Watch CBSN Live

Tom Cruise's Samurai Lessons

Tom Cruise is Hollywood's biggest leading man. On Tuesday, his latest film, "The Last Samurai," makes its way to video stores. Entertainment contributor and People magazine senior editor Jess Cagle has all the details in The Early Show's Home Theater.

"The Last Samurai" earned four Academy Award nominations, and after the "Mission Impossible" films, it's Tom Cruise's biggest worldwide hit, having taken in more than $450 million. Not bad for a 19th-century Japanese War epic.

In "The Last Samurai," three-time Oscar nominee Cruise stars as Nathan Algren, a disillusioned Civil War soldier who rediscovers himself while trying to modernize the Japanese army.

"He's traveled since he was 16, and he really has a bad taste about war, but he is a warrior," says Cruise. "I don't think he ever thought he would fight another battle, but he sees the beauty of this culture. And in the Samurai, he's found a peace, a sense of honor, a sense of integrity."

It was the Samurai's code that Cruise could relate to.

He notes, "A true Samurai has only one judge of his honor and that is himself. The decisions you make and how these decisions are carried out are a reflection of who you truly are. These things hit me. These things mean something to me. These are things that I think about in my own life"

Although "The Last Samurai" is a very thoughtful film, it does have a lot of action. Cruise, ever the perfectionist, did almost all of his own stunts.

"It's challenging, it's fun, it allows the filmmaker to allow the camera in there," says Cruise. "One of the things that I said to Ed is to 'Just know me. If I don't think I can do it, I'm not going to do it.'"

The two-disc DVD is packed with behind the scenes special features about the production design, costumes and Japanese history.

If you're looking for something to rent this weekend, the romantic comedy "Love Actually" has an all-star British cast including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson.

And Ewan Mcgregor stars in Tim Burton's critically acclaimed fantasy "Big Fish."

Also this week, Alec Baldwin's Oscar-nominated performance in "The Cooler" makes its way to video stores.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.