Tom Cruise Mapother IV known as Tom Cruise is a leading Hollywood A-list actor, producer and a practicing Scientologist. Until now, he has been nominated thrice for the Academy Awards. He has also won three Golden Globe Awards. His Hollywood’s highest grossing-films include: A Few Good Men, Risky Business, The Firm and Jerry Maguire, Jack Reacher franchise, Mission Impossible franchise and others.
He is also the first actor in the movie business with five consecutive movies – A Few Good Men, Interview with the Vampire, Mission Impossible, The Firm and Jerry Maguire, grossed more than $100 million in America alone. In 2012, he became Hollywood’s highest paid actor.
In 1976, when he was just fourteen years old, and was a student at Franciscan seminary, he had the dream of becoming a priest. Somehow he has stuck to preaching even when he went on to become one of the greatest and highest paid actors of all time. His work has been consistent although he has undergone huge image changes after his adventures with Scientology. He has been called the “ladies man” since his very first appearance on screen. He has been married and divorced three times and has had many affairs with leading co-stars. He is also the father of three children – two out of three are adopted whereas one is biological.
He showed early sings of talent in acting emerged when he was just eleven years old. From first appearance until his latest release The Mummy, he has shown consistency in terms of performance and has earned the title of a bankable star.
He is well recognized for his level of commitment and dedication. He also ensured that his projects are truly cinematic, money-worth spending experience. Although, Tom Cruise in real life has become a shady figure, cover boy of a diabolical cult called the Church of Scientology. Tom has openly advocated his support for it. He has invested time and money to establish it as a religion in Europe. His faith in the Church of Scientology emerged after its course helped him overcome dyslexia. He has advocated and participated in many videos supporting it. It is also alleged that he tried to convert many of his colleagues to Scientology.
His closeness to it dates back to his childhood when he wanted to become a priest. At the age of 14, he got a scholarship to attend a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati but he left it to pursue a career in Hollywood. After getting success with his Hollywood career, he has become a messiah for scientologists. At the age of nineteen, he started his career with the movie calledEndless Love and since then there was no looking back for him professionally.
Due to his controlling nature, has brought lots of negative publicities under his brand. Stars, producers and studios have claimed Tom to be a control freak. In his latest venture – The Mummy, he forced Universal studios to accept Alex Kurtzman as the director. Alex was without many big projects under his belt. Although, he had a good rapport with Tom Cruise as he was a screenwriter in the Mission Impossible franchise. Therefore, Tom used his reputation to make him the director even though Universal was not very pleased. The sets of The Mummy looked more like Tom Cruise was the director rather than Alex Kurtzman. Studios tolerate his controlling nature, because of his loyal fan base. His name has almost guaranteed ticket sales despite the take over by comic book movies and special effects. Tom Cruise has adapted well to the new landscape and his franchises like the Mission Impossible make a lot of money globally.
Unlike his magic on the screen, his personal life has been a bumpy ride.
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV better known as Tom Cruise was born on July, 3rd 1962 in Syracuse, New York. He was the third child to Thomas Mapother III & Mary Lee Pfeiffer. His mother was an amateur actress and a school teacher. His father on the other hand was an electrical engineer. Tom had good physical remarks from the beginning – dark hair, straight nose, blue eyes, strong jaws, dimpled cheeks, sharp and proportioned features with a winning smile. He was very much like his mother. He was the only boy in the family and he got a lot of love from everyone.
Since the beginning he had a vivid imagination. He was always ready for adventures, ready to explore new places even when that was the backward of his house and he was riding a tricycle. Back in the days, he wanted to become an actor before he got the scholarship at Franciscan seminary. He enjoyed watching drama, action and adventurous movies. His ideal family treat was to go for a car drive, eat popcorn and lie on the top of the station wagon to watch a film. He was very mesmerized by wartime Lawrence of Arabia. He was an entertainer from the very beginning.
He used to perform, make impressions of cartoon characters like Donald Duck and Woody Woodpecker. In his teens he enjoyed the music of Elvis Presley and Humphrey Bogart. His mother enjoyed theatre. Therefore, she always encouraged Tom and her three girls (sisters of Tom) to perform skits written by her.
Tom as a Toddler
Tom Cruise’s family moved frequently from New Jersey to St. Louis, Missouri, and then back to New Jersey. He attended the Packanack Elementary School in Wayne Township. His teachers soon realized that Tom was having difficulties in learning. This was painful for him, as he felt embarrassed and frustrated whenever he had to do a reading in class. He was soon diagnosed and it was clear that young Tom was suffering from dyslexia. It was a learning disability that was genetic. It had affected his mother and to some extent his sisters. Tom had witnessed mixed feelings from going blank, nervous, feeling anxious, and even dumb at times.
He tried to develop strategies, which could help him fight the embarrassment. He started behaving like the class clown to divert attention of his academic failures. Therefore, his Woody Woodpecker impersonations amused both his class and family now.
According to a statement from Tom Cruise, his teachers were irritated by his disability and were always rude to him. Although the current principal of the school rubbished the claims, as he had been teaching there for the last thirty years, he believed such behavior towards a student could not have been tolerated. His learning disability had made him angry and an impulsive kid.
