Director Chris McQuarrie recently shared an intriguing insight into his first encounter with Tom Cruise back in 2006, ahead of the highly-anticipated release of Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One. McQuarrie, who has collaborated closely with Cruise on the Mission: Impossible franchise and served as a producer on Top Gun: Maverick, initially worked with the iconic actor on the film Valkyrie. In an interview with The Times, McQuarrie divulged that Cruise had confided in him, stating, “I make mass entertainment.” This revelation sheds light on Cruise’s approach to filmmaking and his desire to create stories with broad appeal.
From Artistry to Entertainment
During the production of Valkyrie, which revolves around a wartime mission to assassinate Hitler, Cruise recognized the need for additional funds to complete the project. Consequently, he made the strategic decision to modify the script, aiming to attract a wider audience to theaters. McQuarrie emphasizes Cruise’s belief that the pursuit of prestigious accolades, such as Oscars, should not overshadow the goal of providing entertainment to the masses. The industry has often debated whether one can be both an artist and an entertainer, but Cruise dismisses this false dichotomy, embracing both roles simultaneously.
In their candid conversation, Cruise also shared with McQuarrie the strangest rumor he had ever heard about himself. Contrary to popular belief, the actor clarified that there was no truth to the myth that people on set were prohibited from making eye contact with him. This revelation showcases Cruise’s willingness to address misconceptions and debunk the elaborate stories that often surround public figures.
A Passionate Commitment
Simon Pegg, Cruise’s close friend and frequent co-star, further shed light on the actor’s unwavering dedication to the film industry, particularly during the challenging times brought about by the pandemic. Pegg explained to The Times that Cruise’s fervor for keeping the industry afloat was the driving force behind his outburst towards a crew member who violated social distancing protocols on the set of the seventh Mission: Impossible installment. Pegg expressed, “For him, there was a danger this virus could wipe cinema off the face of this earth.” Cruise’s passionate commitment to his craft and the survival of the film industry is evident in his firm stance on maintaining a safe working environment.
In summary, Tom Cruise’s conversation with Chris McQuarrie offers valuable insights into his approach to filmmaking. The actor’s dedication to creating mass entertainment, his dismissal of the artist versus entertainer debate, and his determination to ensure the industry’s survival during challenging times demonstrate his multifaceted persona as an artist and entertainer. Cruise’s passion for his craft continues to captivate audiences worldwide, solidifying his status as a true Hollywood icon.