Having remained at the very pinnacle of the Hollywood A-list for 35 years counting, Tom Cruise has shown incredible longevity and staying power. He might be turning 60 years old next year, but he’s still putting his safety on the line in the name of our entertainment, with shooting on Mission: Impossible 8 set to keep him busy for the next few months once production kicks off in earnest this coming November, and he remains intent to head into outer space to shoot an action blockbuster with director Doug Liman.
One drawback is that Cruise very rarely ventures outside of his comfort zone these days, with his extended cameos in comedy Tropic Thunder and musical Rock of Ages the only two of his last seventeen credits that didn’t rely exclusively on that megawatt grin and action hero credentials of his. An entire generation of fans won’t even remember the days he went out of his way to work with some of the most acclaimed, distinctive and original filmmakers in the industry.
Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders, Ridley Scott’s Legend, Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money, Barry Levinson’s Rain Man, Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July, Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men, Sydney Pollack’s The Firm, Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut offered a variety of daring performances where his reputation and public perception wasn’t on the agenda.
However, Tom Cruise arguably delivered the best work of his career in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 psychological drama Magnolia as arrogant and self-obsessed ‘dating guru’ Frank T.J. Mackey, upending his screen persona and landing him an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actor. It’s one of the best movies he’s ever been a part of, and it’s coming to Netflix next month.