We all love Tom Cruise. His movies keep us on the edge of our seat and help us believe that good will win out in the end. But Cruise isn’t so much of an actor as he is a movie star. That means he doesn’t really play characters (OK, there was that one time in Tropic Thunder); instead, he plays different versions of himself. And we would include his performance as the vampire Lestat as just an undead, fancier version of himself.
If Tom Cruise were a car brand, he’d be Land Rover: powerful yet stylish. If he were a beverage, he’d be a Coke: bubbly and all-American. Like cars and beverages, actors, too, have brands. Cruise knows his brand is sexy action hero, and he always delivers. And all of these things are on brand for every Tom Cruise movie.
1. He takes off his clothes
In The Mummy, Cruise emerges from a body bag — naked, of course.
In Risky Business, he sings pants-less.
Then there’s that famous volleyball match in Top Gun where he’s all greased up.
2. He runs breathlessly through the city with mad panic
Usain Bolt has nothing on Cruise.
Crash, bam, boom! Now that’s an explosion.
No! Don’t look back!
3. He loves to jump
This jump is from Edge of Tomorrow. Didn’t see it? No need. This is literally the most exciting part.
In this Mission: Impossible jump, he’s like a human spider (not to be confused with Spider-Man).
And of course, we had to include jumping on Oprah’s couch.
4. He has a “need for speed”
Love the way he blips the throttle and spikes revs on his steel horse.
We’re absolutely, 100 percent sure Cruise is in that beige car. The one in the middle. We promise.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s Tom Cruise!
5. He clings to things
No rock is too high for Cruise.
For this one, Cruise hired a fitness trainer just to work out his hands.
In Rock of Ages, he even clung to a stripper pole.
6. He protects his women
He protects Annabelle Wallace from a raven strike in The Mummy.
He floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee to protect Nicole Kidman in Far and Away.
He creepily protects Kirsten Dunst in Interview with a Vampire.
7. And, of course, he’s always in shades
The Ray-Bans in Risky Business signal that he’s the cool guy who likes to have fun.
The aviators in Top Gun say he’s cocky.
Pushing his shades down, but not taking them off, says he sees something intriguing but can’t commit to it.