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Tom Cruise: Always at His Best

陈溪 Cecilia Chan 2018-07-17 16:08

Hollywood legend Tom Cruise once climbed the tallest tower in the world, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, with his bare hands. In his new movie The Mummy, released in cinemas beginning of this year, Cruise once again made it nerve wracking for his audiences—he refused to use his stunt double during filming; instead he did all the breathtaking stunts himself including a 360-degree car crash, underwater fight scenes, and jumping off a collapsing building. What is even more outlandish is that he fell out of an exploding plane with zero gravity while flying 25,000 feet above the ground. 


Unsurprisingly, The Mummy hit number one in box offices worldwide, collecting more than $400 million with over $100 million from overseas ticket sales. The worldwide success is absolutely inseparable from Cruise’ dedicated performances and his in-depth understanding of the movie. Director Alex Kurtzman spoke highly of Cruise’s performances and he said that the two of them are really good partners with a common interest in movies. In fact, Cruise’s performances made the movie full of humor while still keeping it captivating with its horror scenes. 


Cruise revealed that his understanding of the characters in the movie had something to do with the horror movies he watched when he was a kid. He used to love watching The Wolf Man, Count Duckula, and The Mummy, Cruise recalled that the horror films he watched in his childhood have fundamental influences on him becoming an actor. “Though I was extremely horrified while watching the movies, especially The Mummy, I was also drawn to the elegant narratives of the stories and their originality in creation.” For the success of the new Mummy, Cruise thinks it was not a coincidence, “When watching the movie, you even want the mummies to win, and that is exactly why the movie attracts audiences. The mummies in the movie are terrifying but are also worthy of our empathy, people can gain a surreal perspective when watching the film.”

To be able to accurately gauge what audiences think has everything to do with the experiences Cruise had at younger age. Born in New York and later moving to Ontario Canada with his parents, Cruise didn’t enjoy an abundant and worry-free life; his dad worked as a mechanical engineer and his mom was a special education teacher and an actress during her spare time. Cruise said his mom’s support over the years helped form his personality of persistence and attitude of optimism, and they helped him establish his personal motto of never giving up easily.


His mother’s influence on him was more apparent after he fearlessly moved to New York and started auditions—in the beginning, just like every other actor, Cruise’s auditions were not as satisfying as he had hoped for. Sometimes he could not even get paid for the roles he got. In 1981, in order to get a small role in a melodrama movie, Cruise set off for Los Angeles. This time, he was finally given a small role who committed Larson crime in Endless Love. After finishing the unpaid filming in Endless Love, he returned to his home in New Jersey. By coincidence, one of the actors of the movie Taps had to withdraw due to personal reasons, the production team decided to use him instead to play the character David Shawn; because of his acting in this movie, people started to get familiar with this handsome actor with distinctive facial features. 

But to be a good actor, one can not only rely on talent and good looks. In 1983, Cruise played in the movie Losin’It , it failed in the box offices and in the critics world because of its boring story lines and Cruise’ immature performances. But the failure of the movie actually awoken Cruise’s spirit to fight. Soon he realized that he could not be a youth idol and do whatever he was told, and it made him think from different perspectives. He started to observe life with such mentality, soon, his role as the son of a rich family in Risky Business earned him public recognition from audiences from the same era, and it became his breakthrough role. 

As Cruise became more and more adept at portraying the roles he played, his career started to take off with smooth sailing; it seemed the efforts he made over the years started to pay off. In 1986, Cruise played in Top Gun, which strengthened his position in the film industry. On October 16 of the same year, Cruise’s Hollywood Hall of Fame Star was inducted. Later, Cruise was nominated best actor for Oscar for his roles in Born on Fourth of July and Jerry Maguire. He is also a three-time Golden Globe Award winner and has received numerous other awards for his acting. 


Today, Cruise is undoubtedly a mega global cultural icon; his status in the film industry has far exceeded his peers who started acting around the same time as he did. In 2016, with an annual income of $53 million, Cruise was ranked one of the ten highest paying actors worldwide by Forbes. Up to date, Cruise has shot 41 movies with 17 of them reaching the U.S. box office sales of more than $100 million, and 22 of them had more than $200 million in sales worldwide. Nevertheless, he is never indulged in money or material pleasure, using his professional achievements, he has promoted many positive changes and become an advocate, activist, and philanthropist in international health, education and human rights. In May 2011, he was honored with Simon Wiethenthal Center’s Humanitarian Award. In June 2012, Cruise received Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award that commended his outstanding achievements in the entertainment industry and in humanitarianism. Following Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant, and Frank Sinatra, Cruise became the fourth actor who has received the award. 

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