Tom Cruise opens up about filming in the city, that death-defying stunt and family life...
Leaping across the United Arab sky with biceps bulging and six-pack tort, and still flashing his cheeky yet charming famous smile, Tom Cruise puts all other stuntmen to shame. Scaling the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, in his latest Mission Impossible offering Ghost Protocol he proves he is fitter, hotter and less scared than ever. Turning 49 last week, Tom has shown that much like a vintage wine he has developed with age, having successfully transformed himself from ‘that’ guy who jumped up and down on Oprah’s sofa to the American Bond who also happens to be a hands on dad.
Tom came to Dubai last year to film his riskiest stunt to date scaling the 2,717ft city icon. In the new movie, released next month, he can be seen running across the glass façade seemingly without fear. Tom said of working in the UAE, “I’ve always wanted to shoot in this city. The first requirement was already met. It’s a new set, a new city and it hasn’t been photographed much. It has the scale we need for such a big movie so we feel lucky to be the first to shoot such a film in Dubai.”
Calling Dubai the centrepiece of the blockbuster movie he continued, “I want to thank Sheikh Mohammed for making this film happen in the beautiful city. It was important to have the communities help and we definitely have had that generosity here.”
It has been six years since Tom declared his love for wife Katie Holmes by jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s sofa during an interview. While he hoped the move would make people realise his true feelings, it, in fact, sent Tom on a downward spiral, with fans criticising his OTT behaviour. The actor has since been ridiculed on a regular basis, particularly for Scientology beliefs.
He said of that interview, “What happened, happened... I’ll take responsibility for my actions... Afterward, wild things were being said about me, and once they’re in the ether, there’s nothing you can do about it. It felt like being the new kid in the schoolyard again and the other kids are whispering and whispering about you and suddenly you hear what they’re saying, and you think, What? That didn’t happen. Look at the reality of the situation.”
By revealing his emotions he perhaps broke actor protocol and certainly paid the price for it. But ever the pro, he never slowed down or quit. “Those are times you learn a lot about life. You’re back to, How do I figure this out? I’d lived through so many different periods in life that I had a good idea. You just get back to work. You move forward. That’s what I did. And here we are today. Mission: Impossible IV,” he said proving his resolute character.
Tom is a movie veteran, a fact that perhaps has allowed him to be strong through tough times. He’s a child star who has survived the pitfalls of fame. A heartthrob in the 1980s and 1990s he still manages to make women swoon, but that’s not why he joined the business – though he is yet to win an Oscar, showbusiness is his passion.
The actor is sentimental when he discusses how he developed his love for acting, while for many stars it was about getting attention for him it was about protecting his mum and sisters after his father walked out on them. He explains, “If anyone was teasing my sisters, I really felt it… I’d create different characters and ad-lib sketches to make my sisters and my mother feel better. I’d try to make them laugh. I’d do Donald Duck as John Wayne. I’d watch Soul Train and imitate the dancers. I guess you can say that’s where it started. I always had a dream to be in movies, [my family] didn’t say, That’s impossible. They laughed.”
Stepping into his father’s role Tom didn’t have many friend’s growing up, something he admits that always made him crave his own family, confessing “You hear about people who have lifelong friends. I never was in a place long enough to have them. So that role was filled by my family.”
As well as having two adoptive kids with his second wife Nicole Kidman – Connor, 16, and Isabel, 18 – Tom also has a biological daughter with Katie, little Suri, who although only five-years-old is somewhat of a celebrity already.
“I have to say some of those paparazzi shots of my daughter are incredible,” he says joking about the media obsession with the celebuspawn. “As a parent you protect your children but Suri is a very open and warm child and she will just wave to people on the street. She is such happy, fun girl. She’s very much a real girl”
When questioned about rumours of a spilt and talks of a potential sellotape baby to save his marriage to Katie, Tom jokes off the comments, a sign that he is used to it – “Because we do live in a cynical world. It’s easy to be cynical. Making the choice not to be cynical is important. You can keep dwelling on what didn’t work, or you can figure out how to fix it. Which is what being a parent is all about. You know, I’m married to such a special woman. Every night before we go to sleep, Kate and I look at each other and it’s like, How’d we do today?”
And what about baby number two? “When Suri was born we just shut down everything for months to be with her,” he says denying talk that they want to expand their brood. “But now I’m making movies, and Kate is loving being on Broadway because it has been a dream of hers, so we are enjoying this time too.”
One thing is for sure, with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol set to be a major blockbuster hit, and with the actor already receiving praise for his performance as a rock star in yet to be released Rock Of Ages, its clear Tom is back. Gone is the freak that was portrayed by the media and in is the daredevil actor and humble family man who also happens to be extremely good-looking. There’s no doubt that Tom still is the top gun.