The Oscar-winning screenwriter of 1999 erotic drama Eyes Wide Shut has branded the film’s leading man Tom Cruise an ‘egocentric control freak’ while casting doubt on the ‘passion’ between the actor and his then-wife Nicole Kidman.
Veteran writer Frederic Raphael, 91, takes aim at the Hollywood star, as well as legendary film director Stanley Kubrick, in his acerbic new book, Last Post.
Raphael infamously fell out with the Kubrick family over his scathing 1999 memoir, Eyes Wide Open, which detailed his experience working with the late filmmaker and his notoriously exacting directing style, that ultimately saw him disinvited from the premiere.
His vendetta continues in his latest work, which addresses 22 now-deceased family members and former collaborators in letters recounting their time together.
In his letter to Kubrick, Raphael accuses Cruise, along with Kubrick’s wife Christiane Harlan and her brother Jan Harlan, of trying to write him out of the director’s ‘history’ and for being responsible for his unflattering portrayal on Wikipedia.
‘There has been an incessant campaign, led by the Harlans, whom I never met during the two or three years of addressing myself exclusively to you, to deny that I had anything much to do with the final version of Eyes Wide Shut,’ he writes.
‘Until the Writers Guild intervened, they tried to eliminate me from the credits.’
He adds: ‘The Harlans and Master Cruise have managed to insert some derogatory stuff in my Wikipedia entry.
‘There must be some way of excising the libel, but I lack the modern skill or the dreary energy to pursue the matter. Their sullen purpose is to establish your grand-masterliness…’
The remark is believed to be in reference to a Wikipedia entry citing film critic Roger Ebert’s 1999 interview with Cruise who had slammed Raphael’s blistering account of working with Kubrick.
Cruise was quoted saying: ‘He [Raphael] wouldn’t have written it if Stanley had been alive. Opportunistic. Self-serving. Inaccurate. I don’t know that man at all and I’ve never met him. It’s been interesting seeing how people have behaved afterward.’
Later in his letter, Raphael goes on to take several more jabs at the Mission: Impossible star, his ties to Scientology, and his failed marriage to Nicole Kidman.
He makes no effort to conceal his contempt for the actor, who he also claims offered him an unspecified job in an apparent bid to control him after filming for the movie wrapped.
‘I have never been called a liar by anyone as I have been by the Harlan clan and by Tom Cruise, egocentric control freak to whom I have never spoken,’ he writes.