Thandie Newton says she ‘burst into tears’ after being asked to wear ‘protective underwear’ for Crash rape scene

Golden Globe winner also revealed that she initially did not think the scene was believable

Adam White
Tuesday 07 July 2020 17:25 BST
Crash trailer

Thandie Newton has said she “burst into tears” after being asked if she was wearing “protective underwear” before filming a sexual assault scene in Crash.

In the 2004 film, which won a controversial Best Picture Oscar at the 2006 awards, Newton played a woman who is sexually assaulted by a police officer played by Matt Dillon. The scene involves Dillon’s character pulling over Newton’s character and her husband and assaulting her during a full body search.

Speaking to Vulture, Newton said that the assault wasn’t explicitly detailed in writer/director Paul Haggis’s script, and she assumed that another reference to Dillon’s character “finger-f******” her character was meant to be ironic.

On the day of filming the scene, Newton claimed that she was taken by surprise by Haggis’ interpretation of what occurred between Newton and Dillon’s characters.

“At the beginning of that night, oh god, Paul Haggis got me and Matt together, and in front of Matt, he said to me, ‘Are you wearing protective underwear?’” Newton said. “And they’re both like looking at their feet. I’m like, ‘I mean, I’m just wearing under … yeah. Why?’ ‘Because I really want this to be as real as, you know — I really want to go there.’”

“I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Because I just want Matt to feel like he can …’ And I realised what he was saying. I wasn’t even thinking about the [earlier] scene that I’d said ‘finger-f***.’ It wasn’t until I saw the f***ing movie, I’m like, “Oh, f***ing hell!’”

Newton said that she “went into [her] makeup trailer and burst into tears” after the conversation, adding that it wasn’t because she had to do the scene, but because she didn’t think it was believable. “As far as I was concerned, to insinuate that a cop would hand-rape a woman in the streets, and in a racially charged way, too, I felt this fear that I didn’t want to be part of putting that out in the world, because I thought it couldn’t possibly be true,” she said.

It was only years later, Newton added, that she became aware of “the numbers of black women who are sexually abused by the police – it is actually a phenomenon”.

Newton also revealed in the interview that she was “scared” while working with Tom Cruise on Mission: Impossible II, describing him as a “dominant individual [who] tries super hard to be a nice person”.

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