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Entertainment News

Entertainment News

Tom Cruise attends the "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" New York Premiere at Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 10, 2023 in New York City.

Tom Cruise is one of the greatest action stars of our time. Cruise began acting in the early ’80s and made his breakthrough with leading roles in the 1983’s Risky Business and 1986’s Top Gun. His upbringing wasn’t the glamorous life he has now. He grew up in near poverty with his three sisters, moved around a lot, and his father, as he described, was “a merchant of chaos,” a “bully,” and a “coward” who beat his children.

Tom’s Pursuit of an Acting Career

At 18 years old, Cruise moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. He then went to Los Angeles to try out for television roles, signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and began acting in films. His first movie appearance was a small role in 1981’s Endless Love with Brooke Shields. Later that year, he landed a major supporting role as a crazed military academy student in Taps with Sean Penn. 1983 was a big year for Cruise, landing a role with an ensemble cast in The Outsiders, All the Right Moves, and the career-making Risky Business.

With 50 acting credits under his belt, Cruise has been in a movie almost every year for the last 42 years. He shows no signs of slowing down, with Mission: Impossible Dead – Reckoning Part Two set to release on June 28, 2024. Cruise famously performs his own stunts, including some crazy ones in the Mission: Impossible franchise. He has put his life at risk in order to capture authentically thrilling action scenes time and time again without the use of CGI. As Cruise told Telegraph recently, “I want to give everything. To have that experience, to see that it communicates to an audience when it’s real. It’s different. There’s stakes, there’s real stakes.” Love him or hate him, Tom Cruise goes all in on every role he takes on.

See below our 5 picks of Tom Cruise’s wildest roles. Note that these aren’t the ones that are the most highly acclaimed, or even his most famous ones.

  • 5. Goldmember

    Even while playing a version of Mike Myers’ Austin Powers, Cruise jumps out of a plane to parachute into a convertible. When going head-on with a helicopter, he ejects himself, does a front flip and dual-wields uzis. The ridiculousness of it all is truly enthralling.

  • 4. Eyes Wide Shut

    Starring alongside his wife at the time, Nicole Kidman, the two played Bill and Alice Harford in this Stanley Kubrick-directed erotic, psychological drama. After she admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met, Cruise’s Bill becomes jealous and obsessed with having a sexual encounter and discovers an underground sexual group.

  • 3. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

    Insisting on doing his own stunts, this death-defying stunt takes the cake. While filming of 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the actor climbed the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building, located in Dubai). Cruise successfully scaled, ran along the side of, hung onto, and smashed through a window of the building. This stunt created such a huge buzz, this film has been credited for revitalizing interest in the Mission: Impossible franchise altogether.

  • 2. Magnolia

    In Paul Thomas Anderson’s drama, Cruise plays the arrogant Frank, who teaches seminars on teaching guys how to pick up girls. He really sells the role as a pickup artist and “motivational speaker” with an ensemble cast including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, and John C. Reilly. Of Cruise’s larger-than-life character, Anderson filmed a full-length infomercial with Cruise and played it on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2000.

  • 1. Tropic Thunder

    In the ridiculous 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder, Cruise wore a body suit and was completely unrecognizable in prosthetics as the profane, ill-tempered studio executive Les Grossman. His balding hair, protruding gut, and very hairy arms made him look like Paul Giamatti in Big Fat Liar. In an interview for Esquire’s “Explain This” video series last year, Ben Stiller (who directed and starred in Tropic Thunder) said it was Tom’s idea to play the character. Stiller said, “That part did not exist. He said, ‘Well, there’s no studio executive and that would be really fun to be that guy.’ And he had this whole idea of what the guy should look like. It was his idea to dance.” The iconic dance he spoke of was the end credits scene where Ludacris’ “Get Back” plays.

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