Sumner Redstone's got nothing to lose by telling the truth in a town that hates it.
The combative 90-year-old mogul sits down with THR at his home and expounds on whether CBS should buy Sony's studio, why Rupert Murdoch was right to divorce Wendi Deng, whether he's concerned about Pitt's departure for New Regency and why he hasn't named a successor: "I'm not gonna die."
You kicked Tom Cruise out of Paramount, but you made up. What's your relationship now?
Ifired him, and I hired him. When he deserved to be fired, I fired him. When he deserved to be hired, I hired him.
What made him deserve to be hired again?
He's a great actor. The next Mission: Impossible will be the best one. He told me about the script. He's a good friend.
Paramount at one point was trying to transition the franchise to Jeremy Renner. Did you end that when you made up with Tom?
I met with [Tom], and he said he wanted to work for Paramount. I said the deal would be different. He said, "I don't care, I want to come back to Paramount," and I brought him back.
What's the biggest risk you've taken?
Maybe buying Viacom. I know I didn't take a risk when I insisted on keeping MTV and Nickelodeon. Everyone wanted me to sell them. I followed my own instincts. I knew MTV was more than a media channel; it was a generational channel.
For years, you have been pestered about succession. Do --
I will not discuss succession. You know why? I'm not gonna die. So why should I discuss succession?
Do you follow industry news like the Murdochs' U.K. phone-hacking scandal?
Well, I read about it. But I keep my mouth shut.
He is equally harassed about succession, even though he's got an abundance of kids.
Well, he just lost Wendi, as you know. [Murdoch split from his wife in 2013.] He was right to do it, in my opinion.
Courtesy of THR.com