They bought it

December 10, 2008 07:43:31 Posted at December 10, 2008 07:43:31
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Tom’s tour of Toronto – a resounding success.

But first the new cover of People Magazine: MiniVan friendly, good hair, that famous smile, a glimpse of Little Sci, and the tantalising prospect of seeing the GMD’s personal family photos.


It’s brilliant. They will eat this sh-t up.

Just like they ate it up, my colleagues that is, in the studio yesterday. All of them. With no exception. Sigh. Last night was lonely…but perhaps not surprising.

The Pitts may be the best at selling it these days, but once upon a time, that throne belonged to Tom Cruise. No matter how he amuses us now, at his own expense, the fact is he was the biggest movie star in the world. So his sales pitch was the blueprint. Looking back now, it’s not hard to understand why.

We stayed home on Friday night and ate dinner in front of the tv. Was amazing. And Jerry Maguire was on. Just 12 years ago he f-cking owned Hollywood. He was “Tom Cruise” in that movie. I forgot that Tom Cruise used to be a pretty accomplished movie kisser. A very good movie kisser. When he kissed Renee Zellweger on the doorstep – that was a hot scene. He had undeniable charisma. And you bought it, right? Back then you bought it. Back then, Tom Cruise was untouchable. Before he f-cked it all up.

But as you know, he is a fighter. And while his strategy may have failed miserably in the past, this new approach, at least the one he showed off in Toronto, while it may not be enough to save Valkyrie – only Shiloh Jolie-Pitt could save Valkyrie – it was, apparently, more than enough to save his career.

And these are jaded, harried television producers. They’ve seen it all. And they are my friends. Which means they are horrible and judgy and not prone to starstruckness and fangirl fawning. Like, they all wore heels to work yesterday just so we could make our private height chart – who towers over Tom more?

Needless to say, at the end of the day debrief, I was expecting some good smut.

Instead, one by one, without exception, compliments across the board.

Few of them are so nice. And professional. And courteous. Most of the time they’re chronically late. And bratty. And self indulgent. And rude. Like Lindsay Lohan. She’s actually not an exception. Lindsay Lohan is the standard.

But here’s Tom Cruise. Makes eye contact with everyone. And a smile. Says hello to anyone he passes in the hall. Says thank you and means it. Shook hands with everyone. As he was leaving, he passed by the loading dock. Noticed that the crew, of course, had recognised him. So he stopped, shook their hands too, thanked them for their time, in the most authentic way they tell me – they knew he was on a mission but to them, at the very least, it felt genuine. And to them that’s what mattered.

For two days this is what it was like. At MuchMusic, at MTV, Live @ eTalk, one after the other, he charmed all. Even the boys. There are now mancrushes for Cruise all over the building. Mancrushes. Ha!

I know.

I was sick too.

On camera? More of the same. His interview with us at eTalk was solid though not exactly spontaneous but he was able to radiate warmth and appeal and then over at The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos he was equally effective, that old Tom Cruise from 1990s surging back to win over the crowd, although you will note, he is completely incapable of answering without preparation.

And that is the crack behind the careful constructed, carefully rehabilitated façade.

He’s fine with the long drawn out generic questions, but put him in a “lightning round” situation as George did with 2/20 and that’s when you know - he can’t move without choreography, having spent 3 decades meticulously planning everything, he’s forgotten how to just be. It’s fascinating.

And it’s military too. Cruise might be exceedingly nice but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a Tom Cruise protocol. He is fully in control, always maneuvering, always in play every minute of the day. Even when it comes to something as simple as signing a photo. He’ll do it in a large crowd for fans, a quick indistinguishable scribble, but when presented privately with an item to autograph with a message, or asked to pose with producers, or asked to say something specifically to camera, something innocuous like “we’ll be right back”, it’s never done without a detailed examination of why are we doing this, who will see it, who is this for, what exactly is the purpose…

Makes for an incredibly regimented existence. Look at Katie Holmes. You can see it, non?

As for his appearance – super lean, great skin, better than he’s looked in a long time. Wee, as you know, and totally androgynous. No gaydar, but no anydar either. Like he’s completely asexual. As though he’s reached some heightened level of enlightenment, his own personal nirvana, where those desires become completely irrelevant.

Still…they bought it. He’s switched up the game plan, he went back to his old playbook and it’s working. They are buying what he’s selling. And it’s only just the beginning.

The old Tom Cruise is back. Are you ready?

Photos from

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