In 1971 his family moved to Ottawa and his father joined the Canadian military. Tom Cruise was active in front of others, but under that active persona was a child who was a loner. He faced bullies, but he never wanted to pick up a fight because he knew if he did it once, they would return and fight again. His father taught him resilience. He knew that if he was not supportive of Tom, he would go into trauma.
Therefore, he always supported him and encouraged him to stand on his feet. This taught him never to back down, which helped him earn the respect of the locals of his age. He made himself tough to put a shield/mask against his learning difficulties.
His parents got divorced when he was eleven years old. Tom and his sisters moved in with their mother in Louisville, Kentucky. They shifted to Glen Ridge, New Jersey, after her re-marriage. It was also tough for him to see his mother date and marry another man.
Still, he was a talented kid as he was very creative, but not in academics. Therefore, Tom got involved in non-academic subjects like sports, drama and art in school. This restored some confidence in him. He joined the drama society of the school and frequently visited all events. Acting was in his blood from both sides of the family.
Later, when he took roles required reading scripts to prepare for characters, teachers gave him full assistance in assembling the role into some detail. As he had a very good memory, it did not take long for him to remember his dialogues.
Tom played hockey to take out some frustrations. This in a way taught him determination. He was hard-headed but not very talented in hockey as a result, he ended loosing a tooth in one game. While wrestling, he busted a knee that left him hospitalized. Although, he never did quit as a result of trial and error, he became good at the game.
Tom Cruise was very smooth with the ladies. He was good-looking and easy-going as a result he had a lot of girlfriends in his school days. He also used to arrange parties at his house for both sexes. He was also a Star Wars fan. Tom watched it around fourteen times. He did part times jobs to afford tickets to his favorite movies.
He also loved motorcycles and he once almost killed himself while doing a stunt near his house. Besides all the fun, he had time for his family. Whenever his sisters began to date anyone new, Tom’s opinion was really important. Therefore, he developed this nature that all changes required his consultation, which made him a control freak in the future.
Later, Tom was offered scholarship to join a Catholic seminary in Cincinnati. He took up the offer as the education was primarily free. Although, when he started the course he realized this was the thing he wanted to do.
The Beginning of His Career
When Tom was sixteen years old, his teachers encouraged him to take part in a musical organized by the school. It was called Guys and the Dolls. He played the character of Nathan Detroit and his boyish charm attracted everyone. This was the beginning of a new career. He decided to set a ten-year deadline to build his career in acting. In a mean time, he would postpone to pursue the priest work.
Therefore, after he graduated from school he moved to New York. He started his journey of giving auditions one after the other. He finally landed on the audition table for the movie Endless Love. He was selected and finally he made his appearance in the movie starring Brooke Shields. Next, he also bagged a small role in the military school drama called The Taps in the same year co-starring Sean Penn. His role was upgraded because Tom’s potential was recognized by the director of the movie Harold Becker.
Next, he appeared in Francis Ford’s 1983 movie called The Outsiders. It starred Emilio Esteves, Matt Dillon among other stars. They were all young actors and it was dubbed as the Brat pack by the media. The film did not do well, but it did well enough for Tom. The movie gave him mileage and made Cruise to work with other high profile directors.
Then that very same year came out two of his movies- All Right Moves and Risky Business. These movies laid the foundations of the career of Tom Cruise. They have been described as the ‘A Generation all time X classic.’ Soon, in 1986, came Top Gun that solidified his status as a superstar. Soon, Tom played the lead actor in Ridley Scott’s famous film The Legend. The movie was released in 1985 and it bagged him the Sixty First Academy Awards in the year of 1989. Following, Top Gun came the Colour of Money, in which he was seen pairing with Paul Newman.
The year 1988 saw him starring in Cocktail, which again bagged him a nomination for the famous Razzie Awards for Worst Actor. He was a little disheartened with this nomination; therefore, Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man gave him an Academy Award for Best Film. He was also awarded by the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for being the best supporting actor.
Since the beginning of his childhood, he had fancied war-time movies, therefore when he was given an opportunity to portray a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, he played it to perfection. The movie was called Born on the Fourth of July; this movie gave him a Golden Globe for being the Best Actor. The Motion Picture Drama and the Chicago Film Critics Association awarded him as the Best Actor. He also got the People’s Choice Award for favorite motion picture actor followed by a BAFTA nomination for best actor in a leading role. It was also his first nomination as Best Actor in the Academy Award nomination. His new projects were Days of Thunder, which was released in 1990 and Far Away, released in 1992. In both the movies he co-starred with his then wife Nicole Kidman. He then starred with Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas in 1994 for the movie interview with The Vampire which was directed by Neil Jordan. This was a gothic horror film, which was based on the best selling novel by Anne Rice. Although, Rice was a hugely critical of Tom Cruise being casted for the film. She wanted Julian Sand rather than Tom proactively. Although, after she saw him perform in the movie, she apologized and even paid $7,400 for a two page advertisement in the newspaper ‘Daily Variety’ praising Tom’s craft.
