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SYFY WIRE Mortal Kombat

Fatality! That Time Tom Cruise Was Unceremoniously Turned Away from the Mortal Kombat Set

Sometimes, all that Hollywood influence means jack squat.

By Josh Weiss

Hollywood influence doesn't open every door in Tinseltown, as super-celebrity Tom Cruise learned during the filming of 1995's Mortal Kombat adaptation (now streaming via the SYFY app).

Sitting down with The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 to celebrate the movie's 20th anniversary, cast member Linden Ashby (who played the role of Johnny Cage) recalled how Cruise was unceremoniously turned away from the set by a hard-nosed medic, who didn't care about the Top Gun star's influential status around town.

RELATED: Original Cut of 1995's Mortal Kombat Was Missing the One Thing That Makes It a Mortal Kombat Movie

Tom Cruise Got Turned Away from the set of Mortal Kombat 

"We started out in Santa Monica Airport, where we shot a lot. We had big sets," Ashby said. "There’s a bar down there on the south side of the field, and we used to go there Friday when we’d wrap. Oh my God. Just crazy stuff. There was a medic who was a funny guy, quirky. He was very into security on the set. He should have been a security guy instead of a medic. Tom Cruise had a hangar nearby and came over and was like, 'Hey what are you guys shooting? Can I check it out?' And the medic goes, 'You’re not in this movie. Go away!' And Tom Cruise goes, 'I just want to see,' and he goes, 'I don’t care who you are, get out of here!' He turned away Tom Cruise!"

Why Paul W.S. Anderson fled to Hawaii on Mortal Kombat's opening weekend

Liu Kang (Robin Shou) strikes a martial arts pose in Mortal Kombat (1995).

Mortal Kombat is notable for kicking off the blockbuster career of director Paul W.S. Anderson, who would go on to helm Event Horizon, SoldierAlien vs. Predator, and four Resident Evil movies. In the mid-1990s, however, he was pretty much a nobody, leading to a nagging anxiety that the film might flop at the box office and ruin his career before it even had a chance to begin. Not wanting to be around for the potential fallout, Anderson decided to leave Los Angeles for a temporary Hawaiian getaway (the same tactic pulled by a young George Lucas when Star Wars first debuted nearly two decades before).

RELATED: The secrets of Mortal Kombat's fatalitites revealed at C2E2

"I was so terrified of the opening," Anderson confessed to THR. "Was it going to open? Was it not going to open? Was I going to have a career? Was I going to get kicked out of America? I thought, 'God, the last place I want to be is in L.A. I just want to go somewhere else.' I went to Hawaii with my girlfriend at the time, and of course we get to the middle of absolute nowhere in Hawaii and I read the movie is No. 1. And I go 'Damnit! Why aren’t we in L.A.? I’ve got the number one movie. I should be in L.A. making the most of it.' I’d already paid to go to Hawaii, so we ended up staying there."

Mortal Kombat (1995) is now available to watch via the SYFY appNeed more action in your life? Head over to Peacock for Fast XJohn Wick Chapters 1-3The ContinentalJason BournePitch BlackKick-Ass 2King KongJurassic WorldJurassic World DominionBattleship, and more!