Steven Spielberg said it best. Tom Cruise saved Hollywood.
Hyperbolic? Perhaps, but Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” not only crushed the box office competition week after week last year, but it also coaxed audiences across the board to see films in theaters again.
That mattered coming on the heels of the pandemic lockdowns. Cruise’s decision against releasing “Maverick” on streaming platforms first paid off handsomely.
Except Cruise isn’t content to deliver crowd-pleasing, apolitical films like “Maverick.” He keeps reminding us how he became a movie star in the first place.
We made it possible, the Joes and Janes who line up to see his films. And he can’t stop thanking us for the privilege.
Late last year, Cruise performed a jaw-dropping stunt on the set of his next “Mission: Impossible” sequel, using the moment to thank audiences for supporting “Maverick.”
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) December 18, 2022
“Thank you for supporting Top Gun: Maverick, and thank you for allowing us to entertain you. It truly is the honor of a lifetime.”
“I’m running out of altitude, so I have to get back to work. We have to get this shot. You have a very safe and happy holiday, we’ll see you at the movies.”
Now, Cruise is bringing his charm offensive to the awards circuit. He didn’t land a Best Actor nomination for “Maverick,” but the film is one of 10 films up for Best Picture at the March 12 Academy Awards telecast.
The actor did snag a coveted honor from the Producers Guild of America, and he used the occasion to thank both his fellow collaborators and the industry itself.
The long, deeply personal speech included comments you won’t hear on any awards stage this year.
“You’ve all enabled me [to have] the adventurous life I wanted, and I’ve been able to travel the world and work and watch films in so many countries to share in their cultures and realize how much we all have in common and to admire our differences.”
How … subversive.
Most awards shows promote Identity Politics or describe how the show business machinery mistreats select groups.
Not Cruise. Nothing but unity, gratitude and positive thoughts for his fellow artists. Imagine if more stars follow that blueprint.
This part of his speech should make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention.
“I wanna thank all the audiences for whom I serve first and foremost for allowing me to entertain you, and I promise I’ll always do everything I can to accomplish that goal,” he said.
“Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One” opens July 14.