‘Mission’ Accomplished In Dubai: Tom Cruise Edition

By Joel Hanek

MTV News reporter Josh Horowitz and producer Joel Hanek are currently in Dubai covering the world premiere of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” These are their stories.

If you’ve been following the adventures of MTV News’ very own reporter Josh Horowitz and I this week on Movies Blog, you know that we’ve traveled all the way to Dubai for the world premiere of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” And let’s just say, right now we are standing on an aircraft carrier with a banner behind us that reads: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. OK, that reference is neither timely, accurate, nor funny, so let’s move on. What I learned during the trip:

1) Scrambled eggs in the Middle East are orange. Crazy, right?
2) Simon Pegg is even more hilarious than I thought.
3) Tom Cruise is probably the nicest man on the planet.

After exploring the sights of Dubai — aka the Middle East’s Big and Tall Shop, since it has either the biggest or tallest everything — we were ready for our interviews. Only feet away from the beach and with the imposing Burj Al Arab on the horizon, the stars of “MI:4″ were whisked into our junket room one by one. Although they had all been traveling around Asia for the past few weeks, everyone was in great spirits.

Director Brad Bird, the genius behind Pixar movies like “The Incredibles,” described the mind-blowing climbing scenes on top of the Burj Khalifa; Anil Kapoor was strangely hypnotic and inspiring; Paula Patton was extremely charming and insanely beautiful; and Simon Pegg, one of my personal geek heroes, had a very nerdy and hilarious conversation with Josh.

Finally, Tom Cruise entered the room. For someone who defines the word “celebrity,” he certainly acts like a normal human. He arrived in the room all smiles, greeting every single person. Then you hear that iconic laugh, and you’re reminded of the countless classics and blockbusters you’ve watched him in over the years. It was definitely strange seeing Cruise in Dubai without the aid of an IMAX theater. After getting the inside scoop on “Mission Impossible,” unearthing some juicy “Top Gun 2″ news, and shooting an upcoming After Hours, the interview ended.

One costume change and 30 minutes later, we arrived at the red carpet for the 8th Annual Dubai International Film Festival. The show kicked off with (who else?) Tom Cruise hitting the carpet. The crowd went into a frenzy, and between chants of his name and camera flashes, Mr. Cruise paused at every person. This is not hyperbole: he took his time to meet every single person who arrived at the red carpet. As Josh tweeted, “I think I just watched Tom Cruise autograph something for every citizen of Dubai.”

And to think — he does this in every single city they travel to. That’s why he is the nicest man on the planet. Him, and my grandma. And maybe Santa.