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Working On Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut Reportedly Gave Tom Cruise An Ulcer

There is no actor in the world right now who is more willing than Tom Cruise to put himself and his body on the line for a movie. In recent years, Cruise has even developed a bit of a reputation as a modern-day Hollywood daredevil.

To put that another way: He's the kind of guy who is willing to hang off the side of the world's tallest skyscraper, learn how to fly a fighter jet, and strap himself to the outside of a cargo plane in order to get the perfect shot. As a matter of fact, he's done those very things in films like "Top Gun: Maverick," "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol," and "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation." To Cruise's credit, those films all went on to receive universal praise for their stunts when they were released (via Rotten Tomatoes).

All of this is, of course, to say that Cruise isn't the kind of actor who easily succumbs to stress or anxiety. That's why it's worth noting how stressful of an experience Cruise had while making "Eyes Wide Shut," which ended up being the last film that "The Shining" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" director Stanley Kubrick would ever finish.

Indeed, while Cruise and Kubrick seemed to have a fair amount of respect for each other, it sounds like their overly dedicated work ethics mixed together to create a surprisingly toxic environment on the set of "Eyes Wide Shut."

Tom Cruise didn't have an easy time filming Eyes Wide Shut

In a 2014 Vanity Fair piece based on her own book, "Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor," writer Amy Nicholson spotlighted some interesting details from the making of "Eyes Wide Shut." The article itself, notably, discusses how Cruise struggled to adapt to director Stanley Kubrick's exhausting approach to filmmaking. In specific, it was Kubrick's tendency to shoot a high number of takes of practically every scene that wore Cruise down.

The process apparently created a crisis of confidence within Cruise. "I'd bring it upon myself because I demand a lot of myself," the "Top Gun: Maverick" star admitted. The stress of the shoot even led to him getting an ulcer, one that he, unsurprisingly, tried to keep Kubrick from learning about. To Cruise's credit, though, he has repeatedly spoken positively about Kubrick in the years since "Eyes Wide Shut" was released.

Following Kubrick's death in March 1999, Cruise often spoke glowingly about his experiences working with the director. "I'd show up on the set and we'd find ourselves singing a song, goofing around, and we'd rehearse the scene," Cruise told film critic Roger Ebert. "Stanley bought time when he made a movie. He was not at the mercy of a studio." The actor added, "I'm used to working. I'll work 15 hours a day and I'll work very hard to try to make something work. But if [Stanley] felt that I was tired or the scene wasn't working, he never panicked. He knew he had the time."

It sounds, in other words, like Cruise ended up feeling uniquely fulfilled following his work on "Eyes Wide Shut," regardless of how stressful the actual production was for him.