Just be glad it's him, not you...
If you had Tom Cruise's trouble
You might be Tom Cruise crazy, too.
You'd flash your big white shiny smile,
And buy expensive shoes,
But you'd be the only man on Earth who couldn't enjoy Tom Cruise."
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (pronounced /ˈtɒməs ˈkruːz ˈmeɪpɒθər/; born July 3, 1962), better known by his screen name of Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Forbes magazine ranked him as the world's most powerful celebrity in 2006. During his career he has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won three Golden Globe Awards. His first leading role was in Risky Business, and since then he is known for playing cocky, charismatic heroes, although sometimes stepping outside his comfort zone. He's famous for his dedication to the job, every film has him either driving, motorcycling, flying, climbing, acrobatics and running. And he does the majority of these stunts himself, not relying on stunt doubles for them. Especially his running, which happens in nearly every movie.
Every few years he attracts some attention through some unusual antics that puts him into the tabloids, such as his outspoken adherence to the Church of Scientology; and his high profile marriage to Nicole Kidman, high profile relationship with Penélope Cruz, and high profile marriage to Katie Holmes, which all slowly fell apart. He is generally very friendly, but his intensity leads to some Memetic Mutation moments in interviews that takes time to dissipate. Including jumping on Oprah's couch telling her how much he loves Katie Holmes.
Despite all the crazy, Cruise is considered a genuinely good - sometimes even great - actor with some great films and powerful performances under his belt. He has remained an A-list actor since the 80's, starting around the time of Top Gun. He opened the 2002 Oscars — just months after 9/11 — and gave a memorably appropriate and heartwarming opening speech as well, called "A Little Bit of Magic".
- Endless Love (1981) as Billy
- Taps (1981) as Cadet Capt. David Shawn
- The Outsiders (1983) as Steve Randle
- Risky Business (1983) as Joel Goodson
- Legend (1985) as Jack (O' The Green)
- Top Gun series (1986 - present) as Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell
- The Color of Money (1986) as Vincent Lauria
- Cocktail (1988) as Brian Flanagan
- Rain Man (1988) as Charlie Babbitt
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989) as Ron Kovic (Ironically, he was actually Born on the Third of July.)
- Days of Thunder (1990) as Cole Trickle
- Far and Away (1992) as Joseph Donnelly
- A Few Good Men (1992) as Lt. Daniel Kaffee
- The Firm (1993) as Mitch McDeere
- Interview with the Vampire (1994) as Lestat de Lioncourt
- Mission: Impossible Film Series (1996 – present) as Ethan Hunt
- Jerry Maguire (1996) as Jerry Maguire
- Magnolia (1999) as Frank T.J. Mackey
- Eyes Wide Shut (1999) as Dr. William "Bill" Harford
- Vanilla Sky (2001) as David Aames
- Minority Report (2002) as John Anderton
- The Last Samurai (2003) as Nathan Algren
- Collateral (2004) as Vincent
- War of the Worlds (2005) as Ray Ferrier
- Lions for Lambs (2007) as Senator Jasper Irving
- Tropic Thunder (2008) as Les Grossman (Yup, that's him)
- Valkyrie (2008) as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg
- Knight and Day (2010) as Roy Miller
- Rock of Ages (2012) as Stacee Jaxx
- Jack Reacher (2012 – present) as Jack Reacher
- Oblivion (2013) as Jack Harper
- Edge of Tomorrow (2014) as William Cage (a Live-Action Adaptation of All You Need Is Kill)
- The Mummy (2017) as Nick Morton
- American Made (2017) as Barry Seal
- Sentou Yousei Yukikaze (unknown, currently in production)
Tropes associated with him:
- Action Hero: Especially in the Mission: Impossible Film Series, which made his character a standard of a modern super spy. Jack Reacher practically cements it.
- Adam Westing: Most of his roles are handsome and playboys, which gets into this trope, so it's very difficult to get rid of the idea that such characters are an Actor Allusion.
- Big Heroic Run: Famous for his on-camera sprinting ability; seems to work its way into most of his movies, regardless of the genre. Cruise even nods to its memetic status in his official Twitter bio: "Running in movies since 1981."
- Bishōnen: A very vivid example of Hollywood handsome, with his now-characteristic perfect megawatt grin. Wasn't always that way; he started off with very wonky teeth.
- Chick Magnet: Natch. Often extends to his characters, of course.
- Doing It for the Art: He puts all his effort into every role, regardless if it is a romantic comedy or an action movie. It's almost Memetic Mutation to say "Cruise never phones it in." This extends both within his movies, where he often develops the big Money-Making Shot himself, and in advertising the films, where he goes above and beyond with interviews and promotions.
- Height Angst: He is famously rather short in stature, somewhere in the vicinity of 170 cm, so many serious or romantic scenes in his works are filmed so that he was at least on a par with his Love Interest.
- Large Ham: Averted with his characters. Although he definitely corresponds to this trope in real life, most of his characters have a more restrained personality.
- Money, Dear Boy: He reportedly said that this was his main reason for doing the 80s sex comedy Losin' It.
- No Stunt Double: As part of Doing It for the Art he does the majority of his stunts personally, and is proficient enough that he is trusted to do those high risk stunts. On their own each Mission: Impossible film tries to up itself with what he does, from rock climbing in II, to scaling the Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol, hanging on the side of a real cargo plane in Rogue Nation and eventually broke his ankle jumping between buildings in Fallout.
- Older Than They Look: Despite being in his mid-fifties, he still looks like an attractive man in the region of 30, which in turn attracts a lot of Hollywood Old and Dawson Casting roles.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Famously on the short side, but frequently plays characters who are extremely skilled fighters.
- Playing Against Type: The roles of the cynical Anti-Villain Lestat in Interview with the Vampire and Jerkass movie studio executive in Tropic Thunder.
- Troubled, but Cute: His roles at the beginning of his career.