There are a lot of odd rumors surrounding Tom Cruise. He’s one of the biggest film stars in the world, after all! But before we make up our minds about the Mission Impossible star, let's go over the strange rule Cruise has for his co-stars that’s more than a little bizarre. And after one of his scene partners spilled the truth, the information cast his films in a whole new light.
In truth, Cruise’s behavior has been a little odd both on and off his movie sets. Maybe being in Hollywood for so long has affected what he sees as normal? And Cruise has been acting for decades now, ever since he was a 16-year-old. Since then, of course, he’s risen through the ranks to become a huge star.
Demanding the most
But alongside those astronomical accomplishments in Hollywood, there are persistent claims of eccentric behavior on Cruise’s part. There are rumblings, too, of bizarre demands that the actor has made on behalf of both himself and his co-stars.
Does Scientology play a part?
Some chalk this up to Cruise’s membership of the Church of Scientology. And if rumors are to be believed, the Church has gone above and beyond to help the actor. One defector has alleged that the organization chose a romantic partner for the Hollywood star. Cruise has never confirmed this, though.
Actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini has also claimed that the A-list actor liked to play hide-and-seek with other adults. Then there’s the allegation that he believes himself to hold healing powers. And observers have noted one particularly eerie similarity in Cruise’s life. He separated from all three of his wives – Katie Holmes, Nicole Kidman, and Mimi Rogers – when they were aged 33. Is this just a coincidence?
That Oprah interview
Then there was the time Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. We bet you remember it! At one point during his chat with the host, he bounced around on the couch and declared his love for Katie Holmes. Not the kind of thing we expected from him... not then, anyway.
A good deed
Yet Cruise sometimes uses his status as an A-lister for good. One time, for instance, the Mission: Impossible star sent his co-stars cakes. Nice, right? And he explained why when he appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2018.
Cruise told the British host, “I love sugar, but I can’t eat it because when I’m training, I’m doing all these movies — so I send it to everyone.” Yes, the actor enjoys the unhealthy treats vicariously through his fellow actors. He added, “I wait for the calls. Like, tell me about it.”
Not afraid of danger
And Cruise’s no-cake-allowed training seems to be paying off. It probably helps, too, that he’s not afraid of danger. Yes, Cruise is known for doing something quite unusual for a leading man – especially a bankable one with plenty to lose. He’s developed a reputation for performing his own stunts.
Chasing that adrenaline rush
This daring attitude has seen Cruise largely dispense with the stunt doubles used by other big Hollywood stars. Perhaps he loves the challenge and the adrenaline rush that comes with performing his own action sequences? In any case, being a daredevil has seen him rise to the top of the blockbuster game. That’s given him the right to make one big demand of his co-stars — even if it is a little weird.
Still a superstar
Yep, Cruise is as successful an action hero as he’s ever been. The seemingly ageless actor is right up there with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham when it comes to box-office bankability. And as any keen film buff will tell you, a massive part of Cruise’s blockbuster success has come from the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Those breathlessly paced flicks have featured an improbable number of adrenaline-spiked sequences – some of them downright strange. Do you remember, for instance, in Mission: Impossible when Ethan Hunt jumps away from a giant exploding fish tank? Weird, yes, but awesome to see on the big screen.
Then there’s the point in Mission: Impossible: Fallout when Cruise performs a death-defying stunt in a helicopter. The actor turns his chopper 360 degrees in a downward spiral above the mountains. And, naturally, this needed to be done right – meaning plenty of practice was required. One aerial assistant who worked on the film claimed that Cruise spent about 2,000 hours training just for that pivotal scene.
When Cruise isn’t defying death, though, he’s probably running. Yep, in plenty of his movies – action or otherwise – the star is sprinting, dashing and rushing from scene to scene. It’s become something of an unusual trademark, in fact. But then Cruise has been no stranger to the bizarre throughout his long and storied career.
Nearly became a priest
Weirdly enough, the young Cruise briefly harbored an interest in becoming a Catholic priest! And he shone at athletics in high school. In fact, until a knee injury put him on the sidelines for a while, he had seriously contemplated going into professional wrestling.
