Tom Cruise had a few polite demands for Jake Johnson while filming “The Mummy”
Most of us know Jake Johnson as the loveable-but-goofy Nick Miller from Fox’s New Girl, but the sitcom star was recently thrown into the big leagues when he was cast across action movie veteran Tom Cruise. So how did Nick Miller, the humble bartender, handle a world where ancient evil lurks around ever corner? Well for one, he hit the gym, but he wasn’t sure how to do it. Luckily Cruise took him under his wing in a story that’s very, as Johnson explains, “anti-Hollywood.”
"People have told me in the past, including New Girl, that I need to lose weight and stay in shape," Johnson told Thrillist. "But they don’t tell me how. It’s like, 'Hey tubbo, fit into these slacks!' Tom said, 'I really want you fit for this movie.' I literally thought I was going to have to call [New Girl costar] Max Greenfield to do Crossfit. But Tom said, 'You’ll be training with me and my trainers. If you want I’ll put you on a food plan with my chef. The food is great.' And the food was great."
But wasn’t all gourmet healthy meals and sunshine. Things actually get kind of weird when Tom Cruise is your workout buddy. Cruise said Johnson could use his personal gym whenever he wanted — but what’s the protocol when your workout bud is a gazillion times more famous than you?
"One day I [went] to work out and one of the [assistant directors] goes, 'You can’t go in right now because Tom is working out,'" he said. "I thought, 'That sucks, I got here an hour early to get this in, but he’s Tom Cruise.' After, when we were shooting later that day, he said, 'What happened to you? I thought you said you were going to work out this morning?' I told him I was told not to bother him, and he got really pissed. He said, 'Let me make something crystal clear: I don’t care what anybody on the crew says to you, they don’t know what I’m saying to you. And I’m saying to you that you are always welcome. I don’t care what I’m doing in there. You’re not other. You’re my castmate. Come in.' He’s the best."
With the gym out of the way, Johnson still had a few tiny adjustments to make — instead of serving up drinks and making snarky comments, he would have to literally jump through fire.
"[Tom] does his own stunts," Johnson said of Cruise. "I read the first act [of the movie] and it’s like, 'Nick and Vail jump off a three story building as it explodes, they feel the heat on their backs.' And when you read those little things somebody has to actually do that. That meant the fire would be touching us! That meant I was jumping through fire and I was like, 'I don’t want to jump through fire!' [But Tom convinced me,] he said things like, ‘Yeah, it’s going to be really hard and you’re going to be really scared and you’re going to get hurt. You’re going to work your ass off. I think you should do this.’ So the answer was a very easy yes.
It sure sounds like if there’s anyone to jump through fire with, it’s Tom Cruise.