In 1996, Tom Cruise was to play a super spy – Ethan Hunt, in the movie Mission Impossible. It was a big blockbuster. Although, critics regarded the Jim Phelps character to be a little different from the original television series. The year of 1996 had been good for him as he signed another project for his legendary role in Jerry Maguire. He received a Golden Globe for his performance followed by a second nomination for an Academy Award.
In 1999, he starred with Nicole Kidman in the erotic movie – Eyes Wide Shut, directed by Stanley Kubrick. He played a supportive role in the movie Magnolia which gave him another Golden Globe nomination followed by a nomination for an Academy Award. The franchise of the Mission Impossible returned with Ethan Hunt in 2000. It was directed by the director from Hong Kong called John Woo. It was new and the series was an immediate hit. It was called the gun-fu style magic. It made magic at the box office too as it grossed over $547 million worldwide. It was same to the earlier MI and Cruise got the Best Male Performance Award by MTV.
His next five movies were all huge commercial hits. Tom starred in the romantic thriller – Vanilla Sky with Cameroon Diaz and Penelope Cruz in 2001. He again starred in Minority Report in 2002, directed by Steven Spielberg in line with the Science Fiction by Philip Dick. His next project was really huge. He was the star of Edward Zwicks historical drama called The Last Samurai. The movie had so much intense training and the action sequence had almost beheaded him during the shooting. His hard work did pay and he received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor.
Then in 2005 he tagged with Steven Spielberg for the movie War of the Worlds. It was based on H.G Wells novel and it became a high grossing film crossing the $500 million mark worldwide. He won the MTV Generation Award and People’s Choice Award for most favorite male movie star. He has a record of being nominated seven times for Saturn Awards in a span of seven years from 2002-2009 and has also won it once. He has starred in nine movies during the decade and each of his movies crossed the $100 million mark. Edge of Tomorrow also continued the outstanding returns for Tom Cruise. Then he played as Ethan Hunt in the Mission
Impossible-III, the franchise. The film was another blockbuster crossing more than $400 million worldwide.
Tom Cruise’s success was shot down by his rare supporting role in Lions for Lambs, which was a disappointment. Although, he returned strong with his new release Tropic Thunder in 2008 with Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Junior. He got another Golden Globe nomination. He played the lead in Valkyrie – the historical thriller, which was an amazing box office hit.
Then came Knight and Day in 2010 where he teamed up with Cameron Diaz and the film was a major hit. In 2010, he starred in the MI series new project called Ghost Protocol that was the fourth of the series. The film was another box office hit getting him a high critical acclaim. This film was his biggest commercial success.
Besides his huge number of acting awards, he was rewarded with a humanitarian award from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for his philanthropic work. Then came up Rock of Ages in 2011 when he played Stace Jaxx. This film did moderately okay in 2012 though. Then came adaptation to Lee Child’s novel- One Shot and it was called Jack Reacher. The film was released worldwide in 2012. It was another of his successful ventures grossing around $220,000,000 globally.
In 2013 Tom played the lead in the science fiction movie Oblivion. It was based on Joseph Kosinski’s novel. Even when the film had mixed responses, it was still a worldwide hit. Cruise again came back with the fifth installment of the MI series.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was directed by Christopher McQuarrie and produced by Tom Cruise. The movie also had stars like Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner. His latest release of The Mummy was a reboot of the 1932 horror movie- The Mummy – this project was prepared by Universal Studios and Monsters Cinematic Universe. Producers of the movie were Alex Kurtzman, Sean Daniel and Chris Morgan. Alex Kurtzman directed the movie who was recommended by Tom Cruise. Jon Spaihts wrote the movie.
Paula Wagner was the talent agent for Tom Cruise. Tom partnered with Paula to form the Cruise -Wagner Production in 1993. Since their collaboration, they did co-produce many films. They began with the Mission Impossible, 1996 project. It was Cruise’s first experience as a producer. When started to produce his movies, he has negotiated some of the best deals in Hollywood, increasing his income by a huge margin.
A Hollywood economist, Edward Jay Epstein, in 2005, described him as the most powerful and richest force in Hollywood. Although, critics also call him the most overpaid actor in Hollywood. Cruise is one of those producers among George Lucas and Steven Spielberg who guaranteed the success of a billion dollar franchise.
It is even argued that people were so much obsessed with Cruise even when there’s a controversy that surrounds him. It does not hinder his commercial success rate. He has also attracted a major fan-base in Asia, which has set off his negative image in America when it comes to ticket sales. Therefore, he has successfully produced many movies like Mission Impossible, Without Limits, Mission Impossible-II, Vanilla Sky and many others.
Breakup with Paramount
In 2006 Paramount ended its fourteen-year-old relationship with Tom Cruise. The reason for the break up was his public behavior and controversies surrounding Scientology and his strong views against psychiatry. Although, Cruise-Wagner Production defended him as they had better financing from equity firms, therefore, this action by Paramount saved them the embarrassment of being fired.