But Cruise didn’t ever enter the church or go to work in a leotard. Instead, he set himself a ten-year deadline to achieve his goal of making it big in Hollywood. The New York-born star would make that breakthrough in the early 1980s, landing roles in Endless Love and Taps before working with Francis Ford Coppola and some of the so-called “Brat Pack” actors in The Outsiders.
His big break
The movie that truly launched Cruise into the stratosphere, though, was Top Gun. And that hit actually came after a downturn in fortunes for the fledgling star. After a well-received lead role in Risky Business, he failed to capitalize on that promise with the fantasy flop Legend. But Cruise’s portrayal of Maverick in the flashy fighter pilot flick put him back on track. His performance was key to the film’s gargantuan success, too.
Becoming an A-lister
Thanks to Top Gun, Cruise became highly bankable. It also meant he was able to land leading roles in big-budget movies, including Days of Thunder and the intense legal drama A Few Good Men. As his star ascended, however, Cruise reportedly began to make a rather strange demand of his fellow actors.
Pivoting to action
That demand was still a thing when Cruise started to become an action hero. First, he landed the plum role of Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible. The stylish, Brian De Palma-helmed movie was based on the American TV series, and upon release it became a box-office smash.
All his own stunts
The film was such a success, in fact, that a sequel was soon prepared. And ever since, Cruise has become renowned for performing the majority of his daring stunts. In Mission: Impossible 2, this included scaling a cliff face at Dead Horse Point in Utah.
Quite the range
But Ethan Hunt isn’t the only role that Cruise has taken on in the last two decades. Famously, he’s also appeared in the box-office hits Jack Reacher and Oblivion. That’s not even to mention his artier work, including leading parts in Magnolia and Eyes Wide Shut.
The rule everyone must follow
Regardless of the movie, though, there’s still that strange on-set rule Cruise expects others to follow. And it’s apparently so important to him that he considers it virtually unbreakable. Well, that’s what a co-star has alleged in a tell-all interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Co-star revealed all
English actress Annabelle Wallis appears in The Mummy alongside Cruise – although you may also recognize her from Peaky Blinders and The Tudors. And the Oxford-born performer made the remarkable claim that Cruise doesn’t allow anybody to run alongside him on screen.
Spilling a secret
Yes, apparently, the actor – who likes to run a lot in his movies – doesn’t tolerate his co-stars keeping pace with him. But Wallis had another secret to share. Rather incredibly, she said, she was able to get the Top Gun star to break his golden rule – just for her.
Asking Cruise to bend the rule
In her interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Wallis explained that she had been really keen to sprint alongside Cruise in The Mummy. But to begin with, at least, the veteran action hero put her firmly in her place. Wallis said in 2020, “I got to run on screen with [Cruise], but he told me no at first.”
He said no
Cruise’s co-star continued, “He said, ‘Annabelle, nobody runs on screen with me,’ and I said, ‘But I’m a really good runner.’” Given what happens in the movie, though, the actress was eventually able to get her way. So how did the English rose persuade Cruise to bend his sacred rule for her and embark on a joint run in The Mummy?
Amazingly, this simple ploy actually worked. Yes, the Collateral star was swayed by Wallis’ determination and rather sneaky bid to prove her running credentials. It was enough, in fact, to get Cruise to reconsider what had previously been a cardinal rule.
“It was better than an Oscar”
And the way Wallis tells it, she had achieved something approaching a dream. She admitted to The Hollywood Reporter, “So, that was it. It was, like, better than an Oscar. I was so happy! I was so happy that I got to run on screen with Tom Cruise.”
Determined to run
Back in 2017, Wallis had previously revealed to London’s Evening Standard just how keen she had been to keep pace with the actor in the movie. She told the newspaper, “I was adamant that I was going to run on screen with him because he’s so particular about his running.”
Getting under his skin
The actress even revealed that she had deliberately tried to get under Cruise’s skin to earn her running opportunity. She recalled, “I was so cheeky with him that I said, ‘Come on, I’ll run through the studio with you and beat you.’ And, oh my God, I did.”
