In the past few years, Tom Cruise has become synonymous with couch jumping, chastising Matt Lauer, creepy laughter, and espousing Scientology edicts that make some of us say, “What the hell did Tom Cruise just say?” What happened to the days when we thought of him as one of Hollywood’s best and hottest actors? Let’s visit yesteryear, and remember why we still love Tom Cruise…
Lands on his feet
Tom Cruise has turned into one of those celebs that makes headlines as much for his bizarre behavior as for the movies he stars in. But here is what is important to remember — he’s still starring in movies! Oh, I got mocked mercilessly for jumping on Oprah’s couch like a gorilla that just escaped captivity? I guess I’ll just run out and make a blockbuster movie with Stephen Spielberg.
Usually when a celeb’s reputation starts to go the way of headlines that become punch lines, the star’s mug shot is either soon to follow or they pack up their fuzzy wall and move back to Ohio. Sure, Paramount severed its 14-year relationship with Cruise after he went bonkers on Oprah, but that didn’t really affect the number of movies Tom Cruise has made, or how many piles of cash he has deposited in the bank.
Cruise has avoided being convicted in a bad way (for all the setbacks he’s endured in his personal life, he never bottomed out — publicly at least). He is convicted in other ways, and you don’t have to search too hard to see examples of that. Regardless of whether or not you agree with him (is it OK for a guy to speak with complete certainty on the topic of postpartum depression?) he believes what he believes and he’s not afraid to say so.
In a Today Show interview in 2005, Tom told Matt Lauer that psychiatry is pseudoscience and that Lauer didn’t know the history of psychiatry. After that notorious interview, the reaction was, “Yeah, we can see that Tom Cruise doesn’t believe in anti-psychotic drugs, because if he did, he would take them instead of making an utter a** of himself.” The point is you have to admire a guy who has convictions and sticks by them, don’t you?
We’re not talking about when Tom Cruise laughs like he’s been possessed by something demonic. There was a time when Tom was funny. In that infamous Scientology video where he says that only a Scientologist will stop when they drive by an accident, because they know they can help, he was kidding right? That’s funny. He was in Jerry McGuire, Goldmember, Tropic of Thunder, and was a recurring guest on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. True, he doesn’t appreciate the humor of a gag water pen, but pranks aren’t for everyone.
Even if you think some of this is a bit of a stretch, Tom Cruise has been in more than 40 movies and at least half of them have been good. A handful of them have been blockbusters. Oblivion just raked in $61.1 million internationally. Back in the day, Tom made you want to be Kelly McGillis in Top Gun, Elisabeth Shue in Cocktail, and Nicole Kidman in Far and Away. We loved Tom in Rain Man and will be forever grateful to him for starring opposite Brad Pitt in the vampire legend, Interview with the Vampire. Because of these titles we forgive him for Eyes Wide Shut and Rock of Ages.