By Tara Fowler
This weekend, a movie called “Oblivion” hits theaters. It is not, as I believed when it was first announced, based on the popular video game (which I wouldn’t be opposed to — make it happen, Hollywood!). Instead, this film sees Tom Cruise as one of the last humans stationed on a dying Earth following an alien attack sixty years prior*. Here are seven facts about the savior of mankind:
1) The name of Cruise’s daughter Suri comes from the Hebrew word for “princess”: And the Persian word for “red rose,” per the statement released at the time of her birth. It’s also the Japanese word for “pickpocket,” but the press release doesn’t mention that. In any case, it’s a moot point since this very reliable British tabloid has reported that Katie Holmes is planning to change her daughter’s name after her divorce from Tom Cruise is finalized. The top contender? Scout, of “To Kill a Mockingbird” fame.
2) There’s a whole day dedicated to him: In 2006, Japan declared October 10 “Tom Cruise Day” in honor of the actor’s love for the country. He’s visited it more than any other Hollywood star.
3) He’s the original Ryan Gosling: Before Gosling was saving people left and right on the streets of NYC, Cruise was Hollywood’s knight in shining armor. In 1996, he helped the victim of a hit-and-run by taking her to the hospital and then paying her medical bills when he discovered she didn’t have health insurance. Later that same year, he (or, well, his yacht’s staff) rescued five people from a burning sailboat. Then, at the “Mission: Impossible” premiere, he saved two boys from getting crushed against barricades by the crowd.
4) Aladdin was modeled after him: When designing the Disney character, producers drew inspiration from Cruise’s “eyebrows and straight-off-the-forehead nose.” “There’s a confidence with all of his attitudes and his poses,” lead animator Glen Keane told Entertainment Weekly at the time.
5) Cruise attended 15 different schools over the course of 12 years: Moving throughout the US and Canada, Cruise went to a new school almost every year until he was 14 and his family settled in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He also studied to be a priest, but dropped out after a year, and, you know, eventually embraced Scientology.
6) He played football in high school — until he was cut from the team: For drinking beer! As this unauthorized biography so eloquently puts it, “he was not the only one drinking; he was just the only one who got caught.”
Bonus) Cruise has appeared in three movies with his second wife, Nicole Kidman: Most notably the instant classic “Far and Away.” Say you like my hat!
Will you be seeing Oblivion this weekend?
*These aliens are unrelated to Scientology. Shame on you.