Wives & Girlfriends
Tom has been a ladies man. He has been married & divorced three times. In the early 1980s, Cruise has had relationships with women elder than him. Rebecca De Mornay was three years older than him, Patti Scialfa was nine years senior to him and Cher was sixteen years older to Tom. Besides, having fair share with elderly women, few names made headlines with him as follows:
Mimi Rogers was an American film & television actress/producer. They got married on May 9th, 1987. Although, their marriage lasted couple of years and they separated in 1989 before finalizing their divorce in 1990. It was Mimi who introduced Tom to the Church of Scientology. Since his introduction to the church, there was no going back.
In fact, Tom’s commitment and support for the church grew tremendously after his separation with Mimi. It is widely debated that Mimi, who was a follower of Scientology, was used by the Church to bait Tom Cruise.
Although, little is known about the reason for their divorce as neither of the two have mentioned the reasons for it. In one occasion, Rogers compared Tom to a monk while discussed intimacy issues.
After divorcing Mimi Rogers, Tom Cruise married the actress Nicole Kidman. It is also reported that Tom cheated on Mimi with Nicole while shooting for Days of Thunder. Their dating soon ended in marriage. They also adopted two children – Isabella and Connor. After ten years of marriage he filed for divorce when she was pregnant. Her pregnancy ended with a miscarriage.
Even after the marriage, Nicole went on record to mention her affection for Tom. She even tried embracing Scientology for Tom at first. She was audited, which was a very important thing in the cult. This audit was like a mixture between the Roman Catholic Confession and the lie detector test.
She also somehow reached the O.T.II Level. This was just a level less than the Tom-O.T.III level or the Wall of Fire level. She was also introduced to the stories of Scientology by the founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbards. Around seventy five million years ago, some galactic emperor sent frozen souls to Earth and bombarded the volcanoes with hydrogen bombs. Somehow David Miscavige had a reason to believe that Nicole did not fully trust Scientology. Therefore, he played a major role in ending the relationship between the two as Tom Cruise was living, sitting and breathing Scientology as the church played a very important role in his life.
After the failed second marriage, he dated Penelope Cruz, Tom’s former co-star from Vanilla Sky, but soon their relationship ended in 2004. He dated her for three years. Now she is happily married to Javier Bardem and have an adorable son called Leo. Although, there was a lot of controversy that Penelope parted ways with Tom over Scientology, as she refused to give away her beliefs on Buddhism.
After Tom’s break up with Penelope Cruz, the Church of Scientology took up the charge to find him an apt girlfriend. They shortlisted the thirty five year old Iranian born Nazanin Boniadi. She joined the church when she was seventeen.
She was forced to break up with her then boyfriend and had to undergo a number of physical transformations to make herself worthy for Tom. Her hair was darkened, her braces were removed and she was taken on a designer shopping spree in Beverly Hills. Then she lived and dated Cruise for three months where she kept a detail record of his behavior.
At the same time, she had to report to the church if anything she observed was not optimal so that they could help Tom immediately. She went into depression having to maintain so many outlets and decided to quit Scientology. Her decision to leave made her a traitor and she was harassed for a long time. This is because it is extremely difficult to leave the Church of Scientology.
Even Katie Holmes has gone on record to say how her life became a living nightmare. Nazanin claimed that there is no leaving Scientology, it is just escaping it. It is said that she had to do four months of menial labor like digging ditches, cleaning washrooms with a toothbrush, and selling Dianetics books on the street of Tampa. The church security also kept a close watch on her activities and after the period of punishment, she was left free.
In 2005, he started dating Katie Holmes. She was an American actress and model. They were a power couple and were often dubbed as ‘TomKat’ by the media. They made their first public appearance in Rome. They both got engaged in 2006 and then formerly got married later in the same year. Tom expressed his love for Katie in the Oprah Winfrey Show. Soon it was public that they were expecting a child.
After the birth of their daughter Suri, they both got married in Italy. It was in the news that the marriage was arranged by the Church of Scientology in the 15th century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy.
Tom’s best man was the head of the Church of Scientology – David Miscavige. Again, in 2012 Katie filed for divorce. Their lawyers worked out the divorce settlement. As the law in New York mandated, all divorce documents to be sealed.
As a result, the terms of the arrangement were unknown. Although, it is very much possible that the divorce took place, because Tom desired his daughter Suri. She should sign for the Sea Org in Scientology. It is a branch of Scientology where young children as old as ten years old sign a billion year contract of allegiance.
Teenagers are forced to clean sewage and are experimented with malnutrition. They also had to work in bad conditions in the cruise called the Freewind, which was owned by the church to throw lavish parties. This was the place when normal people bought a costly ticket to associate with grand stars like Tom Cruise.
Therefore, Tom has not seen his daughter after she was six years old. Currently, she is eleven but she does not spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with Tom. It is debated that whether it is terms of the divorce, which does not allow Tom to meet his daughter, or it is the Church of Scientology that requires members to cut all connections and communication after the person often called traitor leave the Church.
Tom Cruise has played some legendary roles from the beginning of his movie career. In the year 1992, he co-starred with Jack Nicholson in a movie featuring military courtroom drama- A Few Good Men.
