Tom Cruise was born on 3 July 1962, Syracuse, New York, USA.
Originally, Cruise wanted to become a Priest at the age of 14, an ironic concept, compared to what his true career was to become.
If you were to hear the name Tom Cruise, two words would generally come to mind, these words being “Small” and “Scientology”.
Fortunately for Cruise, the latter term brought his fame up a level, not altogether in a positive way however.
An example of this is in 1992, where, in an interview, Cruise claimed that Scientology has cured his dyslexia. More information on Cruise’s fame through Scientology can be found in Chapter 2.
In 2006, Cruise, married Katie Holmes (his 3rd wife), however after finding his new love, he appeared to become deluded into thinking he had more public power than he actually did, shown in the Oprah scene. More information on the Oprah scene can be found in Chapter 3.
2 ANALYSIS OF FAME
Cruise’s recognition came at the age of 21, in the film Risky Business.
From then, he went on to Top Gun where he came to fame in 1986. See Chapter 4.1 for in-depth analysis of Top Gun.
Just 2 years later, Cruise appeared in the light-hearted drama Cocktail, where Cruise received his first nomination for a Razzie award in 1989. This will have boosted his fame furthermore, and, just at the age of 27, Cruise had appeared in 3 big hits.
In 1992, Cruise appeared in A few good men, where he received a Golden Globe and MTV nominations. The Golden Globe would have brought Cruise massive respect from fellow actors, and, critics. Once more, Cruise’s fame was rising.
12 years later, Cruise appeared in Vanilla Sky, a film, different in genre, compared to the typical action related films he usually partook in.
Overall, Cruise’s career as an actor brought him fame, fortune, fans and finally, formidable flagging in terms of his publicity.
However, his fame, combined with good acting certified him to be nominated for 3 Oscars, and caused his to win an impressive 40 nominations.
3 POWER OF PUBLICITY
Over time, Cruise has displayed several ways of publicising himself, be it positively, negatively, on purpose or just by coincidence.
An example of Cruise’s negative self advertisement is The Oprah Scene.
In 2005, Cruise professed his love for Katie Holmes upon his appearance of the Oprah show. His behaviour of jumping up and down on the couch and repeatedly hitting the floor, in the way to express his devotion for his new partner, was seen by almost everyone, as over-the-top drama. This is a classic example of a celebrity overusing their power, of which Cruise imagined he had a great deal of.
Onto another topic, Cruise, seemingly inadvertently, leaks a video of him talking about his passion for Scientology.
The video released on January 15, 2008, shows Cruise being interviewed, with the ironically background music from Mission Impossible playing in the background, denoting his action filled persona.
4 FILM TRAILER ANALYSIS
In this Chapter, I will analyse two separate films.
The two films I am going to analyse are Top Gun and Vanilla Sky.
The images above show two very juxtaposing films where, between a period of time, Cruise differentiates his genres in acting – From action in Top Gun, to romance in Vanilla Sky.
4.1 TOP GUN
In May 1986, Cruise’s big hit was released. Top Gun became the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $354 million in worldwide.
Cruise plays the heroic marine pilot, a seemingly Perfect Fit role for him. Personally I believe this to be rationalised by his real life cocky mind-set.
The trailer creates an atmosphere of fast beating action, shown by the quick-burst cuts/edits.
The aspect of romance is partly shown in two parts. Firstly it is shown in the silhouette image of Cruise and his partner kissing, and again, where his partner his helping him to decide upon a perceptibly important decision. This portrays the soft, romantic side Cruise plays, to attract the female audience, whereas the action scenes entice the male audience. This was helped by Cruise’s age making him an apt choice for the film.
Finally, emphasis is displayed in the way of the trailer narrative to confirm that Cruise is the protagonist in the film.
4.2 VANILLA SKY
15 years later after the release of Top Gun, romantic thriller Vanilla Sky was released.
The word ‘Romantic’ instantly stands out compared to his preceding films, where his roles took on more action related parts, such as in the films Mission Impossible and War of the Worlds.
The films itself is itself a remake of the 1997 movie Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes).
Now at the age of 39, the difference in genre seems suitable; to portray the maturity Cruise has developed over time.
Immediately, the audience will realise that, compared to most other films Cruise has appeared in, the genre in Vanilla Sky is far different.
It has a far more relaxed and surreal aspect to it and as the trailer continues, the romantic side is introduced.
A clever device the studio uses when creating the trailer is the presenting of 6 separate words, which sum up the films true light. These words are as follows:
‘Life’ describes the films as a whole, basically concentrating on the life of the role Cruise plays “David Aames”.
‘Play’, cleverly used as an innuendo, links in with the affair Cruise takes part in, and then associating cleverly with the words “Hate”, “Death” and finally “Reality”. The latter word is yet another reminder of the surrealism of the film.
5 FINAL ANALYSIS
In general, I believe Cruise’s career has been a path of ups and downs. His life outside movies brought controversy with his multiple marriages, and stories of his love for Scientology.
As with most actors and actresses, he had a big break, for Cruise, being in 1986 in the film Top Gun. From then on his fame took a high, with several big hit films, starring him, being released. Over time however, his fame somewhat faltered and shrunk.
The infamous Oprah scene brought about some of this disapproval in his self-publicity stunts.
Overall, I think that Tom Cruise has led the usual Hollywood life of fame and fortune and some unfortunate events of which he will probably wish to forget.
His acting brought his true fame from the start, and tradition was only to be carried on by his publicity stunts. Yet I believe there are still some uncovered truths about this iconic actor, yet to be discovered. Undoubtedly they will be one day.