I was in New York last Thursday and Friday for the Oppenheimer junket. More on that in the coming days because I can’t actually remember if there’s an embargo; I can tell you, however, that Cillian Murphy will probably be nominated for an Oscar for his performance, he’s really, really good, and that I interviewed Emily Blunt and Matt Damon together and they were hilarious. 


Before Oppenheimer, though, there’s Tom Cruise and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, and the reason I’m talking about Oppenheimer in relation to Tom is because many of the other reporters at the Oppenheimer junket had recently come back from Rome and the big M:I premiere and junket and they were still talking about how great it was.

Sure, a work trip to Italy is fun, but reporters are there to do their jobs. Their job is to bring back an interview, to deliver for your network or your outlet. And the challenge there where movie stars are involved is that, well, not all movie stars are as accommodating. But then again, not all movie stars are Tom Cruise. Some of them resent having to promote their movies, and that resentment comes through in the interviews – that resentment is transferred onto the reporter, we can sometimes become the misplaced target of that resentment. Even if they’re not resentful, they can often get bored, and when they’re bored they can’t be bothered to be engaging. Sometimes they’re just assholes, like that’s the default setting and now you’re sitting across from someone for four minutes who you would never, ever choose to talk to in real life because they’re a dick. 


The point is, even when the junket is happening in a cool destination, it’s almost always a crapshoot with what you might get from the celebrities once you’re working – there is no guarantee that you’ll be met with a sure thing, slam dunk good interview on the other end… unless it’s Tom Cruise on the other end.

I know, I know. He’s a Scientologist and they’ve done some f-cked up sh-t in that cult and I’m not here to sugarcoat that. At the same time, for me and my colleagues, he makes our jobs easier. He actually respects our jobs and wants to help us do a good job. And when you work in an industry where there’s an established hierarchy between celebrity and media, and media is basically treated like servants at the beck and call and whim of the stars, you can’t help but feel appreciative and even grateful when someone like Tom Cruise is there and not only isn’t trying to step on you, he’s there to lift you up. 


Everyone in Rome had a story about how he remembered the smallest details about them even though they only spoke for a few minutes. Many had stories about how he came over on the red carpet and greeted everyone personally by name. And all of them left with a good interview. Including my colleague Sonia on ETALK. They’re laughing, they’re joking, and he tries to speak Hindi. 

But also… we might have just identified one thing that Tom Cruise can’t do: navigate Toronto traffic. If you’re from Toronto, you know the traffic here is a total sh-t show. If you’re not from Toronto, you know the traffic here is a total sh-t show. Even Tom Cruise hates Toronto traffic! Traffic here is so impossible that six months ago I stopped driving. I refuse. I go out of my way to ride transit now, not that transit is all that better in this city. Surface transit, like streetcars and buses, still have to sit in traffic. Which is why for me it’s subway only. I’m putting in an extra 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon to walk to the subway stations to and from work, which has added 40 minutes total to my overall commute because I’d actually rather it take longer than be in a car having to deal with this mess. If Tom Cruise can’t deal with it, how are the rest of us supposed to! 



Here are Tom and the cast of M:I – Dead Reckoning Part 1 in New York for the premiere last night. Pom Klementieff looks soooo good.