Cruise wasn’t pleased
Cruise wasn’t exactly too happy about that. “He has this turbo button,” Wallis revealed. “And as he sees you creeping up, he does not like it, and he powers on through.” But the Hollywood A-lister must have been grudgingly impressed, as he made some sly adjustments to the movie himself.
A great honor
Not content with breaking his strange rule just once, Cruise apparently went ahead and crafted a few more running sequences for the movie so that he and Wallis could further show their sprinting ability. She told the Evening Standard, “He added all those running bits because when he saw me, he said, ‘Wow, you run really well.’”
Proving she can do it
And Wallis appeared to admit that she was initially envious of Cruise being able to run in the film. “I wanted to do the same, and I was like, ‘I can do the same, and I want to show Tom Cruise that I can do the same,’” the actress told the Evening Standard.
A young tomboy
But perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Wallis took to the action scenes with gusto. At least, it may not have been for folks who have known her from a young age. You see, as the actress revealed to the Evening Standard, “I grew up a tomboy. I rode motorcycles, I played paintball.”
Wallis continued, “I’m very physical naturally, and I knew I wanted to get into the action space because I naturally feel comfortable there.” Working with Cruise seemingly brought out her competitive side, too. She added, “When I was on set, I realized that you just can – you take yourself to the next level.”
Dominant on set
Still, Wallis may have been playing with fire, as Cruise has earned a reputation for being intense during filming. His Mission: Impossible II co-star Thandiwe Newton even went as far as to say that she was “so scared” of him. Newton also labeled the Hollywood icon a “very dominant individual” when he was in front of the lens. But, fortunately, Wallis has made no such complaints – that we’ve heard of, anyway.
A weird fact
And we may know why Cruise is so keen on sprinting on screen. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the flicks that see Cruise running more than 1,000 feet are more favorably reviewed than the films in which he races for shorter lengths or just doesn’t bother. Those films have earned bigger bucks at the box office, too. Maybe there’s real logic there after all...
The woman who knows him best?
And Nicole Kidman may have a better understanding of her former husband’s foibles than most. Her life hasn’t always been easy, either. After she married Cruise in 1990, for example, she experienced some trials and tribulations that she mainly kept to herself. But Kidman and Cruise divorced in 2001, and perhaps the passing of time has helped the actress to speak out about how painful her time with her ex actually was.
Kidman’s career since divorcing Cruise, meanwhile, has gone from strength to strength. In 2002 she won a Best Actress Oscar for playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours; since then, she’s also received two other nominations for her work in Rabbit Hole and Lion. Kidman’s personal life seems to have improved, too, as she has been married since 2006 to musician Keith Urban.
Nicole and Keith
And by all appearances, Kidman and Urban have a successful relationship, judging by their showings of affection for each other on social media. What’s more, even though Kidman’s career more or less eclipses Urban’s, the country singer is consistently supportive of his wife. After Kidman’s HBO series Big Little Lies turned out to be a massive hit, for instance, Urban told Australian talk show Sunrise how proud he was of her.
Movie star marriage
But it wasn’t always that way for Kidman. Before she married Urban, she was the wife of Tom Cruise – and he was very much the more famous of the pair throughout their marriage. In fact, it was Cruise who gave the actress one of her big breaks with the movie Days of Thunder. After watching Kidman in 1989’s Dead Calm, the Top Gun star convinced the Thunder producers to cast her as his love interest in the film.
Days of Thunder
Days of Thunder came out in 1990, and that same year Kidman and Cruise were married. “[Cruise] basically swept me off my feet,” Kidman would remark in a 2002 interview with Vanity Fair. “I fell madly, passionately in love. And as happens when you fall in love, my whole plan in terms of what I wanted for my life — I was like, ‘Forget it. This is it.’”
However, Kidman and Cruise’s wedding would be very much tied up with the Church of Scientology; Cruise was already well involved in the religion by then. In addition, the church’s head, David Miscavige, served as best man to the Top Gun star.
Then, after the wedding, Kidman badly wanted to have children with Cruise. But it wasn’t to be, and so, after some fertility issues, the couple decided to adopt. “My mother has an adopted sister, so it’s been part of our family and I knew it would probably play out somewhere in mine. I didn’t think that it would happen so early but it did,” Kidman said in a 2007 interview with Vanity Fair.
