Tom Cruise - Movie Star or Celebrity Target?
With the build up to the movie release of Mission Impossible III (review) there's been press saturation galore on Tom Cruise, but not so much for the film itself. We've heard about his girlfriend, their baby, his scientology beliefs, and a million and one other things about his personal life. The press continue to focus on the man and his personal life and ignore the movie star, the actor.
Something Cruise himself does exceedingly well is to separate the movie star from his personal life. We can watch him on TV openly discussing his new found love, life, and personal beliefs, and the next day we see him spending a reported four hours outside the Premiere of M:I:III to work the crowd.
Despite having a new born child he comes to the premiere of his new film, not just to create headlines, but to stand and give the actual fans of the movie star Tom Cruise what they want, and what they want are his autograph, his voice recorded on their answering machine, a few words with their friend or mother, a quick photograph, and above all a moment with one of the biggest stars there is in Hollywood. Is that all bad? Does he deserve such bad press?
Without a doubt Cruise is working this crowd to get headlines to promote his new film, but he doesn't have to spend four hours to do that, this is something he's doing for fans, not press or critics, the people who pay to see him on screen, the people who elavated him to this huge status, the people who pay to see each of his films.
Yet all through the press there's negativity galore, picking up on his personal life, preferring to make a big deal about him not attending a press conference because he took his other children shopping for baby presents. Shouldn't we be looking to that model of a Father and praising it? Shouldn't we be accepting the fact that he didn't turn up for the conference and writing about something else?
For me there's always been a clear line. I'm not about gossip of celebrities private lives unless it relates directly to a film. Yet everywhere you turn there's the obsession with revealing the private life of a star and after building them so high, we seem intent on dragging them back down.
I think we should take an example from Cruise himself and separate that person from movie star. If the fans pay to see a film star again and again and help elevate them to such a high status, shouldn't we celebrate that fact and not try to tear them down? Shouldn't we look differently on their private life and their movie star life and hang on to these stars we've created? After all, how many of the big movies stars do we have that will spend four hours with true fans making them happy, giving them what they want, days after becoming a Father for the first time? Would the takings of M:I:III be so badly affected if Cruise had stayed at home?
I prefer to look at Cruise the star and respect what he has achieved, where he has come to, and what films he is, and has been, involved with. Sure there are a fair number of not so good films, there are periods of time where he's settled into his character and just coasted along. Then there are the Taps, The Color of Money, Born on the Fourth of July, Eyes Wide Shut, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Magnolia, Vanilla Sky, The Last Samurai and Collateral roles to name but a few. Then there are his production nods for such coming movies as The Eye.
When I think of films I don't see the sofa leaping, strong and outspoken Cruise. I see the fantastic movie star that spends so much time making happy the very fans who pay to see his movies and give him that huge title, a status which is so missing in Hollywood these days because we prefer to darken and tarnish what we have paid so much to lift and shine up. Shouldn't we celebrate the movie stars we create?