Apart from being legendary, it was a box office hit with $15 million profit in the very first weekend itself. This also earned him a Golden Globe nomination. His craft was close to perfection in his movie The Firm and Jerry Maguire, which was released in 1993. He then played a vampire while co-starring with Brad Pitt in an interview, which was released in 1994.
He went on to become the famous Ethan Hunt in his next blockbuster, which became a huge franchise called Mission Impossible. It bagged him $64 million in its initial release. His performance was hugely admired in Jerry McGuire. This crucial performance bagged him an Academy Award nomination.
He was also awarded the Golden Globe for being the Best Actor. He later successfully played Jack Reacher, which went on to become a famous franchise. Even when movies like Eyes Wide Shut did not perform well, he enjoyed the cherries of success with his next project named Magnolia. His performance of being a confident sex guru gave him another Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for the best supporting actor.
He played the lead role in the Last Samurai, the $100 million dollar war epic, which gave him another Golden Globe Nomination. He did spend a lot of energy becoming the character, which became extremely famous. Some of them are listed below:
Top Gun: Pete Maverick
His first landmark role as Pete Maverick in Top Gun became a worldwide phenomenon. Tom played a fighter pilot in Top Gun, which was directed by Tony Scott. Besides Tom’s performance, the movie became iconic due to its great soundtrack, amazing on screen brotherly romance, and outstanding aerial photography.
Tom trained extensively for the character. His training included vomiting and choking which was very intense. He used to step into the passenger seat of a jet and the plane was pushed to its limit by the test pilot and Cruise has to practice the art to vomit immediately. In 2015, the US Library of Congress selected the film as culturally and historically significant and selected it for preservation.
Last Samurai: Captain Nathan Algren
This movie had almost beheaded Tom Cruise due to the failure of an animatronic horse. Japanese swordsman Hiroyuki Sanada confirmed the story. Sanada trained Cruise for all his martial arts. He also mentioned that on one occasion he had nearly sliced Cruise’ neck with a sword. The incident took place during a stunt performance in the epic – Fog Battle. He anyhow stopped the sword an inch away from his neck, while Tom was riding a mechanical horse, which had to recline backwards during the scene. Due to some mechanical defect it did not. Therefore thanks to his instincts, he was somehow able to stop the sword at the last second.
Apart from the accident, Tom Cruise trained with discipline and spent days perfecting moves for one single shot.
Mission Impossible: Ethan Hunt
Stunts and Tom Cruise are not new to each other. It is well known that Tom performs all his stunts himself to give audience the real feel. Mission Impossible franchise took his stunts to a different platform. The motto followed by the franchise was – ‘either go big or go home.’ He also practiced to hold his breathing for six minutes under water to successfully perform the Taurus sequence. He had to become a professional swimmer just to perfect the scene and give audience the real feel. Every movie in the franchise was a stunt upgrade.
In Ghost Protocol, Tom was literally hanging from the world’s tallest building- the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This scene was topped by Christopher McQuairee with more thrill in the next release – Rogue Nation, when Tom was hanging outside a a 380 plane that took off from the runway. All these stunts were performed by Tom even when he could have used a body double or special effects. These characteristics brings in the thrill to watch whenever, an Ethan Hunt go for a new adventure.
Paramount Pictures in a press conference showcased Tom’s stunts in his Jack Reacher franchise. To impersonate the character of Jack Reacher, Tom had to learn a Keysi – a fighting style which first attempts to protect the head before attacking, something that was not seen in modern films. This fighting style allowed Jack Reacher to get very close to his or her opponent.
It helped him become indestructible as he blocked and deflected while striking with elbows or knees. This style was also employed by Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. He had to take driving lessons to shoot the maniac driving scene in a V8 – powered Chevy Chevelle. His solid stunt performances make him sell like hot cakes and mostly turn all his projects into huge successes.
It is not a secret that Tom Cruise is estimated to be worth $480 million. He has been in the movie business for the last thirty years. He has starred in dozens of major Hollywood blockbusters. Starting his journey from Risky Business he went on to become the highest-paid actor in Hollywood in 2012. Apart from having Academy Award nominations and winning Golden Globes, he is one of the richest actors in the world.
His second film Taps gave him $50,000, which was not too bad for a new actor. Then his role in Legend for the first time gave him a six-digit paycheck. With every movie he received more money than ever.
In 1996 he got $70 million dollars for first Mission Impossible. New additions to this franchise gave him $75 million dollars. He then started producing his movies as well. To begin with, Mission Impossible grossed him $457 million worldwide. The third franchise Night and Day gave him $175 million dollars. Other movies like Jack Reacher earned him $7.5 million whereas; Edge of Tomorrow gave him $23 million dollars.
Today, more than twenty of Tom Cruise movies have crossed the $100 million mark worldwide. In 2006, Premiere ranked Tom Cruise as the most powerful actor in Hollywood. He was also ranked as the most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine.
Tom was so bankable that the founder of CinemaScore went on record in 2016 to state that it does not matter how bad the film or the script was, if it had Tom Cruise, then he could single handedly pull the movie away from losses. However, Tom’s credibility has decreased a little after the criticism surrounding Scientology, and failed marriages/relationships.
