Everything We Think About Tom Cruise Is Totally Wrong

by The Hairpin

“What we think of when we think ‘Tom Cruise’ is totally wrong. We think of this guy who is always a hero, always cocky, always right — but if we look at what he’s doing, he’s never that. He starts out at a sociopath in TAPS; he plays a screw up who gets kind of cocky in Risky Business, but he loses almost everything he cares about in Top Gun. Even in Cocktail, he’s a bad guy — and Cruise thinks he’s a bad guy — but the audience thinks he’s a good guy, and that’s what’s weird about it.”

So says Amy Nicholson, LA Weekly film critic — and author of Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor, in a conversation with Stacy Elaine Dacheux.

What role of Cruise’s did you personally relate to the most?

The one I respect the most is Interview with A Vampire. That’s where you see what makes Tom Cruise different than any other movie star. He does this film with Brad Pitt, who is supposed to be the next Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt doesn’t even read the book Interview with a Vampire. He famously says he threw it in the trash.

Tom Cruise doesn’t just read that book, he reads every single other book in the series by Anne Rice, so he knows that character better than anybody — even the director. The director didn’t even read the rest of the books. I love that performance because he did that for a movie nobody took seriously. Nobody wanted to play it. They wanted John Malkovich. They wanted Daniel Day-Lewis. He is so good in the movie. He almost ruins the movie because the director and Brad Pitt have no idea that he’s making that character so much better than they think it is. It’s Cruise preparing.

Read the rest at The Awl.