Cruise Control

A model walks the runway at the DKNY Spring 2007 fashion show on Sept. 10, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for IMG)
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Mission: Impossible 2, starring Tom Cruise, opened Wednesday, May 24, just in time for the big holiday weekend. Cruise is doubling as a producer on the film, just as he did for the original.

The Early Show's Mark McEwen has interviewed Cruise at least six times in the past decade, and he always seemed to shy away from the idea of doing sequels. There just never seemed to be a character he believed was worth playing twice, until now. Mission: Impossible 2 is the first sequel in Cruise's 20-year career.

During one interview, Cruise told McEwen, "You know, I'm not opposed to making sequels. I just have never been able to really figure out what is so interesting about what does happen or who cares at this point?"

He did speculate that perhaps Joel, his character in Risky Business, went on to be kicked out of Princeton. But he was quick to add, "I don't know if he got kicked out. Really, I don't know."

In a later interview, in 1996, after the release of the first Mission: Impossible, the subject of sequels came up again, with Cruise telling McEwen that whether he made a followup "would all depend on the material. I'm sure Paramount (the studio) wants to do it."

Mission: Impossible 2 comes on the heels of Cruise's Golden Globe award for best actor in Magnolia.

It's the rare exception when Cruise doesn't deliver a box office blockbuster, as was the case with Stanley Kubrick's swan song, Eyes Wide Shut and with 1994's Interview With the Vampire. Oprah Winfrey made it a point to tell her viewers that she walked out of the Vampire movie.

Recalled Cruise, "Oprah called me, and I said, 'You walked out? When did you walk out?' And she told me the scene, and I said, 'You're a real chicken.' You know?"


  • Born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, on July 3, 1962, in Syracuse, N.Y., but his family moved regularly. By the time he was 14 he had attended 15 different schools in the United States and Canada.
  • He was on the wrestling team in high school, but a knee injury put him on the bench. He also expressed interest in becoming a priest, until he discovered that his real passion was acting.
  • He moved to New York in 1980, and worked odd jobs until getting a break in Endless Love (1981). But he really caught moviegoers' attention by dancing around in his underwear in the 1983 hit Risky Business.
  • The 5' 7" actor refused to be lumped in with the "Brat Pack" actors and stayed away from teen-angst roles.
  • Leaped in action star role in Top Gun (1985), then smoothly moved into dramatic roles, first opposite Paul ewman in The Color of Money (1986), then in the critically acclaimed Rain Man, opposite Dustin Hoffman.
  • Cruise married actress Mimi Rogers (Someone To Watch Over Me) in 1987, they later divorced in 1990.
  • While Color and Rain had him co-star with Hollywood heavyweights, he took center dramatic stage on his own in 1989's Born on the Fourth of July (1989), As a paraplegic Vietnam vet.
  • In 1990 he renounced his Catholic upbringing and embraced The Church Of Scientology claiming that Scientology teachings had cured him of the dyslexia that had plagued him all of his life.

    1989 Oscars, Best Actor (nom) Born on the Fourth of July.
    1989 New York Film Critics Circle, Best Actor (nom) Born on the Fourth of July.
    1990 Golden Globes, Best Actor Drama (win) Born on the Fourth of July.
    1993 Golden Globes, Best Actor Drama (nom) A Few Good Men
    1996 Oscars, Best Actor (nom) Jerry Maguire.
    1996 Golden Globes, Best Actor Comedy/Musical (win) Jerry Maguire.
    1999 Golden Globes, Best Supporting Actor (win) Magnolia.
    1999 Oscars, Best Supporting Actor (nom) Magnolia.
  • He met actress Nicole Kidman on the set of car-racing movie Days of Thunder and they were married in 1990. The couple teamed up again for the flop Far and Away. They have two adopted children.
  • He made a huge comeback with A Few Good Men (1992), co-starring Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore. In 1996, Cruise scored financial success again with action film Mission Impossible, and romantic comedy/drama Jerry Maguire.
  • In 1997, he was named one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People magazine.
  • Cruise's 1999 project Eyes Wide Shut, in which he co-starred again with Kidman, was met with mixed reviews, but he received award nominations later that year for a pivotal supporting role in Magnolia. Cruise is trying to reel acion fans back to see him in Mission Impossible 2.
  • Though Cruise (along with Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett) has been attached to the Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report, the heavily revised script is still under revision, and production plans are in a holding pattern.

  • Minority Report (2002)
  • Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)
  • Magnolia (1999)
  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  • Jerry Maguire (1996)
  • Mission: Impossible (1996)
  • Interview With the Vampire (1994)
  • The Firm (1993)
  • Far and Away (1992)
  • A Few Good Men (1992)
  • Days of Thunder (1990)
  • Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
  • Rain Man (1988)
  • Cocktail (1988)
  • Young Guns (1988)
  • Top Gun (1986)
  • The Color of Money (1986)
  • Legend (1985)
  • The Outsiders (1983)
  • Losin' It (1983)
  • All the Right Moves (1983)
  • Risky Business (1983)
  • Taps (1981)
  • Endless Love (1981)