Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, hailed as the last superhero – and considered 59 – turned out to be a crowd pleaser on Wednesday at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, which kicked off a double-double. When the hero of Top Gun: Maverick landed at the festival venue, eight fighter planes flew overhead to expel smoke in red and blue to match the colors of the French flag.
Two hours before the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick, in which he plays a pilot, a reckless pilot, he gives advanced lessons in the crowded Debussy Theater, nestled between the hills and the Mediterranean.
If Cruz had the lenses cheering on a video call with his boyish smile and unruly brown hair, he had the crowd raving when addressing, caring for you, he started by saying the right thing. Paramount, which produced Top Gun: Maverick, will not let it go to the streaming platform.
Indeed, this was the reason for the postponement of the film’s release. It was supposed to open in 2019, but was pushed and pushed until Wednesday evening, when it opened to a much-appreciated audience who gave a six-minute standing ovation.
(French film distributors and exhibitors have died against any film that opens on OTT before it comes out in theaters, and the window period is 18 months long. This was a major annoyance for the festival and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It lost many films to Venice, which no such condition is imposed)
In the chapter in conversation with French journalist Didier Lellouche, Cruz went a step further to promote the big screen. “I put on a hat and get into movie theaters… I’m still assertive in the world of cinema. It’s a different skill to write a movie than something for TV,” the actor said. “How to shoot and how to communicate is completely different, a completely different skill set.”
Cruz detailed his career path, filled with the most terrifying dangers, that even as a child he did wild things like climbing the tallest tree in the neighbourhood. He also remembered how he jumped off his roof using a bed sheet as an umbrella as a child.
He is now a skilled pilot and does most of the stunts himself. When asked why he dared to do these things that put his life in danger, he said sarcastically, “No one asked Jane Kelly, ‘Why are you dancing?'” “…I always thought there was something I could do and wanted to push the art form. I thought, How can I immerse the audience in a movie with this kind of action? And how can I entertain them? What can I do?” He cheered the crowd. “If you fall, you will always walk away from something.”
Regarding his collaborators, he prefers to work with those who are not afraid of failure or say they do not know. “You’d better innovate,” Cruz said.
The hour-long session began with a distinctive 15-minute reel of the actor’s career, with clips from titles including Rain Man, Jerry Maguire, and A Few Good Men among others.
But did he forget it was someone in Cruz’s life or did he miss someone in the editing room? Actress Nicole Kidman—who has been married to him for a decade and has made three films with him, including the great Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Closed—has barely appeared in the clips. Thunder days the two of them met, but no footage of the two of them in a warm embrace could be seen. Instead, it was just shots of Cruise behind the wheel of a very fast car. There were clips from Far and Away, the sprawling historical saga that featured Cruz and Kidman as Irish immigrants seeking their fortune in America in the 1890s. Here, though, Cruz has been peeked out on a horse, and Kidman hasn’t been found!
But, well, today was Tom’s day, and it has been like this the whole time.
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