On the other hand, Tom became so famous around the world, even Japan in 2016 declared October 16th as Tom Cruise day, as he was the first Hollywood star to make so many trips to Japan.
Besides his earnings, he has three luxurious houses in Beverly Hills, Telluride estate and in New York. His favorite cars parked in his garage are – Ford Mustang Saleen S281, Porsche 911, Bugatti Veyron and a Mercedes CLK. He also has private jets like Gulfstream-IV SP and the Aviat-Pitts S-2B also known as the Mustang Fighter. In short, he lives like a king.
Tom Cruise has kept himself young by following a very strict routine. He does different exercises with a mix of weights and cardio to stay in his lean look.
Besides, he enjoys hiking, jogging, rock climbing and sea kayaking. He is a pro swimmer, which has helped him remain in full shape. He also hits the gym six days a week occasionally with his long time friend David Beckham, where he does cardio weights and functional training. For flexibility, he again mixes different types of cardio and strength training exercises, which also include climbing and fencing.
He never smokes, drinks very occasionally. Publicly he was once spotted having a glass of red wine with his close friend David Beckham.
Undisputable fact, Tom is a global celebrity but he is now surrounded with multiple counts of controversies, which has maligned his reputation and fan base. Here are the major controversies surrounding Tom Cruise:
Cruise is a firm believer and an advocate for the Church of Scientology. It is basically a body of beliefs and practices developed in 1954 by Ron Hubbard. Hubbard developed a program called Dianetics before he went bankrupt. Therefore, he started Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
He then promoted it like a religion and renamed it Scientology by keeping close to the practice of auditing. He then went on to establish the Church of Scientology. Tom has involved himself in different programs for the cult, including videos and charities.
All his efforts were directed to materialize scientology into a religion. Tom was introduced to Scientology in 1990 by his first wife Mimi Rogers. It is true that Cruise was suffering from dyslexia in his early age. Although, he believes that his involvement in the course of Scientology under L. Ron Hubbard has helped him overcome the disability. His faith in Scientology has become so strong that he has introduced many people to Scientology with an aim to convert them. He has been often nicknamed as the intolerant Nazi.
He has also campaigned extensively for Scientology to be recognized as a religion in Europe. However, it has not been very successful despite his reputation. He was described by the Paris City Council as Scientology militant. He even raised donations for Downtown Medical. He intended to rescue 9/11 workers and offered detoxification therapy based on the process framed by L.
Ron Hubbard. This has attracted widespread criticism from both medical and firefighter professionals. For his efforts Tom was awarded by the Scientology leader David Miscavige with the Freedom Medal of Valor in 2004. Therefore, it can be claimed that Tom Cruise is the celebrity of the brand. The cult is using his “innocent face” to earn money and increase the number of followers. Cruise believes that it’s a privilege to call oneself a scientologist, as the title has to be earned.
He has gone on record to call it a beautiful religion, as it has helped him incredibly in his life. If we consider what the church does for him, it can be said that it runs his life. When Nicole Kidman tried to distance Tom from the Church, she was branded as a suppressive person and ultimately led to ending the relationship with Katie.
Crazy Stories Surrounding Scientology
The MV Freewinds is a cruise ship of the Holy Grail. It is a place where every Scientologist wants to be. It is a cruise liner where members can mingle with the rich and powerful people for a ticket price. Celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta are the ones who attend these extravagant parties on Freewinds.
On this very cruise, Tom celebrated his 42nd birthday and he was dancing and singing. It was branded by the Church that Tom had reached the final level in Scientology, which meant complete enlightenment. When he was celebrating at the deck, other members of the Sea Org were working in inhumane conditions at the engine room of the cruise. It was more like a prison for punishing members of Sea Org who did not perform as told.
Leah Remini and Scientology
Leah Marie Remini is an American actress and anti-scientology activist. She is best known for her role in the comedy series The King of Queens. She made a documentary called Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. The documentary series was released that showed the experiences of the actress and other former members of the Church of Scientology.
She had joined the church when she was nine years old. However, she left the church under acrimonious circumstances. Her memoir became bestseller immediately after being published. The book shared stories of harassment and abuse to those who dare to leave the church and exposed those who have been publicly open about it. She has claimed that the church allowed her to meet Tom when she donated one million dollars to the International Society of Scientology. She said that scientologists believe that Tom Cruise can singlehandedly change the planet.
He is also somehow considered like a messiah figure. She has also described him as a grown up kid who has goofy ideas of fun. She even made it clear that he has the power to end Scientology, but that sounds more like a dream. It will be a miracle to do so, because he has been brain washed for thirty years.
Scientology negates the existence of the subject called psychiatry and any kind of psychoactive drugs prescribed for treatment of depression among other neurological disorders.
Tom Cruise in 2004 made a public statement that psychiatry should be outlawed. Cruise made assertions that there was nothing known as a chemical imbalance. He even named psychiatry as nothing but a pseudo science. He openly criticized the actress Brooke Shields for using an anti-depressant drug called Paxil. However, Brooke has credited the drug for her recovery from postpartum depression after she gave birth to her first daughter. Brooke was not silent about it and went further saying that Tom should mind his business and he should focus on saving the world from aliens rather than deciding the medication for women suffering from postpartum depression.
