The longevity of Tom Cruise’s career should never be overlooked or dismissed. The 55-year-old has been an A-list movie star since leading 1983’s “Risky Business.” Since then he has managed to remain at the top for close to 35-years thanks to his intelligent and wily career choices, each of which have helped him to forge his own brand.
Over the years dozens of filmmakers have used Cruise’s popularity to their advantage. Doug Liman did just that for the second time with the upcoming “American Made”, re-teaming with Cruise following 2014’s “Edge Of Tomorrow”. Liman is well aware of what comes with working with the actor, though, and he recently admitted to Metro that while Cruise does have a “certain amount of baggage,” it is something that the director actually likes to play with. With “Edge Of Tomorrow” Cruise was more than happy for Liman to do just that, too.
“I like to think I am a contrarian that is turning the Tom Cruise brand on its head. Because if you ask Tom Cruise he comes with a certain amount of baggage, and when I was doing ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ I was saying, ‘Let’s do a character that’s the complete opposite of who you are in the public’s mind because of the tent-pole movies you’ve being doing. How about playing a coward? Just an unapologetic coward.’ And he loved that idea.”
Liman has nothing but the upmost respect for Cruise, though, insisting that, unlike most of his peers, the “Top Gun”, “Collateral”, and “Minority Report” actor is, first and foremost, famous for being a terrific actor and a movie star rather than for being in a franchise.
“Here’s the thing: some people are famous for being famous, or for being in movie franchises. Tom Cruise is famous for being a great actor, and for being a movie star. He has the goods. If you think about his career and how long he has been a movie star, and the kinds of movies he has made.”
According to Liman, Cruise managed to reach this echelon and then remain there for so many years because he has taken risks. Even starting with the film that turned him into a mega-star.
“Think back to ‘Risky Business’, where he plays a teenager starting a brothel. People think of Tom being fearless when it comes to stunts, but he’s truly fearless when it comes to trying roles he hasn’t done before. That’s why I wanted him for this movie. Because Barry Seal is a very different character for Tom.”
Tom Cruise’s latest risk, “American Made” will be released into cinemas on September 29.