When asked by a lawyer if he was aware that his own counsel had "equated your absence from [his daughter] Suri...to someone fighting in Afghanistan," Cruise said he hadn't heard the analogy, but agreed that "that's what it feels like."
"And certainly on this last movie, it was brutal," he added.
Cruise was then asked again if he believed "the situations" were one and the same, at which point he attempted to walk back his previous statement by scoffing and saying "oh, come on."
But the damage had already been done, and the apparent comparison did not sit well with many.
One particularly offended party was fellow actor Mark Wahlberg, who indirectly laid into Cruise during a Q&A following the premiere of his latest film, Lone Survivor.
The movie is based on a book written by Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor of the infamous SEAL Team 10 mission to kill or capture notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.
When asked by the moderator about the difficulties of shooting the film and training to pretend to be a SEAL, Wahlberg took the opportunity to set the record straight on the matter.
"For actors to sit there and talk about ‘Oh I went to SEAL training,’ and I slept on the — I don’t give a fuck what you did," Wahlberg exclaimed. "You don’t do what these guys did. For somebody to sit there and say my job was as difficult as somebody in the military’s. How fucking dare you. While you sit in a makeup chair for two hours."
"I don’t give a shit if you get your ass busted," the tirade continued. "You get to go home at the end of the day. You get to go to your hotel room. You get to order fucking chicken. Or your steak. Whatever the fuck it is."
Toward the end of the session, Wahlberg apologized for "losing my shit," adding that he was "proud to be a part" of the movie.