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Creator / Tom Cruise

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"Tom Cruise is an amazing actor and generous co-worker whose personal life we, as a society, know far too much about."

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 Mimi Rogers, 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 80s, something very few can claim, 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". Finally, even in his 50s, he remains Hollywood's preeminent Pretty Boy.


He is the first cousin of actor William Mapother. They have played together in some films.

Notable for:

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. As Cinema Wins says, "Tom Cruise sprints like a champ." Cruise even nods to its memetic status in his official Twitter bio: "Running in movies since 1981."
  • The Charmer: Tends to play a lot of these characters even well into his 50s.
  • 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.
    • For most of his career, Tom Cruise has worked out percentage deals for his films rather than taking a salary, meaning he gets a portion of the gross when the movie comes out. This helps ensure his films stay under budget while ensuring the biggest pay-day for himself, but only if it succeeds. It also means he has to bust his ass to promote the movie and make it the best it can be before release. Most of this certainly motivated his infamous recorded rant on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 when some crew members didn't respect the COVID-19 Pandemic production guidelines (though he didn't forget to mention it's also about ensuring the livelihood of everyone involved).
  • A Father to His Men: Say what you want about his personal life, but on a film set, Cruise has a reputation for being a tough but fair leader, with people like his Mission co-star Rebecca Ferguson gushing about how warm and kind he is to them on set. On Edge of Tomorrow, he famously challenged the extras to reduce the time it took to put on their suits from 30 minutes to 3, which ended up saving hours of production time and millions in cost. The Covid-19 rant above was partly due to the fact that not only was the movie (which he is a producer of) providing jobs for the people working on it, but it was also shouldering the hopes of all the major movie studios for a major post-Covid blockbuster, which would have long-lasting ramifications for the rest of the industry.
  • Height Angst: He is famously rather short in stature, somewhere in the vicinity of 170 cm (5'7"), so many serious or romantic scenes in his works are filmed so that he was at least on a par with his Love Interest. It's notably not necessary in the later Mission: Impossible films, though, opposite the 5'5" Rebecca Ferguson.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Christopher McQuarrie.
  • Hunk: He may be short but is still handsome, muscular and manly.
  • 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. Then there's Les Grossman.
  • 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 without a harness and having his co-worker actually try to stab him in the eye in MI:II to scaling the Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol, hanging on the side of a real cargo plane in Rogue Nation, performing over 100 HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) skydiving jumps for just a handful of usable takes, doing high-speed motorcycle chases through busy Paris streets sans helmet or any protection, learning to fly a helicopter, and eventually breaking his ankle jumping between buildings in Fallout. Cinema Wins refers to this quite accurately as "Unnecessary Risks Taken by Tom Cruise Due to His Unimpeded Devotion to Realism."
  • Older Than They Look: Despite being in his late-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, too-curious-for-his-own-good Dr Bill Harford in Eyes Wide Shut and Jerkass movie studio executive Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder.
  • Pretty Boy: Is this and a hunk as well. A very vivid example of Hollywood handsome, even well into his 50s, with his now-characteristic perfect megawatt grin. Wasn't always that way; he started off with very wonky teeth.
  • Romance on the Set: Started dating Nicole Kidman on the set of Days of Thunder, Penélope Cruz on the set of Vanilla Sky, and Hayley Atwell on the set of the seventh Mission: Impossible film.
  • Scully Box: invoked He provides the trope image. Camera angles and other tricks are used to make him seem much taller than he is, and not be dwarfed by taller actors and actresses around him. Reportedly he was the only actor in Top Gun who actually met the height requirements for being a fighter pilot, with all the others feeling cramped.
  • Silver Fox: Has dyed his hair gray for roles, including Collateral. Still doesn't detract from his overall good looks.
  • Troubled, but Cute: His roles at the beginning of his career.


Video Example(s):


You Can't Handle the Truth!

Lt. Kaffee and Colonel Jessup go all in this epic courtroom battle scene!

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (29 votes)

Example of:

Main / HamToHamCombat

Media sources:

Main / HamToHamCombat