The Shawshank Redemption Director Showed the Real Side of the Actor After He Turned Down Movie Over Lack of Trust

The Shawshank Redemption director defends Tom Cruise against brutal tabloid harassment despite the actor rejecting his film.

The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont opened up about meeting fantastic people in a callous industry like the film industry during a 2014 interview. He hated that the tabloids painted a bad picture of an actor like Tom Cruise without getting the full picture of how he is in real life. Darabont shared that people should ask his good friend Simon Pegg about the kind of human the Mission: Impossible actor was.
The Green Mile director Frank Darabont (right) opened up about Tom Cruise's one side that tabloids refused to see

The Green Mile director Frank Darabont (right) opened up about Tom Cruise’s one side that tabloids refused to see
Darabont’s positive comments about the actor suggested that he had no bad blood against Cruise for rejecting The Shawshank Redemption. Cruise was one of the frontrunners for the role of Andy Dufresne before Tim Robbins was cast in the film.

The Shawshank Redemption Director Bashed Tabloids For Going After Tom Cruise

Frank Darabont wanted people to listen to Simon Pegg's experience of working with Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible filmsFrank Darabont wanted people to listen to Simon Pegg’s experience of working with Tom Cruise in the Mission: Impossible films


Screenwriter-turned-director Frank Darabont had some brutally honest opinions about the industry when he appeared for an interview with The Independent in 2014. He was disappointed that the film industry had become just a business where people look to make money in any way possible. However, he still found some extraordinary people like Tom Hanks and Simon Pegg working in the business with “great integrity, great heart, and great soul.”

Darabont also bashed the tabloids for swaying public opinion in favor of or against actors at their will. He specifically mentioned the media portrayal of Tom Cruise at the time. Cruise received some bad press due to his connections to the controversial movement of Scientology. His personal life was also dragged through the mud after his wife Katie Holmes separated from him in 2012.

The Mist director felt that the Top Gun actor was unfairly treated, despite being a dedicated actor who treated everyone with respect. Darabont wanted people to not believe in what they read from the tabloids. He suggested asking Pegg about the actor, who worked together with Cruise in Mission: Impossible films and had only great set stories to share about him. Darabont told The Independent:

“Tom Cruise, for instance, is the recipient of a lot of bad press, and unfairly so. He is a sensationally, fantastically smart and dedicated individual who treats everybody with enormous respect. You wouldn’t know that from reading the tabloids. Next time you see Simon Pegg, you ask him what kind of guy Tom Cruise is.”

Darabont’s incredible respect for Cruise is praise-worthy considering the actor had turned down starring in his film. Darabont has been largely absent from Hollywood and actor Thomas Jane shared on the Kingcast podcast that he was blacklisted for suing AMC over The Walking Dead. Industry insider Jeff Sneider reported that he is making a comeback by directing two episodes of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Tom Cruise Rejected The Shawshank Redemption Over Lack Of Trust

Tom Cruise turned down the role of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank RedemptionTom Cruise turned down the role of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption
Frank Darabont bought the rights to Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption for $5000 in 1987. Interestingly, director Rob Reiner was interested in directing the film when it was in development. Reiner attempted to purchase the rights to direct the film from Darabont for $3 million and would have brought in Tom Cruise as the lead actor. However, Darabont turned down Reiner’s offer and believed in his vision for the film.

Cruise didn’t want to stay on the project without Reiner. Interestingly, both of them have worked together on the successful 1992 film, A Few Good Men. He did not trust a relatively inexperienced director and turned down the offer to star in the film (via Collider). However, the film became a cult classic even without Cruise or Reiner’s names attached to it.

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