Lead singer Chad Kroeger — who said that Peake has regularly been mistaken for Cruise over the years — revealed Friday at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival premiere of their new documentary Hate to Love that the infamous rock band had a hilarious run-in with the Mission: Impossible star in the early aughts, while both were slated to appear as guests on the hit MTV show TRL.
"We're walking toward the green room in a hallway, this tiny hallway, I'm right behind [Ryan], and here comes Tom Cruise. I've got front row seats, this is fantastic," Kroeger said, noting that Cruise was initially "looking down" while surrounded by bodyguards, until the band passed. "Tom kind of looks as he's walking, and he locks eyes with Peake."
Santiago Felipe/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage Ryan Peake and Chad Kroeger of Nickelback; Tom Cruise.
Kroeger then mimicked the double-take he said Cruise gave Peake as he moved by.
"We get to the end of the hallway, and I go, 'Hey!' and [Ryan] goes, 'Not a f---ing word!'"
He then turned to Peake, seated next to him on stage, and jabbed his longtime friend: "Even Tom thinks you look like Tom!"
The band also had an awkward encounter with Sting, whom they met with inside a recording studio in the basement of Los Angele's Sunset Marquis hotel. Kroeger recalled awkwardly saying the rock legend had "too many strings" on his guitar because the Nickelback frontman was too nervous to think of anything else to say.
The following day, they were in a meeting with over 20 people, and Sting crashed it.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Nickelback at the TIFF world premiere of 'Hate to Love: Nickelback' documentary.
"He comes to the table and goes, 'I bet you wonder why I interrupted this meeting,'" Kroeger remembered. "He just met [Ryan] the day before and he gives him a big hug, and I'm looking like, What did you guys do last night? Halfway through the hug, Sting now realizes he has no f---ing clue who he's hugging, Ryan now knows that Sting, who's hugging him, has no idea [who he is], thought he was someone else, and I'm watching the whole thing from eight inches away like, This is f---ing great. This massive mistake made [Ryan] the happiest guy on the planet."
Representatives for Cruise and Sting did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Hate to Love: Nickelback also follows the band's formative years through to their rocky relationship with the public at the height of fame, after launching a string of mega-successful hits in the early 2000s before becoming a widely derided musical act during the advent of social media.
The documentary — which has yet to secure distribution — has additional TIFF screenings scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. ET and Friday, Sept. 15 at 12:05 p.m. ET.
Watch the full conversation at TIFF 2023 below.
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