We’ve All Had One–A Tom Cruise Moment – Deadline

Every journalist who lined Hollywood within the Golden Era that stretched roughly from Risky Business (1983) via Top Gun: Maverick (now) has had a Tom Cruise second. I had mine in 2002.

My father had simply died. It was a tough dying, not fast, and as I used to be driving again for the final time from attending him in Sacramento, I made myself a promise: I’d be at peace with everybody for some time. No preventing. No arguments. What anybody requested, insofar as I may, I’d simply do.

As luck would have it, the primary check occurred someplace round Bakersfield. On the highway, I acquired a name from Maer Roshan, now editor of Los Angeles Magazine, then editorial director of Tina Brown’s Talk.

We have an issue, defined Maer. Talk had scheduled some kind of theme subject–one thing about business and/or skilled life in America. But Tina had managed to vow the cover to Tom Cruise. Maer couldn’t see a connection. But possibly I may determine it out. The interview was already set. Just be on the Hotel Bel-Air in about three days, interview Cruise, and write one thing, if not good, no less than wise.

Right. No preventing.  No arguments. Just interview Tom Cruise.

When I acquired dwelling, the primary phrases from my 14-year-old son had been: “I’m so sorry, Dad. I heard about Tom Cruise.” We’d lengthy since handled my father’s decline; and he knew how I felt about superstar interviews. I didn’t like them.

But there it was. So I went to the Santa Monica Library, which was extra a repository of knowledge than homeless camp in these days, and studied up. Mostly, I learn some outdated, largely empathetic books about Scientology, together with what gave the impression to be a outsized encyclopedia of Scientological phrases, beliefs and “technology.” I figured it couldn’t harm. Just in case the topic got here up.

Which is the place issues acquired attention-grabbing.

I did certainly meet Cruise on the Bel-Air. It was a kind of vivid, contemporary Southern California winter mornings when you’ll be able to’t see why anybody would stay wherever else. Tom was charming. Of course, he grinned. But I acquired straight to the purpose.

We have an issue, I stated. The subsequent subject is all about business {and professional} life. But we’ve acquired a film star on the cover—you. If we don’t need to look ridiculous, each of us, we’ve acquired to determine what you, the Risky Business man, Jerry Maguire, the Top Gun hotshot, Mission: Impossible (with Minority Report then on deck), can train medical doctors, or attorneys, or funding bankers, or whoever Talk’s ad-hungry publishing employees would possibly bear in mind.

To his everlasting credit score, and my timeless gratitude, Cruise didn’t even blink. Instead, he started an clever, structured dialog about his films, his career, his objectives, and the ideas that had seen him via ups and downs in a slippery, treacherous trade. Having prepped on the library, I may comply with the fundamental Scientological elements. Mostly, it was direct, real, and he did all of the work.

God bless him.

Because there was extra to the journey. For one factor, Talk folded earlier than the piece was printed. But Pat Kingsley, Cruise’s publicist on the time, was not one to let the disappearance of {a magazine} deprive her of a cover. She in some way managed to ship the entire thing over to Esquire, which printed it in May below a foreboding headline: “The Most Dangerous Place.”

Cruise by no means turned a buddy—professionally distant, I didn’t child myself into considering I had film pals. But he was absolutely solicitous for some time. Once, he despatched a plexiglass stand-up inscribed with the important maxims of Scientology. My son saved it as one in every of his pop cultural artifacts, together with a Charles Bukowski poster and a Stooges album he discovered within the pile. At one level, Cruise even invited my spouse Judi and me to a grand banquet at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre.

We went. It was unusual, largely as a result of we had been seated at a desk with a few Creative Artists brokers and the highest brass of Paramount Pictures, who didn’t look  snug. In truth, a sure Paramount officer, seated at my left, was so agitated that Judi gently requested whether or not we couldn’t go away midway via the proceedings. “That guy’s making me nervous,” she stated.

When we slipped out, the parking valet gave me a shock. “I’m sorry you have to leave early,” he stated. “We’ve all read your article.”

Cruise despatched a notice, saying that he, too, was sorry we couldn’t keep, however he hoped we’d have an opportunity to speak sometime.

But we by no means did. My Tom Cruise second was over.

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