The other night, I was flipping through the channels and came across the most recent Mission: Impossible movie (Fallout). Suddenly, I remembered: Emily Blunt does a very good impression of Tom Cruise. I never could have predicted how difficult it would be to find video of it.
Blunt and Cruise co-starred in the criminally under-seen sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow, which came out in the summer of 2014. Here’s what I remembered about Blunt’s impression of Cruise: it was very short (an aside, at best), it was on a late night show, it was during the press cycle for Edge of Tomorrow, and most importantly, it made me laugh. To Google I went.
Some search terms I tried, all in vain:
- “emily blunt tom cruise impression” (this turned up a different time Blunt did an impression of Cruise, but not in the same way I remembered)
- “emily blunt tom cruise impression edge of tomorrow”
- “emily blunt tom cruise impression late night”
- “emily blunt tom cruise makes fun of”
- “emily blunt tom cruise this sucks” (I remembered that the setup to her impression included her saying something like, “Come on, Tom, this sucks!”)
I needed more info to give Google, I thought. So I went to Emily Blunt’s IMDB page, and looked at which late night shows she appeared on in 2014. After poring over IMDB and searching a bit more on Google, I pieced together a few crucial details: The interview was on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and the impression was not the part of the interview that got picked up in the press.
Upon further review of headlines, my memory was jogged and I realized one reason I was struggling to find the video clip I wanted was because all the coverage of Blunt’s interview on Kimmel was about: The time Blunt, with her husband John Krasinski, took Tom Cruise to a sex club in London for Matt Damon’s birthday, a sequence of words I absolutely loved typing. (I should also mention here that there is no shame in patronizing these kinds of establishments and also that Tom Cruise is very normal and there is nothing strange about him at all.)
If the impression was part of the same interview where Blunt regaled Jimmy Kimmel about the time she took Tom Cruise to a sex club, I figured, then it should all be in the same clip. But when I clicked through links to the stories covering the interview, none of the videos worked. Every single site I checked embedded the official clip from Jimmy Kimmel’s YouTube page, which is very standard for late night coverage because it’s A) easier to just use their clip since it’s so much faster than cutting it yourself and B) you don’t have to worry about rights issues.
A sampling of the sites which embedded the now-defunct clip:
When you try to click and play the video, you get this error message:
Well, this is weird, I thought to myself. And no amount of searching on YouTube yielded the clip either. Nor did searches on Vimeo or DailyMotion, my usual go-tos to find clips that have otherwise been taken down from YouTube.
I think by this point most people would have given up, because who cares? But I had spent all this time (15 minutes) searching, and I felt determined to find it. I let a few days pass to rest my brain before trying again.
Cut to: Earlier this week. I went back to Emily Blunt’s IMDB page to find the exact date she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s show in 2014: May 14, 2014. Then, completely out of ideas, I popped into Google: “jimmy kimmel may 14 2014.”
Well, well, well—found it.
Here’s something I learned: Archive.org has video, too. Because there it was, Blunt gabbing with Jimmy Kimmel about working on Edge of Tomorrow, and she does her impression! (It starts at the 12:10 a.m. mark in the link above.) It was as exactly as I remembered! Short, sharp, she does his vaguely Midwestern curled affectation thing. It’s good! I love it! (She also tells the story about taking him to a sex club called The Box, which is fine and normal.) It’s honestly unremarkable and I spent way too much time trying to find it.
But...watching Blunt tell the sex club anecdote again, it struck me how otherwise anodyne a story it was. There weren’t any juicy, textural details about their time in the club, just that...they went, and Cruise was a little anxious about it, and apparently said, “Don’t let me walk out of there alone.” Which, if you’re Tom Cruise, who is normal and not at all strange, I get it! No big deal!
All the stories rehashing what Blunt said about taking Cruise to the sex club were all intact, all still online, but the video of her telling the story was gone. Why? Who would care that much? I am just asking.
Maybe, I thought, it was a mistake? So I emailed the press person for Jimmy Kimmel Live! to ask why the video had been taken down from YouTube. Was it just a technical error or was there another reason? I have not yet received a response from ABC but will update this post if and when I do.
Now here we are, on a beautiful Friday afternoon in New York, and I’m Googling around, and I find this Extra clip from 2014, usefully titled, “Tom Cruise Says His London Sex Club Excursion Was ‘Hilarious’.”
The clip starts with Blunt, who says, “Tom’s thrilled I told that story,” and makes this face:
Later, when Cruise is asked about the trip to the sex club, he does indeed say it was “hilarious,” and makes this face:
I am not trying to say anything about how Tom Cruise might feel about the story about him going to a sex club—I am just noting that he said it was hilarious, that his faced looked a certain way when he said that, and that it is currently a little difficult to find video of his co-star telling that story.
The good news is: As of March, Blunt and Cruise had signed on to reprise their roles in an Edge of Tomorrow sequel. Can’t wait for that press tour!