The rumours swirled before the internet became a thing. How these rumours spread before we all plugged in must have been a combination of hints in the gossip columns, celebrity magazine subheadings and some comedian on some program cracking a sly joke.
I can’t remember a time before Tom Cruise. I’m at that age of him always being around. There was a time when girls and boys at my school had posters of him on their wall. He was young, hot, talented and Top Gun gave a man that was already flying jet propelled wings.
By the age of 26, Cruise had already worked with Coppola, Ridley Scott and Scorsese on The Outsiders, Legend and The Color Money but even then he was almost too young and pretty to be regarded as an actor with chops. It was Rain Man when he came of age and proved to the world he had hair on his nuts. Hoffman took the awards but go back and watch Cruise at work and he’ll knock your socks off.
Born on the Fourth of July came next. He suffers, sightly, for being a bit too youthful looking for the role. Like DiCaprio in Gangs of New York all the pieces are there but you know they haven’t grown the beard they’re wearing. That aside, he turns in a cracking performance which would have almost certainly snagged him the Oscar, If Daniel Day-Lewis didn’t grab it with his left foot that year.
Between 1989 and 2000, he never made a bad movie. Days of Thunder is often mislabelled ‘Top Gun on a Racetrack’ and it might not be Shakespeare but it’s solid Hollywood thrills. The much maligned Far and Away, which is one of those flicks everyone loves but critics always sh*t on. When they plants that flag in the ground at the end of that film it never fails to rouse my inner romantic.
A Few Good Men did the business, The Firm is one of those solid thrillers you can rewatch a hundred times. There was a lot of noise about him being miscast as Lestat in Interview With a Vampire but now it’s difficult to imagine anyone else in the role. The first Mission Impossible with De Palma is still the best of the series and Jerry Maguire is Jerry Maguire.
That’s not a bad run and although many will argue Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut derailed the train that’s hogwash. For me, it’s the best he’s ever been to date and his tortured and curious Doctor Hartford is the one he should be given more credit for. Then again, I think his follow up role as Frank T.J. Mackey in Magnolia was a little overrated. Still very good, but off the back of the disappointment of Eyes Wide the media treated it as a revelatory comeback as if they were amazed he was capable of such a performance. Of course he was, they just forgot or didn’t know.
He’s made few movies you could call outright trash but Mission Impossible 2, especially compared to the others, is a hot mess. Dishonourable mentions for Knight and Day, Oblivion and The Mummy and that takes care of the stinkers but even some of those are not irredeemable and the only one that failed to entertain me even slightly was Oblivion. Absolute nonsense.
Looking back his last performance of any real weight was Valkyrie in 2008 and since then he’s seemingly stepped back from the award baiting performances but they will come around again. When he can no longer hang off skyscrapers and if he decides to age gracefully his best work could be ahead of him.
Anyway, I digressed. So the ‘Tom Cruise is Gay’ rumours. Who gives a f*ck if he is or he isn’t. We’re naturally curious about the lives of others, especially celebrities, but so far no scientist has proven that enjoying a man’s lips wrapped around your cock affects your ability to act so until that merry day happens and a paper is published, his private life is inconsequential and I’ll put his dealings with Scientology under that same umbrella. Sure, I might think the religion is bananas and it might transpire that more of the wicked rumours surrounding it prove to be true. If it turns out he had knowledge or participated in any misdeeds, in this modern trial by social media world some revelations might be difficult to come back from, even for someone who wields the kind of power Cruise does.
But again, until that day falls what he gets up too behind closed doors is none of our business. We all know that, though. We just find it hard to resist scurrilous rumours and sensational headlines. It doesn’t make us bad people, it just highlights our lack of desire and effort to be better people.
NEXT WEEK: DID KEANU REEVES SECRETLY MARRY AN OCTOPUS?