There were reports recently that Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell, who are still working on Mission: Impossible 7, which may as well be called Mission: Impossible Never-ending, considering how long they’ve been in production for this movie, broke up – even though it’s never been confirmed that they were actually dating.
Without that confirmation, Tom’s been single for almost a decade now. And most of that time has been spent on set. So if he’s married to anything, it’s his job. And if he does have a constant companion, it would be … his helicopter. Tom lives the helicopter life. His helicopter habits have actually had a pop culture moment this year. One of Tom’s preoccupations is apparently where to land his helicopter. And I guess I should mention here that he can land his own helicopter. Nobody is flying Tom around in a helicopter, Tom flies himself. He stunts himself, always.
Interestingly, Tom Cruise came up last week in Will Smith’s high profile GQ interview, although it didn’t make headlines because most of us were focused on what Will had to say about his marriage. Tom’s name comes up twice, initially because that’s the movie star career Will aspired to – and achieved.
“What soon followed was one of the most commercially successful runs in the history of cinema: Smith’s eight consecutive films grossing over $100 million each at the domestic box office is a record, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Smith’s nemesis for years was Tom Cruise, “the only person who was sustaining a movie career beyond what I could figure out.”
They have something else in common, according to Will. Will doesn’t show up miraculously to save a baby from drowning or pull someone out of a burning car on the freeway the way Tom does. But he comes through in a crisis in his own way:
“That was the thing even with Tom [Cruise]. Tom and I became friends in the middle of his public difficulties. That’s when I want to be there. If everything is great, call somebody else. Call me when you need help. I love it. I love being the 2 a.m. emergency phone call.”
Professionally, though, while Tom seems determined to maintain his image as the ultimate action movie star, Will’s goals have changed. As noted in GQ:
“But over the last 10 years, as Smith has become increasingly focused on evolving as a human being, a gulf has emerged between Will Smith the movie star and Will Smith the man.”
I’m not sure that Tom wants any separation between Tom Cruise, movie star, and Tom Cruise, the man. There was a time, of course, and we still remember it, when Tom Cruise was more public about interests and involvements beyond the movie set, but that didn’t work out for him the way he thought it would – and he has spent years restoring his movie star image… only. All we see of Tom is the helicopters and the death-defying feats and the movies. And maybe that’s why we’ve stopped asking questions.