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The Untold Truth Of Tom Cruise

When Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, as his folks called him, appeared alongside fellow young guns Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and Ralph Macchio in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders" in 1983, few would have earmarked the 21-year-old for world-beating success. His bit part as greaser Steve Randle was pedestrian at best. Yet in his next film, "Risky Business," Cruise pulled out all the stops in his first lead role. This laid the foundation stone for a career that would see him take off into the stratosphere like an F14 Tomcat. Three years later, Cruise became a household name thanks to his career-defining role as the troubled but lovable rouge Maverick in "Top Gun." A star was born and it's been lighting up the hills of Hollywood like a champagne supernova ever since.

Fast forward to three Golden Globes, three Academy Award nominations, and a portfolio of record-breaking blockbuster films later, and one of the world's highest-paid actors is pretty much in cruise control. Yet behind that dazzling smile of porcelain perfection, the trademark shades, and the happy-go-lucky demeanor, there's always been a lot more to Cruise than meets the eye. His relationship with Scientology and his more bizarre public outbursts may have ruined a lesser celeb, but with Cruise, they just serve to make him more star-like. If you're going to go Mach 2 with your hair on fire, you might as well do it in style. It's time to throw caution to the wind, buzz the tower, and fly right into the calm at the center of the storm that is the untold truth of Tom Cruise.

Cruise attended a lot of different schools and was bullied regularly

Starting a new school is a big deal for any young and impressionable kid. Learning to cope in a new environment, making new friends, fitting in, sussing out the bullies, and assessing the lay of the land is pretty exhausting stuff. Yet imagine having to attend 13 different schools when growing up? Tom Cruise did and all that adapting to being the new kid on the block must have left its mark on his character! In an interview with Roger Ebert, Cruise confessed that his early life lacked stability. He was born in Syracuse and lived in various cities in America and Canada. During third, fourth, and fifth grade, he attended Robert Hopkins Public School in Ottawa. His time in sixth grade was spent at Henry Munro Middle school where his resilience, determination, and competitive character manifested themselves in his talent for floor hockey and athletics.

He later became a football linebacker in high school but, after he was caught downing beer before a game, the coach called time on his burgeoning career. Cruise has revealed that his family's financial status and habit of continually relocating led to him being bullied when young. He said that he was mocked by the other kids because of his accent, his shoes, and pretty much everything else. After a stint at seminary school in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cruise finally graduated from Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey, with a strong interest in acting that had been blossoming like a promising bloom since the fourth grade.

He was diagnosed as a dyslexic aged 7

When Cruise finally closed the door on his academic life in 1980, according to People, he described himself as a "functional illiterate." Cruise explained, "When I was about 7 years old, I had been labeled dyslexic. I'd try to concentrate on what I was reading, then I'd get to the end of the page and have very little memory of anything I'd read. I would go blank, feel anxious, nervous, bored, frustrated, and dumb. I would get angry." Throughout school and well into his career, Cruise said he felt like he was harboring a secret. He explained how his head ached and his legs hurt when he attempted to study and was desperate to keep his dyslexia hidden with every new school he attended.

As an aspiring actor, Cruise's frustration with his condition reached boiling point. Reading scripts and memorizing lines was the bread and butter of his craft, but it was something his dyslexia prevented him from mastering. Cruise compensated for his inability to read scripts cold at auditions by getting the director to talk about the character and winging it. "I got pretty good at ad-libbing," he revealed. Yet he could only carry on flying by the seat of his pants for so long because in his own words, "the trapdoor was going to open up and that would be it." Cruise credits his introduction to Scientology during the release of "Top Gun" in 1986 as the remedy to his dyslexia. He states he finally learned to read through Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's Study Technology learning method.

Cruise described his dad as an abusive bully

Tom Cruise told Parade (via the Irish Examiner) that his father, Thomas Cruise Mapother III was a "bully and coward" and "a merchant of chaos." Cruise added that his father, who was an electrical engineer, caused him a great deal of anxiety during his formative years. He explained, "He was the kind of person where if something goes wrong they kick you. It was a great lesson in my life — how he'd lull you in, make you feel safe, and then, bang."

Cruise states he grew up not trusting his father and treading extremely carefully around a guy he thought had something wrong with him. In 1974, when Cruise was 12, his mother Mary Lee divorced his dad. Cruise's mother and her children left Canada and returned to the United States, where she married Cruise's stepfather Jack South. Cruise didn't see his father again until 10 years later, when the man was dying of cancer in the hospital. The elder Cruise would only meet his son on the provision that the younger Cruise didn't ask him anything about the past. The actor agreed and recalled, "When I saw him in pain, I thought, 'Wow, what a lonely life.' He was in his late 40s. It was sad."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Tom's world-famous teeth have their own story to tell

If there's one thing Tom Cruise is famous for, apart from his acting chops, it's his teeth. Cruise's pearly whites aren't that of the average Joe — they have a life of their own in their dazzling, world-conquering brilliance. However, according to Closer, if you study photos of Cruise's teeth closely, you'll notice they are not perfectly aligned with the center of his face. His right front tooth juts out of position somewhat and is often branded his "middle tooth."

