Tom Cruise has always been something of an enigma, as famous for his relationships off screen and religious beliefs as his on-screen high-octane performances, says Gabrielle Donnelly. So just who is the man behind that Hollywood smile?
Tom Cruise’s smile is famous. All blinding white teeth and attractively crinkled eyes, it has beamed from magazine covers and movie posters for over a quarter of a century now, and if its owner is not quite the sprightly youth he was back in the days of Risky Business and Top Gun, well, he still looks almost eerily good for a 48-year-old, twice-divorced dad of three who admits to a tendency towards workaholism. But who is Tom Cruise – not the movie poster or the publicity shot, but the real man behind the smile?
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV has been called many things – a nice guy, a control freak, a generous fellow actor, a commitment-phobe who can’t stay married, a loving family man who has finally found his romantic fit. He has also been called – time and again, although without a shred of evidence to back up the rumour – a closet homosexual. With all this, you can’t help but wonder just how any human being can bear to hear some of the things said about him. Well, I asked him when we met for a chat recently. His secret? He doesn’t care.
“It really doesn’t matter what people who don’t know me will say about me,” he said, philosophically. “Look, people have always written stories about me, and by this stage I can more or less write the stories myself if I want to. I’ve learned almost never to be surprised by how stupid some people can be or what some people will say – the important thing is not what they say but what I do. And what I do is take care of what is important to me, which are the people in my life. My family, most definitely. My children. My friends. I have a blessed life – I do the work I enjoy and I have a happy family life. I have a wife I love and children I adore. And when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters to me.”
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