Buying friends for the GMD

December 7, 2011 15:34:53 Posted at December 7, 2011 15:34:53
Lainey Posted by Lainey
Gareth Cattermole/Getty

You heard about this yesterday, right?

Tom Cruise went to India this weekend and when he arrived in Mumbai, 200 fans had gathered to scream  and yell for him. Turns out those people, at least some of them, were paid extras, hired for the US equivalent of $3 by some kind of casting agency to give the GMD a proper greeting. Said one of the participants:

“Tom kaun? I don’t know who he is or what he does. We were told to come here by 1pm today and wait for a foreign VIP to come out of the airport gate and scream and shout when he came. None of us know who Tom is. There was a buffet lunch also for us and we were paid Rs 150 for this job today. We do this for television shows and other such events where crowds are required.”

Paramount must be SO pissed.

Here’s the thing - it’s funny, totally, but I’m also not sure it’s his fault. As you know, Tom can embarrass himself all by himself very efficiently. Click here if you missed the most recent example. I am all for the GMD amusement, all the time, any time. This time though, well, I wonder if this was less a matter of the GMD being a loser and more a matter of a PR agency f-ck up.

During press tours, the studios reach out to their local partners to manage each stop on the trip. Paramount would have engaged their contacts in Mumbai to arrange for the star’s arrival. As a gesture of welcome, I can totally see a junior coordinator trying to go out of his/her way to choreograph what he/she must have considered to be a splashy greeting. Was this cleared through the GMD’s people? Was this an order to satisfy a GMD demand? Is this how his rider reads?

“When Tom Cruise travels to promote a film, there must be fans awaiting his arrival at every stop. The crowd must not exceed 500 and must not be less than 100. Pens should be provided for Mr Cruise to sign autographs and photographers should be informed in advance.”

I just...

Can’t see it.

And I’ve never heard of it before either coming from him. Put it this way, Selena Gomez had more demands issued through our building in Toronto than Tom Cruise did when he was in town for etalk. Sometimes the people who work for them make them look worse than they actually are. In this case, sometimes the people hired by the people who work for them just make a bad call.

Here’s Tom today in Dubai with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol cast-mates Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, and Anil Kapoor at a press conference during the Dubai International Film Festival on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa. As previously mentioned, having just been to Dubai, I’m a little obsessed with it right now, especially the Burj Khalifa. I grew up staring at the CN Tower in Toronto. And the Burj Khalifa makes it look like a jumpy castle. When we were heading towards it from the airport after arriving, the driver pointed at it and said - Tom Cruise jumped from there! I’m just saying I don’t think they’ll have to fake enthusiasm for him in Dubai.

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