While some actors are perfect for certain parts, their body
Tom Cruise was the biggest movie star in the universe in the 90s, with a series of unbeatable box-office smash hits. Then, in the early 2000s, his strange behavior and PR disasters put a dent in his star power and brought a little too much light to his weird Scientology life. His movies began to decline, so he did what anyone would do, he returned to what made him so successful in the first place… Mission: Impossible.
Cruise has the fifth film in the franchise coming out this summer, and it promises to be a huge success and a lot of fun. So let’s learn 11 interesting things about the actor before we see him take on the world again…
1. Cruise is, obviously, not his last name. Tom Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. His cousin, William Mapother, is an actor most well known for his role in In The Bedroom.
2. At the age of 14, Cruise enrolled in the seminary to become a priest but dropped out after only one year. He took up acting after losing his place on a high school wrestling team due to a knee injury.
3. In 1988, he became the first actor to have the distinction of starring in both the year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, Rain Man and the year’s Razzie “winner” for Worst Picture, Cocktail.
4. While filming Days of Thunder, Cruise was allowed to drive one of the NASCAR race cars around the track, reaching speeds of 205 mph.
5. While he was working with Paul Newman on The Color of Money in 1986, he engaged in much conversation with the politically active actor. The resulting conscious-raising changed him from an actor who ignored the jingoistic tone of Top Gun to a performer who chose a film with a strong anti-war tone, Born on the Fourth of July to counter his contribution to the former film.
6. In 1996, Cruise stopped and helped a victim of a hit and run on the side of the road. He went beyond this and paid the aspiring actresses’ hospital bills.
7. In September of 2006, he visited actress Brooke Shields at her home and personally apologized to her for criticizing her in 2005 about her use of prescription medication to overcome her post partum depression. Touched by the gesture, Brooke accepted his apology.
8. Cruise earned roughly $75 million for Mission: Impossible II. He did this by turning down any upfront salary, for instead taking a back-end deal that landed him 30% of the film’s gross for both his producing and acting duties.
9. He was introduced to Scientology by his first wife, actress Mimi Rogers.
10. The Japan Memorial Day Association declared 10 October 2006 “Tom Cruise Day”.
11. In 2001, Cruise filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Michael Davis, a man who allegedly offered to sell videotapes of himself having sex with the actor. The lawsuit accuses Davis of making the statements “in order to hurt the plaintiff and gain widespread publicity for himself.”