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Cruise: 'M:i:III,' Real Life Meet

Truth can be stranger than fiction, and sometimes they can overlap a bit.

That's what Tom Cruise says happened as his latest film, "Mission: Impossible III," was being made possible.

The film wound up making Cruise king of the box office again, but his throne is a bit shakier than expected.

"M:i:III" took in $48 million in its debut weekend to top Hollywood's box office, but the total was below expectations, despite being the second largest opening of the year.

Working with first time movie director J.J. Abrams, Cruise hoped to make a great summer popcorn movie with heart.


in Part Two of his interview with The Early Show entertainment contributor, People magazine editor at large Jess Cagle.

"I remember," he told Cagle, "we sat down and … talked conceptually about the film, you know, how we — how we wanted people to feel. We wanted (them) to feel emboldened when they left the theater and — and to have that summer experience that we look forward to, that I remember as a kid, and I still have 'em, you know, when I — when I go and I can't wait to see 'Mission: Impossible III.' "

"It took a long time to get the script, director, everything right on 'M:i:III," Cagle said. "What was the biggest challenge about going into it?"

"I felt the great challenge was just finding the right elements for the movie," Cruise explained. "Once I met J.J. Abrams … I had absolute faith in him. It was like, 'Ah!' I felt so relaxed. … I feel that when — when I work with Spielberg also. I feel that, that sense of fun and adventure. And that really, you know, there then — there was the physical element that was a great challenge, and also the intensity of the scenes, performance-wise."

"Whose idea," Cagle wondered, "was it to put Ethan Hunt (Cruise's character) on the bridge and then shoot missiles at him?

" 'Cause it rocked!" he laughed.

"J.J.," said Cruise, also laughing. "He came over that bridge sequence and — and on the page, it was great."

Cagle wanted to know how long Cruise sees himself leaping off buildings: 10, 20, 30 more years?

"I don't know," Cruise said. "As long as I can do it. Really, as long as I can do it. And, and really, for me, it's — the stunts are fun, if we can figure out that story, because that's really the great challenge. All the other stuff is just so much fun to think about and prepare for."

In "M:i:III," Ethan Hunt is falling in love and thinking of marriage.

"How much of that had to do with what was going on in your life?" Cagle inquired.

"What was going on in my life happened after we were working on it," Cruise pointed out. "I obviously wanted to fall in love. I am a romantic, so — and I wanted — I wanted a love story and J.J. wanted a love story. And it's just … amazing what's happened."

"Are you aware," Cagle noted, "that Michelle Monaghan (Julia, Ethan Hunt's love interest in "M:i:III") looks somewhat like Katie Holmes? Or is this something that people just tell you all the time?"

"You know," Cruise said, "I — I've heard that. I've heard that. Yeah, she's a lovely lady, Michelle."

Cruise says he met Holmes after casting was completed for "M:I:III," as shooting was about to begin.

"I guess you know your type now," Cagle chuckled.

"So, yeah, very specific," Cruise laughed.

Cruise says he plans to take time off with Katie Holmes and their new daughter, Suri, before searching for his next film project.

In Part One of the Cagle-Cruise interview, Cruise claims he doesn't pay any attention to what's being said about him in the media. click here to read about that.
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