This was the issue that created a heated interview between NBC’s today host Matt Lauer and Tom Cruise, which has had a lot of viewers on YouTube. It was also widely reported that Cruise had a rift with Steven Spielberg. Steven, in the presence of Tom Cruise, mentioned the name of his doctor, who was prescribing medications to patients suffering from depression. As a result, the Church of Scientology and members of the Sea org created a lot of problems for the doctor.
In 2008, the Church of Scientology posted an interview with Tom Cruise on the importance of Scientology. Tom in the video went on to explain what Scientology meant to him. The success of Tom Cruise was marketed as bait for profitable prospective converts. However, the Church rubbished these allegations by calling it pirated and edited.
YouTube was forced to remove the video on grounds of a litigation threat. After certain investigations took place for that video, it was later found that it did not break any laws related to copyright. It was put back on YouTube again and it has been viewed by millions of viewers online. Since, then YouTube has declined to remove it due to the popularity of the video.
Katie Holmes divorced Cruise, as she wanted to protect her daughter Suri from Scientology. Cruise supported the statement and said that Suri was no longer prac- ticing member of the church. Pat Kingsley who was Tom’s publicist for fourteen years resigned due to an indirect coercion from Cruise to become a practicing member of the church.
From Loved Hated
The presence of Tom Cruise has been felt/seen onscreen for around thirty-five years. He has been known from heartthrob to the most powerful figure in Holly- wood. He made a connection with his fans when he was playing as Pete Maverick in Top Gun to become the indestructible agent in the Mission Impossible franchise.
He is now a megastar however; the love he has gathered has faded due to the change of his image in public. He was the person every guy wanted to be and every girl wanted to be with. Now people see him suffering from split personality. Cruise is now one of the most hated successful stars in Hollywood. This has not very much impacted his movies as people still have a sense of curiosity about him.
One of the main reasons for being hated is his advocacy for a cult called the Church of Scientology. He has been giving credits to Scientology for overcoming dyslexia and how it played an important role in terms of shaping the man he is today.
As discussed earlier, he was introduced to the Church of Scientology by his first wife Mimi Rogers. Mimi Rogers became hugely involved in Scientology because her father Phil Spickler was well known in the movement. It has been said that due to his celebrity status, he was been targeted by the church, which kid-gloved him to become a member of the organization. The cult has been hugely criticized for exploiting, harassing people after they have left the organization.
It has also been reported that there were many abuses, which took place in the church. Cruise made headlines when one of his videos went viral where he ranted about how Scientology is a beautiful religion and it is a matter of privilege to become a Scientologist. Again, this was removed from YouTube on the first occasion due to threats of litigation however; the company reposted it after careful evaluation and found that it did not violate any segment of copyright law. Since then it has had a huge number of views.
Even after getting divorced from Mimi, his adventures with Scientology never stopped, it rather intensified. Tom was an international icon. Therefore, he became an international lobbyist to make Scientology a full-fledged religion in Europe although it has received low ratings in the region. His honorary French citizenship in Paris never materialized due to his rigidity on Scientology. Even his mission in Germany was not successful.
His movie Valkyrie was not allowed to be produced in Germany, because of his support for Scientology and its mission to convert people. However, due to his “star status” the stand of the government softened and he got postproduction access, but he was not very welcomed by the religious leaders of the Protestant Church and Cruise was compared to the Nazi Minister Joseph Goebbels.
Tom’s image got seriously tarnished after his divorce to Nicole Kidman as the church hugely controlled every aspect of his life. Sources close to Kidman have mentioned that the church had a huge impact on the way he acted. Therefore, this was the beginning of the hatred towards Tom Cruise. It was also a shock to his fans as his screen image was totally different from his real life as if they were two different people.
The influence of the church over Tom Cruise to choose his girlfriend was very negatively perceived. None of his relationships ever remained stable. His dominating attitude of converting people to Scientology brought more hatred towards him. This created more problems for Tom just like Penelope Cruz did not want to quit Buddhism.
Tom’s marriage to Dawson Creek’s co-star, and his third wife, Katie Holmes was taken as a good sign for Tom to settle down for good. However, within six years Katie filed for divorce, as she feared that her daughter Suri would be brainwashed by Scientologists and they had Tom’s full approval to make her part of the Sea Org.
Tom’s controlling nature was not new from studios to personal life. His supermodel actress wife had been reduced to a shadow of Cruise. Holmes interviews have been often interpreted when she said that it was her job to support him by wearing a beautiful dress so that she can be seen and not heard. She also joked about it on David Letterman’s show that she is now free to wear high heels, as Tom was very short in comparison to her. Tom was very controlling of what she wears and whom she meets.
In a documentary by Alex Gibney, it was alleged that Cruise had members of the church wiretapping the phone of Katie to check on her so that he successfully manipulate the divorce proceedings.
