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What Actors Have Said About Kissing Tom Cruise

Hollywood blockbusters deceive fans into thinking the films are all about the epic explosions or pulsating action scenes, but everyone knows the truth: It's about the kiss. One leading man who knows it all too well is Tom Cruise, who has locked lips with a number of his fantastic co-stars over the years. No matter if he's diffusing a ticking time bomb as Ethan Hunt in "Mission: Impossible" or beating the holy ham out of nameless thugs as Jack Reacher, Cruise's characters often find the necessary breathing room for at least one smooch with the on-screen love interest.

But what's kissing a megastar like Cruise like? Well, for some co-stars, it was the physical embodiment of Faith Hill's "This Kiss," feeling like a magical moment straight out of a fairy tale. For others, it wasn't all it was made out to be and they would prefer to move on. Everyone has their own thoughts on the matter, of course, so it's best to hear it directly from the source and their reasons for saying what they did.

So put away those breath mints — because nobody is puckering up right now (sorry!) — and read on to find out what actors have said about kissing Cruise before.

Lea Thompson said Tom Cruise is her best on-screen kiss ever

Before Tom Cruise took off from the flight deck on the way to becoming a major movie star in "Top Gun," he starred in the 1983 Michael Chapman-directed sports drama "All the Right Moves." Cruise playe the role of high school student and football player Stef Djordjevic, while Lea Thompson portrayed his girlfriend, Lisa Lietzke. As you might expect, they share a snog in the movie.

When asked in 2013 by 98.3 The Key about which actor is the best kisser, Thompson thought long and hard about her answer. "I might have to say Tom Cruise," she finally replied. "There's something about him — I mean he's a big, big movie star — but there's something about the way he pays attention. Like the way he looks at you, he's really looking at you. A lot of people are thinking about other things, but he's got a lot of attention."

Thompson later revealed in 2018 how she didn't want to audition for "All the Right Moves" initially, since the film called for nudity on her part. Even so, she received the gig, but said it was Cruise who managed to convince the filmmakers to scrap the flesh-showing shots. Turns out that Cruise is one of the few actors who fights against unnecessary nude scenes.

Thandiwe Newton described their kiss as icky

John Woo's "Mission: Impossible 2" boasts an array of heart-in-throat action sequences and unbelievable spectacle (as well as Limp Bizkit's godly rendition of the theme song, "Take a Look Around"), but it's also a film carried by the charm and talents of superstars Tom Cruise and Thandiwe Newton, who appear as Ethan Hunt and Nyah Nordoff-Hall respectively. Cruise and Newton's characters display fantastic chemistry whenever they appear together on screen, while they also get hot and heavy in a steamy love scene.

Newton wasn't too impressed with their kiss, though, describing it as "slightly icky and a little bit wet," as per Boze Hadleigh's "Holy Matrimony! Better Halves and Bitter Halves: Actors, Athletes, Comedians, Directors, Divas, Philosophers, Poets." However, Newton discussed in a separate interview with The Guardian how kissing scenes aren't that special to begin with, due to the intricacies of filming them and the amount of people coordinating the actors. "You're lying there, you've got 30 people around you, prodding all bits of you to make sure that certain things aren't being seen and others look good," Newton said. "Even when you're kissing, you can't kiss too hard because then your face sort of spreads across the other person and it looks terrible."

According to Newton, working with Cruise on the film proved to be an intense and frightening experience for her, becoming just one of the many bizarre things that happened on the "Mission: Impossible" sets.

Shelley Long rated his kissing ability highly

Curtis Hanson's 1983 comedy "Losin' It" is easily considered one of the worst Tom Cruise movies by fans and critics alike. That said, it features a formidable cast, including Jackie Earle Haley and Shelley Long in important roles. Cruise stars as teenager Woody, who heads off with his pals to Tijuana, Mexico, in an effort to lose their virginity. Along the way, they pick up Kathy (Long), who is looking to get divorced from her husband, and she forms a part of their wild and wacky adventure.

Appearing on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," Long discussed her memories of "Losin' It" and her scenes with Cruise –- particularly the more intimate moments between their characters. After host Rosie O'Donnell asked how she would rate Cruise as a kisser, Long said, "I would rate him very highly." Long, though, mentioned that she had spoken about kissing Cruise in the past and how the media ran away with the headlines, creating articles in which she supposedly ranked her former co-stars' kissing skills — something she denied ever doing. After O'Donnell jokingly pressed her about it again, Long added that Cruise's rating was "very high. Off the scale."

