I have a long and storied past with the great Tom Cruise. Our paths crossed when I was but a boy yet the sting of the encounter lives on. Further, he is notorious for overly ridiculous media outbursts. This makes him prime for poking fun at especially in our particular unprofessional manner. He has had several high profile relationships tank garnering much media scrutiny. The latest of lead in to crazy being his marriage to actress Katie Holmes. This particular courtship and breakup has been plagued by one embarrassing disaster or another… so let’s talk about a few.
I find little possibility of truth for rumors like “he locked her in a cage”, while intriguing it’s probably not true. What is true and documented are the slew of sound bites and media clips like the Oprah’s couch incident. These golden gifts from the comedy gods are not only appreciated but step one in understanding the deeper craziness. Scientology is the absolute pinnacle of his psychosis. While I don’t want to offend any…. No forget that there is hardly a way to discuss with dignity the inner workings of a religion started by a science fiction writer. All we can put together is that initiation for members like John Travolta may include mispronunciation of celebrity names at the Oscars.
Cruise has no need for such initiation rights at this point, as he is a “Grand Funk Super-Dooper Imperial Chancellor”. I can hope that is what they call their high-ranking officials. Moreover, his religious tendencies though his right are indeed interesting when measured against his political and social beliefs. Example, His appearance on Matt Lauer calling psychiatry a pseudo-science and claiming chemical imbalances do not exist. It goes further to make admittedly interesting points about abuse of prescription drugs.
But what makes him a monster would never be seen to anyone but my hometown friends.
He’s odd. But before we talk about his acting let me share a tale with you. When I was but a boy Tom and acclaimed director Steven Spielberg visited my small hamlet to film War of the Worlds. It was a less than memorable film for moviegoers but for my neighbors it’s a time remembered in infamy. Picture it: New Jersey 2005 cars flood the streets making parking a dream only those with driveways could realize. The local businesses itching for a chance that the Tom and Steve would frequent their establishment. Even the young lads playing at Gorman Field on 1st Street were intoxicated by the idea of spotting a hero or two.
Sadly that’s where trouble began. The police arrive promptly at 4:22pm sirens blaring and bull horns screeching. “Get off the field.” they would yell. To this we respectfully and sheepishly replied “but why sir, we only wants to play football”. (I swear it went just like that.) After being removed we realized the inbound helicopter was carrying Tom. Quickly we sprang to our VHS/DVD collections and pulled our favorite hits starring the airborne celeb. We rushed back with great haste and found a crowd. Dashed our hopes were…Maybe not. We spotted a patch of grass upon a high mound uninhabited by anyone. “Make haste” my friend said and we there pressed against the fence in plain view of Ethan Hunt himself.
Here is where the trouble began. Step One, the noise level reached a fever pitch all screaming for autographs while our voices carried perfectly given our local. Step Two, possibility of failure flashed as Tom began to wave off fans without even turning to face the mound where we stood. Step Four, we raised our voices. (I pause to say we may have been less than generous with our pleas as only those born in Jersey can) Step Five, He sees us. Tom is a short man and this is New Jersey where even the children are menacing so what happened next is only semi-understandable. Step Six, He removes us. Tom glares at us with the hate only a short man can muster and then glances at his security team. Cruise lifts a boney-clawed finger dripping with hate and points at us. We stood aghast with only moments to react then, the 9 foot tall (probably ex-KGB) security guard asked us to vacate.
Finally, within moments Tom was aboard and as if to insult us one last time, he dredged our field. Now covered in mud and muck it is the sad reminder of the danger of Tom.
Now having said all this he is a brilliant actor.
A colleague of mine recently pointed out that I had been harboring this hate for Tom too long. He pointed out and rightfully, that in every movie he is in be it good or bad Tom always brings his best. You may not like his best but there is no doubt that he does not believe in phoning it in. Further evidence of this is depicted in the Glued to the Screen article Mission: Impossible Rogue Hit!!! Hanging off the airplane for real so as not to use CGI or stunt double is classic Cruise. He may be off a beat or two but I will say for those of us at G2TS “please keep acting sir, you’re a genius”.
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