His controlling nature was well witnessed on the sets of The Mummy, which got brutal reviews. It was said that the entire script was changed by Cruise. He also had a hand in selecting the director and even marketing the movie. This controlling nature cost him losses as the film just opened with $32 million dollars in the U.S on the opening weekend, failing to recover production and operating costs.
This was not the first episode in his professional life where Tom interfered or meddled. The actor Lee Ermey said that the reason for the failure of Eyes Wide Shut was Tom’s ego, which was extremely huge. Even the director Stanley Kubrick was sure that the film was not worth watching as Tom had changed it to something different.
In his personal life, Tom has been telling women what to do and what not to was one of the main reasons for his downfall in the female fan following. His advise on medication after pregnancy and how to give birth was an insult to the womanhood.
It was even alleged that Tom demanded his wife to give birth in compete silence. This was because Scientologists believe it prevents permanent psychic scarring of both the baby and the mother.
According to ABC news, Cruise was rumored to use a special form of pacifier to keep Holmes silent during the birth of her daughter- Suri. Although, he has clarified that the silent birth method of the church was not as strict as many believe.
His comments were not new, as he had criticized his co-star from Endless Love – Brooke Shields for taking medication to cure her postpartum depression. Brooks gave a very stern reply to Tom that he should focus on saving the world from aliens rather than explaining women what to do during and after pregnancy.
Tom Cruise has also been accused of infidelity. He allegedly cheated on Mimi with Nicole during the shoot of Days of Thunder. It is believed that this decision had some connection with the church. Therefore, it can be contended that his personal life affected his professional life when Paramount ended its fourteen-year long working association with him.
It was estimated that his controlling nature and erratic behavior could have serious impact on the Mission Impossible franchise. His affiliation to Scientology and the insane appearance on Oprah’s show had raised many questions about his normalcy when he was seen jumping up and down on his chair talking about his love for Katie. Paramount did not make it personal with Tom by saying that they liked him personally, but they wanted to renew the deal and his conduct was unacceptable to Paramount. Tom’s ideals under no circumstances were endorsed by Paramount.
Gender discriminated pay had been a huge issue in Hollywood. Although, Alec Baldwin had made it clear that the problem is not related to gender, rather it is because of huge stars like Tom Cruise who charge abnormally and this disturbs the balance. This fact was corroborated by Forbes when Tom was named as the most overpaid actor in 2015, as he returned $13.50 for every dollar he was paid.
Forbes also gave reasons for this huge payment gap among actors. It was mentioned that as studios do their best to get big names on their projects, and when the ego is huge, things get out of hand. Basically the actor’s ego determines their pay rate and some companies go with it. Tom topped the list of payments in 2006 and he became the highest paid actor in 2012 with huge box office success of the Mission Impossible installment: Ghost Protocol.
In spite of loosing fan base, due to his controversies, he has managed to crack the markets in Asia. His frequent trips to Japan especially during the shoot of the Last Samurai have made him a sensation in Asia. Japan now has a Tom Cruise day, celebrated every year. Therefore, he has managed to balance his earnings after suffering losses back home.
It is okay if he has decided to stick to his faith, as he has reasons to believe that it helped him overcoming dyslexia. However, it gets creepy when he tries to coerce other stars and people around him to do the same things without much questioning.
Cruise had an obsession with David Beckham – the football sensation. Tom viewed him as an ideal convert. However, David Beckham humbly declined to be part of the cult but it wasn’t because Tom did not try well enough. To lure Beckham, Tom Cruise ordered the Sea Org members to create a full size soccer field in the headquarters of Scientology. Although, it went in vain as Beckham’s wife Victoria and David himself did not show up.
Tom Cruise also failed to be a good father. He has three children, the two of them Isabella and Connor were adopted with Kidman whereas, his biological daughter Suri was from Katie Holmes. When he was getting married to Katie, a Scientology wedding was held in Italy. Tom’s elder daughter did not come to the wedding.
Similarly, it has been reported that Tom has not kept in touch or contact with his daughters for years. When asked why, Tom made excuses like being extremely busy. However, it had been reported that as Tom “eats, sits & breathes” Scien- tology, he has been disconnected from Suri and ex-wife Katie as the church believes that no contact shall be maintained with those who leave Scientology. Tom’s decision for his daughter to join the Sea Org, was one of the main reasons for his divorce with Katie.
Therefore, taking all these facts into consideration we should question ourselves that does he really deserves to be hated. The answer is relative and different for everyone. The fact that he has allowed his dedication to Scientology to be superior to any other thing in his life can be considered as something not very rational.
Tom has 6.3 million followers on Twitter, but his fan based is now divided. In fact, it’s known that any publicity is good publicity in the movie business as his negative publicity has made him a “curious figure” in the eyes of people. Attention is everything, if he somehow manages to get the attention through negative publicities is better than no attention at all.
Tom has also strategically handled his hate fan base at home by building strong relationships in Asia, where Hollywood has a huge impact. In fact, China now owns Hollywood.
Even after everything said, he still continues to be the leading man in Hollywood as his movies continue to do well. He continues to release blockbusters. Lately, he has announced that there would be a sequel to Top Gun, which has attracted huge public attention. Therefore, love or late, we cannot ignore Tom Cruise.