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Tom Cruise Takes On Big Apple

Actor Tom Cruise waves as he gets in a car on his way to his new movie' Mission Impossible III,' Wednesday, May 3, 2006 in New York. (AP Photo/Shiho Fukada)
AP Photo/Shiho Fukada
Tom Cruise hopscotched through Manhattan on Wednesday during a fast-paced promotional tour for the premiere of "Mission: Impossible III."

Cruise traversed the city — catching rides on a fire truck, helicopter, motorcycle, speed boat, sports car and subway train — to hit three screenings of the movie and make two publicity stops.

Hundreds packed Times Square to greet the 43-year-old film star, who appeared on MTV's "Total Request Live" for the first leg of the tour.

"You're a wonder of the world," host Vanessa Minnillo told Cruise, who channeled "Mission" alter ego Ethan Hunt in a sleek black leather jacket, black turtleneck and dark shades.

Meanwhile, a fire truck arrived to give Cruise a lift to his next destination: a heliport, where a helicopter waited to whisk him to a premiere downtown.

"These are my buddies," Cruise said of the firefighters. "These are my heroes."

Less than an hour later, he pulled up on a motorcycle to the first opening of the movie at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center as hundreds of fans whooped and hollered, hoping to catch a glimpse of Hollywood royalty.

Cruise next walked the red carpet at a VIP screening in Harlem held by BET's 106 & Park and Paramount Films. He then hopped on a rented D subway train with costar Laurence Fishburne to get to Ziegfeld Theater for the official premiere of "M:i:III."

"Mission: Impossible III" is directed by "Lost" co-creator J.J. Abrams who is a first-time filmmaker. It also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Billy Crudup, Michelle Monaghan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keri Russell, Maggie Q and Fishburne.

The plot has Cruise's character returning to action when another agent (Keri Russell) is kidnapped by a baddy, played by Hoffman, a recent Oscar winner. It opens in theaters May 5.