Not that this imperfection will bother Cruise any. The actor messed up his front tooth in high school when it chipped during a hockey match from a wayward puck. He later removed the cap for his part in "The Outsiders" to portray a character with a less than a wholesome smile. Yet according to co-star Patrick Swayze (per Stuff), Cruise was extremely self-conscious about his teeth at the time, to the point he turned down magazine photoshoots. Whatever concerns Cruise may have had about his teeth were laid to rest for good in 2001. In the wake of his split from Nicole Kidman, Closer reports that Cruise decided to fix his overbite and misalignment issues with some braces.

He once wanted to be a priest

Father Tom has something of a ring to it, and perhaps some amongst us would be confessing our sins to Priest Mapother IV if Cruise has followed his first calling and become a man of the cloth. Yet God's loss is Hollywood's gain. According to The Daily News, Cruise applied to attend Cincinnati's St Francis Seminary School on the advice of Father Ric Schneider, who explained, "With his parents going through a divorce, it was tough on him, that's maybe one of the reasons why he came here." The teenage Tom scored 110 on the IQ entry test and just gained admission by the skin of his teeth. Cruise showed particular promise in the school's drama club, but according to his friend Shane Dempler, the pair of them both heard the spirit calling and were preparing for a life in the priesthood.

Dempler told The Daily News, "We thought the priests had a great lifestyle and we were really interested in the priesthood." Yet the hand of the unseen works in mysterious ways and although he possessed a strong Catholic faith, Cruise was a teenage boy and prone to all the antics that attract teenagers like honey to bees. Drinking alcohol and cutting loose wasn't exactly condoned by the school. Subsequently, when Cruise and his mate stole some booze from the monks and made merry, it didn't sit well with the powers that be. Dempler alleges that the seminary asked their parents to withdraw them both and the dream of becoming priests turned to dust.

His acting career was born from a wrestling injury

After deciding that saying "Hail Mary" a lot, continually crossing himself, and rocking a predominantly black wardrobe wasn't for him, Tom Cruise appeared to decide that rolling about on the floor and grunting a lot was where it was at. In other words, he became a wrestler. The Daily Mail reports that during his tenure at New Jersey's Glen Ridge High School, Cruise earned a solid rep as a teenage wrestler who could grapple, pin, and showboat with the best of them. Cruise is renowned as an action man who likes to get stuck in and it all began on the wrestling mat. His former wrestling captain, Tom Jarret aka TJ, explained that Cruise had a tough time arriving at the school from Kentucky as a fresh-faced 15-year-old, and so he channeled his aggression into wrestling.

TJ told The Daily Mail, "He had times when he was struggling to be accepted. With wrestling, you made your own mark. He deserves all his success. He was always a real go-getter, but a good guy. I've not got a bad word to say about Tom." Interestingly, TJ's father didn't have a good word to say about Cruise and once told his son, "Stop hanging out with that guy. He's not doing anything with his life." It was whilst recovering from a wrestling injury that Cruise decided to take a punt on an audition for "Guys and Dolls." Cruise landed a key role in the high-school musical and it convinced him that religion and sport were all well and good, but it was on the stage where his true destiny lay.

He performs his own stunts

When it comes to playing men of action, such as special agent Ethan Hunt from the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, Cruise likes to walk it like he talks it and go all in. Leaping through plate glass windows and riding motorcycles off cliffs is all in a day's work for Cruise, who loves performing his own stunts. The thought of not going out on a limb is more terrifying than breaking one for Cruise, who busted up his ankle performing an action sequence on the set of "Mission: Impossible — Fallout." As a huge box-office draw who also does his own stunts, Cruise is the last of a dying breed. Cruise's stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood told Men's Journal that the actor relishes the role because, "He loves making these films, and he wants the audience to love them as well."

Eastwood explains that, although many actors will brag about how capable they are behind the wheel of a supercar, they fall to pieces once they're in the hot seat and struggle to even shift gears. Yet he believes Cruise was born to live in the fast lane and said, "His skills levels are through the roof. He is incredibly capable. He can do it all. When we are doing these stunts with Tom, we are not just talking about a fast pull away. This is a level that requires a lot of talent, more than I would say any other actor has. He is almost to the point where he is dangerously good."

He strictly forbids Tom Cruise figurines or video games

When you possess the sort of face that is instantly recognizable the world, one capable of selling everything from souvenir china to novelty t-shirts, it's only natural that people will want to exploit your likeness for a quick buck. Yet, don't expect that to happen on Tom Cruise's watch. The actor with the face that has launched multi-million dollar box office successes in succession is allegedly strictly adamant that his likeness will not appear in any video games. Nor will he allow it to appear on the tiny and somewhat unsettling faces of figurines that come in plastic packaging.

