In the smoke and mirrors world of Hollywood, there are some sales that you buy wholeheartedly and some that you plain ridicule. Tom Cruise comes to mind for the latter. Will Smith is my example of the former. And this is why his recent and overt public intimacy with Tom Cruise is alarming.
They may have been friends forever but lately, given Tom’s comeback campaign and his role as top gun in the Church’s growing celebrity presence, to say nothing of Jada’s transformation, it’s no wonder why some have regarded their relationship with suspicion. I adore Will Smith. It is an admiration rooted in youth. Parents Just Don’t Understand. And Carlton’s yellow cardigan, along with Will’s scathing commentary, was always a staple of my teen Must See TV. When Will proclaimed that he owned the Fourth of July, to me it wasn’t cocky or brazen, to me it was just well deserved. When Will left the Oscars with Jada, even though he was up for Best Actor in Ali, because Willow was sick at home, it only added to the hardcore fan worship. Who doesn’t love Will?
And how can you help but love him even more after reading this article in Entertainment Weekly? He talks about expanding his craft, he talks about shedding his “Will-isms” (you know a man is special when he can freely talk about himself in the third person and you don’t want to Rossum), and he even gets into what he has with Tom: “We never talk about competition. But we mark ourselves off of each other. Movie stars are becoming extinct, and Tom and I are helping one another. His wedding was world news. I love that, but I'm jealous. I am sooooo jealous of him right now! World news! Iraq and Tom. I"m like, Dude, you're beating on me right now!""
Obviously he was joking, but you do get the sense that the comment about the camaraderie in superstardom and the fame duel – even if it was in jest – reveals a closeness and a competitive bond that implies a deeper connection, maybe even a mentorship, as further illustrated below: ""When I wake up every day, I want the world to be better because I woke up today."" And even though Smith hasn't converted to Scientology — ""I"m riding with Jesus,"" he says — he does cite Cruise as a role model. ""Tom Cruise wants the world to be better. He"s committed beyond his own safety, his own protection.""
Wanting the world to be better is certainly a beautiful aspiration. The only thing that’s questionable is the Tom's Machiavellian – or is it Hubbardian – methods. And mentorship can be great too, so long as it doesn’t infringe upon those qualities – the non-scientological ones – that have made Will Will. Check out the article here. PS. Just want to remind you of a quote from Tom’s interview with Diane Sawyer last year when asked about reconciling Scientology with religion: “…you can be Catholic and be a Scientologist. You can be Jewish and be a Scientologist.” Will said recently he was raised Baptist. If you believe the above, he can apparently be Baptist AND Scientologist as well…if he so chooses.