Monday 21 October 2019

The truth about Tom Cruise - 16 things you (probably) didn't know

Tom Cruise (Ian West/PA)
Tom Cruise (Ian West/PA)

Dee O'Keefe

Reaction to official confirmation of a romance between actors Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx last week was underwhelming to say the least.

The pair were finally pictured together, strolling hand in hand along a Malibu beach, after years of ‘secret’ dating, that had nobody fooled.

As usual, it was Holmes’ ex-husband Tom Cruise (55) who dominated the headlines, thanks to reports that he allegedly insisted on a five-year no-dating-in-public divorce clause when he split from Katie (38) in 2012, after six years of marriage. Even America’s top divorce experts were agog at the claims.

New York lawyer Neal Hersh, who has acted for Halle Berry, Kim Basinger and Brad Pitt, speculated that even though the clause appeared ‘unenforceable’ — if there is a monetary agreement attached to it, then that could make it stick.

Tom’s star power hasn’t waned since his first stand out role in 1983’s Risky Business, but in the last number of years, his links with Scientology have made him appear increasingly bizarre to fans. He’s still one of the most searched for people on Google — but ‘’ is one of the more popular searches.

While most religions and their back stories lie somewhere on the ‘continuum of crazy’ and require a special kind of suspension of reality, Scientology has been repeatedly dogged by unpalatable disclosures of

former members in recent years, many of which are outlined in documentaries such as Going Clear and My Scientology Movie.

Of course, amid all the sniffiness about his religious beliefs, as well as the much parodied jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s couch in 2005, excitedly declaring his love for Holmes, it’s easy to lose sight of Tom’s enduring currency. He remains a box-office favourite — now in his mid-50s this is no mean feat.

Cruise was the first actor to appear in five consecutive movies that grossed more than $100m in the US (A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire).

Tom Cruise as corrupt TWA pilot Barry Seal in American Made

While this summer’s The Mummy was one of the biggest flops of the year and lost Universal $95m, he earned huge acclaim for American Made, which has been described as a return to character acting rather than the action hero shtick Tom’s become best known for.

Here are some more interesting insights about Tom that you might have overlooked…

Tom’s a real-life action hero

No, this is not a reference to his penchant for doing all his own action scenes (Cruise recently broke his ankle filming a scene for Mission: Impossible 6). In 1996, after witnessing a woman getting struck by a car, Tom accompanied her to the hospital. Upon learning that she didn’t have insurance, he paid her emergency room bill of $7,000.

Two years later, he saved a woman being mugged in London, chasing the attackers away with his bodyguards. Ka-Pow!

He can relate to the underdog

Cruise’s father was an electrical engineer and his mother was a special education teacher. The actor described his father as abusive, a bully and a coward who left when he was young, forcing Tom to look for odd jobs like mowing neighbourhood lawns to help his mom, who died last year, with the bills.

Cruise was bullied regularly in the 15 different schools he attended over a 12-year period throughout Canada and America.

He split from all three wives when they turned 33

Freudians would have a field day with this one. Mimi Rogers was wife number one, they split in 1989. Cruise separated from his second spouse, Nicole Kidman, in 2001, while he and Katie Holmes called time on their marriage in 2012. Each wife was 11 years younger than the last. Any women currently aged 27, form an orderly queue.


Speaking of Mimi…

It was Rogers who introduced Tom to Scientology. Mimi grew up with the controversial religion as her father was a friend of its founder, L Ron Hubbard. She no longer seems to be active in the Church of Scientology, but refuses to confirm this. Cruise is reported to have joined the church after its study courses helped him overcome dyslexia.

Mimi Rogers who recruited Tom Cruise to the church

In a feisty interview about her split from Cruise with Playboy magazine in 1993, Mimi stated: “Here’s the real story. Tom was seriously thinking of becoming a monk. At least for that period of time, it looked as though marriage wouldn’t fit into his overall spiritual need. And he thought he had to be celibate to maintain the purity of his instrument.” Adding: “My instrument needed tuning.”

Tom has religious form

He was raised in a devout Catholic household. At the age of 14, he attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati on a scholarship and considered becoming a priest, although legend has it that he got kicked out for stealing alcohol.

How he got those famous teeth

He damaged his front teeth playing floor hockey. In his memoir The Time of My Life, Patrick Swayze, his co-star in The Outsiders, revealed that Cruise was so insecure about his teeth that he avoided photo shoots. He was an early adopter to the notion of adult braces and was pictured wearing them throughout 2002, removing them to shoot movies.

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The Outsiders

Tom Cruise Day

October 6th was officially named as ‘Tom Cruise Day’ in Japan (it’s listed as October 10th on Wikipedia, but this is thought to be incorrect). They love him because he’s made more visits to the country than any Hollywood star. It’s a progressive culture.

Could Tom visit South Dublin soon?

News that The Church of Scientology are building a new base, or ‘Ideal Org’ (for study and counselling of new recruits), in Firhouse has garnered mixed reactions from locals.

The Church’s leader, David Miscavige, is expected to attend the opening next month. We reckon a visit from Tom and that famous smile might make the medicine go down a bit smoother.

A world without Tom dolls

Want to own a Tom Cruise action figure? Too bad, it’s never going to happen as Tom won’t allow his likeness to be used for video games or figurines.

Tom the vampire

Author Anne Rice publicly criticised the casting of Cruise as Lestat in 1994’s Interview with a Vampire, a big-screen adaptation of her book. However, after seeing the film, she bought a two-page ad in Daily Variety for $7,740, apologising to the actor and commending his performance.

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Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire

He’s genuinely funny

In 2008, Tom’s brilliant comic turn as a vulgar movie producer in Tropic Thunder helped soften his increasingly divisive image. The actor came up with the character of Les Grossman, telling co-star Ben Stiller that Les needed to be bald and have a weird love of dancing. It was also his idea to play the executive with large prosthetic hands.

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Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder

The offspring

It’s alleged that Tom hasn’t seen his daughter Suri in three years, supposedly due to the fact that within the Scientology world, Suri’s mother Katie Holmes is a ‘Suppressive Person (SP)’ and is also considered to be a ‘Potential Troubled Source (PTS)’. In order to reach the highest levels of the organisation, members are encouraged to ‘disconnect’ from family members who are labelled PTS. On a happier note, he still appears to have a good relationship with his other children Isabella Jane Kidman Cruise and Connor Antony Kidman Cruise, both of whom he adopted with Nicole Kidman.

US actor Tom Cruise, pictured with his daughter Suri

Fashion icon

The sunglasses Tom’s character wears in Risky Business became so popular that he single-handedly increased Ray-Ban sales by 2000pc. In fact, the style is still wildly popular today — he just looked so good in them.

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Tom Cruise in Risky Business

High earner

His total net worth is about $480m, making him one of the richest actors in Hollywood.

High flier

He earned his pilot’s license in 1994.

He can still surprise us

In 2014, he went to a London burlesque/sex club The Box with Emily Blunt, John Krasinski and Matt Damon for the latter’s birthday.


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