Okay, so, for all you lay people that are not in the business and who may never have a chance to brush elbows with a Hollywood celebrity, let alone speak to them, allow me to put one myth to rest.
This past week, I had the pleasure to work with Tom Cruise (in a small supporting role and in one scene with him) on his latest film, Mena, which is directed by Doug Liman (Bourne Identity, Swingers, Edge of Tomorrow and more). I have to tell you, for all the “questionable” press that Tom gets about Scientology, he is actually a very COOL guy. Besides being, arguably, the most successful actor of the last 30 years and someone that I grew up watching since the age of 10, he also happens to be a very hardworking, dedicated and down to earth individual.
First, let me say, that he keeps himself incredibly young and healthy looking. You would never know that he’s over 10 years older than me. Crazy! But, besides his looks, the guy was extremely gracious, personable and dedicated to the story and project. For those of us in the business, you know how rare it is for an actor who is that “BIG” to actually care about his supporting actors enough to actually give them an “eyeline” for closeups. Well, Tom insisted on standing right next to camera as we shot our closeups and not have his stand in do it. I was floored.
He and Doug also made the environment completely collaborative and respectful to all of us, taking our input and allowing us to improvise to get the right mood necessary for the scene. It was a refreshing change from some of the TV work I’ve done lately where the leads and directors were standoffish and made you feel irrelevant. Of course, none of them were even close to Cruise and Liman level and yet they treated you as if they walked on air and you were grounded. Not so with these two guys.
Lastly, no… Tom Cruise is NOT overly short. Sure he was wearing boots but the dude is easily 5’9″ if not 5’10″… NOT 5’7″ as everyone says… When we spoke, we stood eye to eye and I’m 5’10″… Regardless, his welcoming and collaborative attitude makes him six feet tall in my book.
Although you’ll never read this, guys, thanks for restoring my faith in the “business.” I can assure you that I will pass on that example should I ever get to that level myself. Look forward to seeing this film come out in 2017. Please follow me at Frank Licari. Thanks everyone.