The pair therefore adopted two children: a girl called Bella in 1993 and a boy called Connor in 1995. The siblings were raised in the Hollywood lifestyle as they grew up, with their parents starring in big movies like Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire and Batman Forever. Kidman and Cruise also appeared in a film together in 1999 – the erotic drama Eyes Wide Shut.
But in February 2001, Hollywood’s golden couple suddenly announced their separation. “Citing the difficulties inherent in divergent careers which constantly kept them apart, they concluded that an amicable separation seemed best for both of them at this time,” the pair announced through spokesperson Pat Kingsley in a statement.
The rumor mill
After that bombshell had hit, speculation then began as to what had happened to drive Kidman and Cruise apart. One media source claimed that the split was due in part to Kidman wanting to spend more time in her home country of Australia, while Cruise wished to stay in the U.S. It was also alleged that the root cause of the breakup was Scientology and Kidman’s refusal to become fully immersed in the religion.
A difficult production
And rumors additionally spread that the film Eyes Wide Shut and its intensely difficult shooting schedule had been a big nail in the coffin for the pair. However, Kidman debunked that idea to The Hollywood Reporter in 2012. “People thought that making the film was the beginning of the end of my marriage,” she wrote. “But I don’t really think it was. Tom and I were close then.”
But whatever the true reason for the split, it appeared that the infertility problems that Kidman had suffered during her marriage to Cruise had taken their toll on the actress. In 2007, just a few years after the divorce, Kidman talked to Marie Claire magazine about what had happened. “I had a miscarriage at the end of my marriage, but I had an ectopic pregnancy at the beginning of my marriage. It was incredibly traumatic for me,” she said.
A brighter future
Luckily, things did get better for Kidman in that regard. After marrying Keith Urban in 2006, she had two more children, both girls – one born through surrogacy. The first came along in 2008 and the second in 2010. And in 2018, as Kidman’s two daughters were growing up, the actress spoke to Tatler magazine regarding the impact of all that she’d been through.
Kidman talked, for example, about how she had wanted a baby so badly. “I know the yearning. That yearning. It’s a huge, aching yearning,” she said. “And the loss! The loss of a miscarriage is not talked about enough. That’s massive grief to certain women.” Having been through both, Kidman is well-versed in that kind of pain.
“There’s an enormous amount of pain and an enormous amount of joy on the other side,” the star went on. “The flipside of going through so much yearning and pain to get there is the feeling of ‘Ahhhh!’ when you have the child.” She also mentioned in the interview that she believes mothers are mothers regardless of whether their children are adopted or biological.
Furthermore, Kidman discussed how terribly lonely she’d felt once her divorce from Cruise had gone through – despite the fact that her career was in the ascendance. Even while holding her Oscar for The Hours a year after the split, she had felt lost. She had still wanted to have a baby, she told the magazine – perhaps as a single mother.
Then, at one point in the Tatler piece, the interviewer shared a personal story with Kidman. They wrote, “When I tell her that I also went through a divorce and also experienced issues with fertility, she is immediately empathetic. ‘And you were shattered?’ she asks, as if she knows only too well what that’s like.” It was a telling paragraph about the actress.
Tom’s next marriage
Of course, Kidman’s ex-husband went on to have his first biological child just a few years after the pair’s divorce: Suri, the daughter he shares with wife Katie Holmes. However, that marriage didn’t last for Cruise, either. In 2012 Holmes filed for divorce from Cruise and gained primary custody of Suri. And, once again, rumors spread that Scientology had destroyed a Cruise marriage.
A heavy burden
However, regarding Kidman and Cruise, it is a sad fact that infertility and miscarriages can affect marriages very negatively indeed. In 2014 a study was undertaken in Denmark which concluded that couples who could not conceive a child after fertility treatment were thrice as likely to split up than couples who could.
Stronger after all
But Kidman went through all of that and came out the other side. She appears to be very happy with her life as it stands, too, and can now boast of having four children – both biological and adopted. Plus, the star’s career continues to thrive, with a new season of Big Little Lies in the pipeline and upcoming movie projects like Aquaman. Suffice to say, then, Kidman has come a long way.