Top Gun: Maverick was the movie that made Tom Cruise a star for the next four decades. The movie showed that Cruise is still a big draw for moviegoers, especially when he plays famous characters in big-budget blockbusters. Maverick was the biggest hit of the year. It made over $1 billion around the world and set the stage for back-to-back Mission: Impossible movies.
From the outside, it looks like Cruise has never had a better career. He worked hard to get this job. Cruise has done better than any other 60-year-old star ever, both in his career and in his personal life, because he carefully planned the last ten years.
On his birthday, things started to get better for him. Mid-2000s: Cruise’s worst PR issue. Even before social media, he was a joke because of what he did on Oprah. At about the same time, Cruise said that Shields’ use of antidepressants was “responsible.” In a video that got out, he talked about Scientology with a lot of passion and threat. His ties to the Church of Scientology seemed to be at the heart of every argument he got into, which has always been a sore spot.
After two years without a hit—the third Mission: Impossible didn’t do well—Cruise came back with a role that made him look like an actor who makes fun of himself first and a star second. In 2008, Cruise was in Tropic Thunder, a movie by Ben Stiller that made fun of war movies and the movie business. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as the fat and bald studio boss Les Grossman, who may have been based on Harvey Weinstein.
Stiller told Esquire years ago that Cruise came up with Grossman, who screams obscenities at callers and dances to pop music. ” That didn’t exist. He said, “There isn’t a studio executive, which is great.” He had a dream about how the man looked. He suggested that we dance. During a make-up test, someone gave him a Diet Coke, and he started to move, he said.
Before that, Cruise had said a similar thing. In 2017, he told BBC Radio 1 that there are all the characters in the screenplay but no studio. “These characters didn’t have the structural compression that moves the plot forward. “You need a studio,” I said. When he got back, I started to read. I read about this person and said, “Okay.” I asked Ben, “Is this fun?” This person is interesting to me. I said, “I want big hands and to dance.” And he was like, “What?”
“He said, ‘Are you sure you can’t just be yourself?’
” Do it like you?’ I said, ‘I don’t know how else to play this character.’ So I did the cosmetics test, we tested the fat hands and the whole appearance, and then we did the clothing without music. I said, ‘Let me show you some moves…’ He just called up and laughed… He picked the music, changed it, and was angry about it.”
Grossman wouldn’t work in a modern movie. Bad character gets worse over time. They have both failed. Tropic Thunder made almost $200 million worldwide and got Robert Downey Jr. a nomination for an Oscar, but it was criticised for how it dealt with mental illness and how it used Blackface. Even so, there is still a lot of interest in the role. This is similar to Cruise’s career, which has done well despite his ties to Scientology and his demanding behaviour on set.
In 2020, Cruise played the part again at the MTV Movie Awards, and then there were rumours about a Les Grossman spinoff.