Paula Patton said his breath was fantastic

In 2011, Paula Patton accepted the assignment to star alongside Tom Cruise in Brad Bird's "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol." In the film, Patton plays IMF agent Jane Carter, and it seems as if the thrilling Burj Khalifa climb scene wasn't the only sequence that took her breath away during production. In one of the movie's missions, Ethan approaches Jane at the bar and plants a sensual kiss on her as a means to attract the attention of their target, Brij Nath (Anil Kapoor). If Patton looks surprised here, it's because she was — both in character and reality.

Appearing on "Live with Kelly and Ryan," Patton discussed how she didn't want to rank her on-screen kisses or refer to anyone as "the best," but said, "I will tell you that the kiss from Tom Cruise was a surprise." The actor explained that she wasn't expecting the kiss from her co-star at all and that he caught her off guard. She wasn't upset about it, though, adding: "He had amazing breath. It wasn't minty; it was just perfect."

Patton joked that if she had known about the impending smooch from Cruise, she would have prepared better and chewed some gum before the scene started shooting.

Michelle Monaghan and her husband loved that she kissed Tom Cruise

The "Mission: Impossible" franchise features several recurring characters. One of them is Ethan Hunt's ex-wife Julia Meade, played by Michelle Monaghan. Despite them no longer being married in the film series, Julia and Ethan locked lips in the past — most notably in J.J. Abrams' "Mission: Impossible III," where they play a happily engaged couple.

In a 2023 interview with Collider, Monaghan shared an interesting and humorous story about her time working on the 2006 film. She explained how she had just married Peter White, but they hadn't been able to head out on their honeymoon because she was required to be on set for "Mission: Impossible III." Right off the bat, she needed to do a romantic scene with Tom Cruise and started to feel jittery, but her husband told her to relax and let the "Mission: Impossible" star take the lead.

"I come home at the end of the day, open up the hotel room, and [my husband] said, 'How was it?'" Monaghan stated. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, it was amazing. He was so nice. It was great.' He goes, 'How cool is it that you were making out with Tom Cruise on our honeymoon?' Because we're just such fans."

Gwyneth Paltrow called Tom Cruise an amazing kisser

Gwyneth Paltrow has smooched a who's who of A-list actors in her career, including esteemed names such as Robert Downey Jr., Brad Pitt, and Ben Affleck. However, none of these people rate as her favorite on-screen kiss — despite her having dated co-stars like Pitt and Affleck. Even more surprisingly, her most-loved kiss comes from a film where Paltrow appears for the briefest of moments — not even in a leading role.

In Jay Roach's "Austin Powers in Goldmember," the film opens with Austin Powers (Mike Myers) watching a Steven Spielberg-directed movie about his life, "Austinpussy," with Tom Cruise starring as the International Man of Mystery and Paltrow as Dixie Normous (say it out loud a few times). The characters smooch in dramatic fashion before being interrupted by Kevin Spacey's Dr. Evil.

Despite the blink-and-you-miss-it nature of this cameo, Paltrow holds a special fondness for it since it provided her an unforgettable kiss with Cruise, which she dubbed the favorite of her career. "He was an amazing kisser," she said on the "Rachael Ray Show" (via Today). Unlike the Marvel movies Gwyneth Paltrow has forgotten she was in, she remembered this "Austin Powers" film, all right — maybe because she "got to make out with Tom Cruise," as she said in her own words.

Malin Akerman said it was a lick fest

When it comes to the most underrated Tom Cruise movie, most people tend to look toward Michael Mann's tense thriller "Collateral." But show some respect for Adam Shankman's "Rock of Ages," where Cruise not only performs as the debaucherous rocker Stacee Jaxx but also sings banging tracks such as Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" and Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Malin Åkerman also stars in the 2012 film as Rolling Stone journalist Constance Sack, who shares lip action (and a little bit more) with Cruise's Stacee. Speaking on "Conan," Åkerman was reluctant to call it a kiss. "I don't even know if you can call it a kiss," she said. "It's like a lick fest. It's like two dogs just going crazy. Adam Shankman literally just said, 'Why don't you guys just go to the point where you're like licking her eyeballs? I want it to be the tonguiest tongue kiss of all time.'" While no eyeballs were harmed in the making of this movie, it's safe to say they cleaned each other's faces in this scene.

