Remember 2006? The Winter Olympics took place in Turin, Italy, French footballer Zinedine Zidane famously head-butted Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the FIFA World Cup Final, and Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin died in a tragic swimming accident.
In Hollywood news, Tom Cruise was ranked by Forbes magazine as the most powerful celebrity on the planet.
The Scientologist has endured a turbulent past—one filled with more controversy and challenges than the heroic characters he portrays on the big screen. From his infamous divorces to Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, to the Church that preyed on Cruise’s ego to promote it’s otherworldly agenda, the Syracuse native’s career has been extended by a relentless thirst for success.
In honour of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation hitting theatres this week, here are the reasons why the $480 million-man is still dominating Hollywood.
His Charisma is Unparalleled
Tom’s couch-jumping escapade on Oprah Winfrey in 2005 was definitely embarrassing for the man’s PR staff. But, the stint symbolized his relentlessly positive take on the world. No doubt this attitude netted him starlets like Kidman and Holmes, but it also helped Cruise’s career in proving his worth to industry executives. Imagine being an executive producer at Paramount and having Tom convince you that his next film will top $100 million at the domestic box office this weekend.
That’d be difficult to turn down.
Unfortunately, that same charisma engineered his downfall. The Church of Scientology took advantage of his ego and used it victimize the superstar and everyone close to him.
Let’s hope he uses that intense smile for good from here on out.
He’s Relentlessly Approachable
Most of the cast and crew members who’ve worked with Tom truly admire the guy. Sources say he’s a very likeable, approachable guy on all of his sets. He comes across as a successful car salesman but is able to disarm naysayers by relating to them on a personal level.
This approachability helped him become earth’s top action star, as his readiness to meet anyone and everyone makes him an invaluable employee and impressionable role model.
His Work Ethic/Discipline is RIDICULOUS
English actress Emily Blunt recalled a scene from Edge of Tomorrow, where she hung from wires with co-star Tom while wearing 85-pound battle suits. While the crew was preparing for the next shot, things were getting dire. Telling Cruise “This sucks,” he refused to give in, instead admitting with an exhausted nod and wry smile: “It’s a challenge.”
This discipline translates onto the big screen perfectly. Mission Impossible co-star Simon Pegg recently said in a Jimmy Fallon interview that Tom believes the moviegoing audience deserves and expects an astronomically high level of quality on screen. Thus, the reason he attempts method acting to get into characters like Ethan Hunt’s head.
Which brings us to why I think he’s still considered an A-list star.
He’s Willing to try ANY Stunt Imaginable
Be it dangling off the Burj Khalifa in a harness—earth’s tallest building—or taping himself to a plane as it takes off, Tom has developed a reputation for putting himself in harm’s way to deliver an authentic cinematic experience to his audience. He’s an accomplished stunt driver who’d rather endanger his own life than one of his fifty stuntmen—a tendency that no doubt petrifies the team of lawyers behind every contract he inks.
While many think he’s crazy, it’s more likely that Tom likes making movies more than he likes the financial benefits and publicity of starring in blockbuster films.
Or, he truly is crazy.
Either way, the man’s a living testament to hard work and perseverance. Take note, Tiger Woods.
(Submit equally witty and thought-provoking sign off here)