be asked to do, until a meeting with Tom Cruise changed his mind, as Johnson told Justice Long during an episode of his podcast Life is Short.
Jake Johnson explained how he had initially accepted the part of Chris Vail in The Mummy based purely on the fact that he would get to work with Cruise, before reading the script and realizing he would have to do many of his own stunts. "I think, 'Nah. I know what this is going to be," Johnson stated, adding that "There's one thing I love in this business, and that is when they say, 'Bring in the stunt people.'"
By that time Tom Cruise had already embraced the idea of Johnson in the role of Vail, and news that Johnson was getting cold feet did not go over well. The studio told Johnson that he would have to fly to London to personally tell Cruise he was out of the project. Johnson obliged, and discovered during that meeting with the superstar that his initial perception of Cruise had been off.
"I'm in cargo shorts, flip flops, with the airplane socks. I have like three sweatshirts on for no reason, and we go straight to the soundstage and I meet Tom. We have a meeting that lasts, like, hours. He's a super funny guy, and he starts doing a lot of bits, and he's like, 'Are you comfortable sitting on a couch. Or do you need a stunt person for that?' Mind you, I still have to go to the bathroom pretty intensely."
For a time, Johnson tried to resist the charms of one of the most famous men in the world, and stick to his decision to turn down the film. Slowly, however, the magic of Cruise's charisma wore down his defenses, and Johnson found himself turning into a fan in real-time.
"About 45 minutes in, I realize that I really like him, and I turned myself into a fan... The funny thing about Tom Cruise is, he's been Tom Cruise for so long, he understands that people sort of need to do this."
Thus, Johnson ended up coming aboard The Mummy and managed to get through the stunts without any untoward incidents. Even though the film was panned by critics and a non-starter at the box-office, the actor ultimately is happy with his experience on the project, mainly because of his friendship with Cruise.
"I gotta say, though, I'm glad I did it, because he really was a joy to work with, and he's a really wild guy. And part of the fun in our business is that you get to work with really wild people."
This news comes courtesy of Uproxx.com.