For nearly 40 years, Tom Cruise has been one of the biggest movie stars in the world. From his breakout role in Top Gun to the franchise lead in Mission Impossible, few stars boast the resume of Cruise. He’s also worth a cool $500 million. He’s kind of a big deal. With four decades of movies under his belt, it’s fair to assume a lot of interesting things have happened behind the scenes. Here are the craziest Tom Cruise movie secrets you need to know!
He Won’t Sign Onto A Movie Unless He Gets To Do His Own Stunts
Photo Credit: Murray Close/Getty Images
Tom Cruise famously performs the most dangerous stunts in all his movies. Watch any Mission Impossible movie, and it’s shocking how much danger the action star is willing to put himself in. Cruise reportedly refuses to sign onto movies that won’t let him do his stunts.
Say a movie wants to cast Cruise but won’t let him jump from high rise to high rise for a critical chase scene. The producers better start looking for a different, more risk-averse actor. Tom Cruise feels the need, the need for speed!
He Took Lead Role In Valkyrie Because He Looked Like The Real Person
Photo Credit: MGM
The movie Valkyrie is based on the true story of Colonel von Stauffenberg’s assassination attempt on Hitler during World War II. When Cruise was offered the role, there was no sales pitch that convinced him to sign on. Instead, he noticed that he bared a striking resemblance to the German soldier.
Cruise was sold, proving sometimes looks are all that matters. The movie was a moderate success, earning $200 million worldwide. Doing his own stunts has its downfalls. Coming up, the time Tom Cruise broke his ankle jumping onto a building!
Mission Impossible: Fallout Literally Broke Tom Cruise
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Mission Impossible: Fallout came close to missing its summer 2018 release date after Tom Cruise broke his ankle performing a stunt. The film had to take a break from filming in 2017 after Cruise couldn’t stick his landing after a scary jump. The hiatus put the movie’s release in serious doubt.
Never doubt Tom Cruise, though. After a brutal seven-week recovery, cameras were able to roll again. He also continued punishing his body by doing his stunts. All his hard work paid off. A seventh movie in the profitable franchise is already being planned.
The Last Samurai Almost Killed Tom Cruise
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers
Tom Cruise earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Last Samurai. If it wasn’t for his co-star saving his life, we’d be writing a very different article right now. Using real samurai swords rigged for safety was a bad idea when one of the rigs broke.
The sword came one inch from Cruise’s neck before Hiroyuki Sanada stopped it. That reminds us of the helicopter scene at the end of the first Mission Impossible! Somehow it always comes back to Ethan Hunt. Up next, all the drama that came with his casting in Interview With A Vampire.
Anne Rice Hated His Casting In Interview With A Vampire
Photo Credit: Francois Duhamel/Sygma via Getty Images
Without author Anne Rice, there would be no Interview With The Vampire. Having written the book, she was not happy to see the film cast Tom Cruise in the role of the vampire Lestat. She was so upset with his selection; she publicly criticized Cruise and everyone involved with the film.
After the movie came out, Rice changed her tune. It turns out Tom Cruise was perfect for Lestat, and he proved it with his performance. To apologize, Rice bought a two-page ad in Daily Variety praising Cruise’s portrayal of her most famous vampire. For another role, no apologies were needed because it created it himself!
Les Grossman Was Created For Tropic Thunder By Cruise
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
When Ben Stiller was struggling to write Tropic Thunder he had Tom Cruise read the script. Cruise suggested he include a movie executive in the film as a way to create pressure on the characters. Later, he decided to play the role of Les Grossman himself, under two very odd conditions.
The first condition was the character have fat hands. The second condition was that the bald and overweight studio executive be a dancer. And that is how one of the most memorable characters in movie history was created.
The Iconic Risky Business Dance Was Adlibbed
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers/Getty Images
Even if you’ve never seen Risky Business, you’ve probably seen Tom Cruise’s infamous underwear dance. According to the actor, he made up the routine himself, on the spot, “that’s something that I did as a kid at home.” Admit it; you’ve done that at some point in your life, too.
But how did he stick the landing on his slide to enter the scene? As he explains, “I dusted the floor and then put stick (tape) on the other side so I would get center frame on that and wore the socks.” Is there anything Tom Cruise can’t do? Keep reading to find out!
The Mummy Was A Real Monster Behind The Scenes
Photo Credit: Universal
The Mummy was supposed to start Universal’s “Dark Universe.” That is until Tom Cruise got his hands on it. According to reports, Cruise took over every aspect of the film, from the story to the direction, and even the editing.
Despite having a team hired by Universal, Cruise brought in his own editor and screenwriter, then wrangled control of the direction away from Alex Kurtzman. For all his meddling, Cruise’s version of The Mummy earned terrible reviews and scared audiences away. Made for $190 million, the film only grossed $80 million stateside.
Cruise Destroyed A $100,000 Camera Filming Days Of Thunder
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Tom Cruise’s “need for speed” is iconic, and it got the better of him while filming Days of Thunder. Playing NASCAR driver Cole Trickle, Cruise drove his stock car during several scenes. In one scene he lost control of the car and crashed into a wall, destroying a $100,000 camera in the process. Oops!
Hut Stricklin, a NASCAR driver, was consulted on the movie tried to warn Cruise that stock cars are designed to turn left but, “He didn’t really know what I was talking about.” We think he probably got the message after the movie studio sent him the bill. Still ahead, the movie Cruise put his reputation, and salary, on the line for.
He Didn’t Get Paid For Minority Report
Photo Credit: Dreamworks
Tom Cruise was so passionate to film the 2002 film Minority Report with Steven Spielberg that he refused to take a paycheck. Spielberg refused money also, something he claimed to have on his last eight films. Instead of getting money upfront, the pair cut a deal to earn 15 percent of the movie’s gross.
Minority Report made $358 million worldwide, netting Cruise and Spielberg around $54 million each. That’s pretty amazing. They took a chance on a passion project and it paid off big time!