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Stanley Kubrick And Tom Cruise Pushed TAR's Todd Field To Start Directing His Own Movies

Todd Field is once again in Academy Award conversations thanks to his work on "Tár." The psychological drama stars Cate Blanchett as the titular world-famous composer has been described as one of the tensest films to come out of 2022, and audiences shouldn't be surprised if it snags a couple of Oscar nominations later in 2023. Blanchett has already been nominated for a Golden Globe, with plenty of other outlets praising her performance, in particular (via NBC News). However, the movie only managed to come together under the watchful eye of Field. 

Casual viewers may not realize that Field has an immense body of work that goes far beyond writing and directing. Before he stepped behind the camera, he was an actor who starred in several projects, from "Fat Man and Little Boy" to "Twister." He also played Nick Nightengale in "Eyes Wide Shut," which is noteworthy for being director Stanley Kubrick's final film. 

If it wasn't for that role, there's a chance Field never would have pursued filmmaking, as he recently related on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast. He spoke about a number of topics, but one of the most intriguing involves Kubrick and "Eyes Wide Shut" star Tom Cruise convincing him to pursue directing. 

Tom Cruise really pushed Todd Field to develop his first feature

When asked about his experience filming "Eyes Wide Shut," Todd Field immediately went into how intimidating it was to be side-by-side with Stanley Kubrick. He talked about wandering the inside of a manor where they were shooting with a camera around his neck, and when Kubrick saw him, he wanted to know everything about the camera. From that interaction alone, Field could tell that Kubrick knew he was interested in more than just acting. 

However, Tom Cruise ended up being the one to really push Field to work on his first feature, "In the Bedroom." Field elaborated, "[Cruise] took me aside after a few months and said, 'You're gonna make a feature film.' I said, 'Yeah, I will. I went to film school.' He goes, 'No, but you're gonna make a feature film. You've got a few months now, what are you going to do? You should write a script.'" With that bit of inspiration, Field fleshed out the idea for "In the Bedroom" more and eventually brought it to Kubrick. 

Field didn't detail what precisely Kubrick told him, but he explained, "He would never tell you anything, but he would always ask you a lot of questions. He asked me a lot of questions about what I was thinking, why I wanted to do it, and he very gently offered me some extremely valuable advice." "In the Bedroom" ended up garnering two Academy Award nominations for best picture and best adapted screenplay. More Oscar nods may be in Field's future if "Tár" continues its upward trajectory.