Appearing on "Larry King Now" a few years later, Åkerman called the smooch with Cruise her best on-screen kiss. "It was the most fun, crazy one, yeah," she said.

Cobie Smulders referred to their kiss as simply work

Much like the rest of us fill out timesheets and deal with copious amounts of cumbersome admin, a kissing scene between actors is just a part of the job. It's society that makes it appear glamorous and more exciting, since it's often two beautiful and famous people smacking lips for everyone else's entertainment. For an actor like Cobie Smulders, though, kissing someone like Tom Cruise is what she's paid to do, and she feels weird talking about it.

Smulders appears alongside Cruise in Edward Zwick's 2016 film "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back," where she plays the role of Major Susan Turner. A love scene was actually shot for the movie, but ultimately removed since the director didn't think it worked for what they were trying to do. Smulders spoke about the excised scene during an interview with Film Inside, saying it made more sense to portray Turner and Reacher as partners rather than lovers.

When asked if she actually kissed Cruise for the deleted sequence, she confirmed that it happened, adding: "It was lovely. For me, it's work. It's a part of my job, so it's a strange thing to comment on. But yes, he's lovely and it was a good scene from what I remember. I have never seen it obviously, but it was a good scene."

Vanessa Kirby worried that she kissed Tom Cruise too aggressively

In Christopher McQuarrie's "Mission: Impossible — Fallout," it isn't just Henry Cavill's arm reload scene that gets fans off their seats and fist-pumping the air. It's also the combined efforts of the all-star cast, including Vanessa Kirby, who portrays Alanna Mitsopolis, aka the White Widow. In a noteworthy scene, Kirby's Alanna shares a quick kiss with Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt by a Parisian riverbank.

Discussing the nature of the kiss with Culture Trip, Kirby said that she had concerns about it from a character perspective. She explained how Alanna wouldn't do anything without a motive, so she had to figure out why she would kiss Ethan in the first place. "He's pretending to be somebody else," she said. "She senses that and she's not really going to let him get away with it, so it was fun. The first few kisses I really went for it, was quite worried it was too aggressive, but in the end it made sense, really, that it wasn't too sensual."

While Kirby didn't find the kiss to be too intense, it still sparked the attention of the media. Paparazzi caught snaps of the pair kissing for the scene and gossip spread like wildfire that they had started dating. Kirby couldn't even believe that she had to deny the latest churnings from the rumor mill. Hollywood, right?

Cameron Diaz compared kissing Cruise to driving a car

Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise are no strangers to each other. They teamed up for 2001's "Vanilla Sky," in which they portrayed a reality-bending couple, then combined their powers nine years later for James Mangold's "Knight and Day." In the 2010 film, they play love interests once again as Diaz's June Havens falls for Cruise's Roy Miller/Matthew Knight, who happens to be a CIA agent and brings her into his world.

Considering that they already knew each other and had a professional working relationship by the time "Knight and Day" came around, one would presume they were far more comfortable with their kissing scenes. Diaz confirmed this at the film's premiere (via The Mirror). She explained how the intimate moments in "Knight and Day" were the least of her worries, since she was far more concerned about the action-packed sequences in the film.

"We're serving the characters," Diaz said about her and Cruise kissing. "It's literally the same work as driving the car. You're just trying to do the best you can for the story and the characters." She also found the time to praise Cruise for his "great sense of humor" and being "a very smooth ride." His surname is Cruise, after all.

Annabelle Wallis' kissing scene with Cruise was canceled

Alex Kurtzman's "The Mummy" didn't quite prove to be the seismic launch to the Dark Universe that most might have imagined or wished for. Despite the star power of Tom Cruise behind it and the promise of the monster movie being the first building block in something bigger, the film failed to convince both critics and fans, who gave it an overwhelming thumbs down. "The Mummy" also disappointed Annabelle Wallis, who plays archaeologist Jenny Halsey in the film, only for different reasons.

Appearing on "Conan," Wallis confirmed that there was a kissing scene between her character and Cruise's Nick Morton that was axed at the last second. "It was a very sad day for Annabelle," she said, discussing how she looked forward to locking lips with Cruise and bragging about it to everyone. Wallis explained how she arrived on set, knowing the scene was set to happen, but Cruise called the director over and said he wasn't "feeling the kissing scene" to his co-star's shock. "He talked himself out of kissing me in front of 900 [crew members]," she said. "Can you imagine what I felt like?"

To learn more about the "Top Gun" actor, check out the real reason Tom Cruise didn't play Iron Man in the MCU.