HOLLYWOOD superstar Tom Cruise has indicated that he is willing to assume a new role as film ambassador for Ireland.
The Government has been pursuing the 'Mission Impossible' actor in the hope of recruiting him to promote the Irish film industry abroad in a series of letters since his visit here last year.
Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan has confirmed that Cruise's representatives have said that he was open to becoming a film ambassador with the Irish Film Board.
But the actor's current schedule is too busy for him to take on the role right away. The 51-year-old will appear in science-fiction action film 'Edge of Tomorrow' later this year and is slated to film the fifth 'Mission Impossible' instalment as well as racing drama 'Go Like Hell'.
Cruise made a visit to Ireland last April when he received a Certificate of Irish Heritage from Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.
He also appeared on 'The Late Late Show' during which he resurrected his much-maligned 'Oirish' accent from the 1992 drama 'Far and Away' which was filmed here.
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht subsequently wrote to him asking that he take part in publicity efforts for the Irish film industry.
And Mr Deenihan suggested that Cruise could encourage fellow filmmakers to use Ireland as a shooting location.
The government recently extended tax relief scheme section 481 for filmmakers in the hope of attracting more films here.