MTV News reports that the NES "Top Gun" game released in 1987, and the "Mission: Impossible" game were created without Cruise's likeness in pixels or on the cover art. In the "Minority Report" game released in 2002, Cruise's character is blond and looks a million miles removed from the actor. The reason why Cruise has not capitalized on his world-famous looks has never been properly explained. His agent has always declined to comment on his client's decision and Cruise has learned long ago that the motto of "never apologize, never explain" carries its own weight in free publicity. So if you're holding out for a Tom Cruise doll this holiday season, forget about it!

In Japan, they have a Tom Cruise Day

You know you've finally arrived on the world stage when a country names a day in your honor. It's the sort of accolade that money just can't buy, but being a Hollywood actor definitely can, just ask Tom Cruise! Hollywood.com reports that "The Last Samurai" star was awarded his special day in Japan because of his close ties and long-term affection for the country. Cruise has visited the Land of the Rising Sun more than any other actor and always ensures he has time to share with his legion of adoring fans. Digital Spy reports that The Japanese Memorial Day Association chose to allocate October 10 as "Tom Cruise Day" in 2006 because of the actor's "love for and close association with Japan."

According to the Filipino Japanese Journal, Cruise made his 23rd visit to Japan in 2018 to promote "Mission: Impossible — Fallout." At a press conference, he revealed the love Japan has for him is no one-way street. He enthused, "It's so great to be back in Japan. It's just amazing to me. I feel very at home here. It's always fast (my trips) but thank you for the warm smile this evening, for the lovely gifts, and always for the wonderful conversations. I'm very honored. Thank you."

Cruise allegedly uses a strange concoction for his youthful good looks

He once played immortal bloodsucker Lestat de Lioncourt in "Interview With The Vampire." However, Tom Cruise's secret behind his permanently youthful good looks isn't the drinking of blood. He has extremely focused nutrition and training plan — with, allegedly, a little help from a good old-fashioned bird droppings. Men's Health reports that Cruise credits weightlifting, sea-kayaking, treadmill, rock-climbing, caving, and a whole host of other activities to stay in shape and keep the ravages of father time from his door. Sports scientist Anne Elliott explained, "Regularly switching up cardio and strength work with something like fencing or climbing – like Cruise – maintains flexibility and balance: the first two things that give your age away."

An anonymous source supposedly near Cruise told NOW Magazine (via The Daily Mail) that the secret to Cruise's glowing complexion and radiant skin is an expensive spa treatment that has its origins in nightingale droppings. The source claims that Cruise shuns botox and surgery, but he does have a soft spot for natural treatments, like the kind that can be found in the excrement of our feathered friends. Adherents of the unusual treatment claim that it works as an exfoliant to extract the dirt and leave one's face feeling shiny and bright.

Cruise is a real-life Maverick

Looking effortlessly cool on a Kawasaki Ninja ZX900, and giving the 'bird' to a MiG whilst flying inverted are just some of the reasons why audiences fell in love with Tom Cruise's character in "Top Gun." His manifold issues with authority, terrible karaoke performances, and flair in a cockpit won a watching world over. "Maverick" is a larger-than-life character who knows his way around a joystick-like nobody's business. Yet there is more than just a dash and splash of Cruise in this fictional hero of the skies.

The actor has been in love with the idea of flying jets since he was young, but it wasn't until he appeared in "Top Gun" in 1986 that he gave serious thought to getting his pilot license. In 1994 he received his wings and in a subsequent interview with Wired revealed he was a multi-engine instrument-rated commercial pilot. In plain speak that means Cruise could legally fly you anywhere in the world in a plane or helicopter. In "Top Gun: Maverick," Cruise lives the dream and flies some of the jets in the movie. Yet it's not the first time Cruise has been airborne on the big screen. In "American Made," and "Mission: Impossible — Fallout" he does some crazy things in a helicopter. According to World War Wings, Cruise also owns a World War II fighter, P-51 Mustang a $20M Gulfstream with its own jacuzzi and movie room. Beat that, Mav!

Cruise once saved a woman from being mugged in London

It must be hard for actors to live up to some of the heroic characters they play on the big screen. Yet Tom Cruise came close to being a real-life Ethan Hunt when he chased down a gang of muggers who were in the act of trying to part a lady with $153,000 of her jewelry. The Scottish Daily Record reports that when Cruise's neighbor, Rita Simmonds, arrived outside of her $8 million London home she was approached by two unsavory characters. They pulled the door of her Porsche open and attempted to drag her to the curb in front of her two-year-old daughter Sophie, who was sitting in the back. One of the assailants screamed, "Give us your jewelry, or we will kill you." The man then proceeded to beat her, whilst the other attempted to rip the jewelry from her person.

Rita Simmonds cried for help, and her pleas caught the ears of none other than Cruise who dashed out of his Regent's Park apartment. Flanked by his bodyguards, Cruise charged down the road, chasing off the muggers and saving the day. Rita Simmonds explained, "Tom was brilliant. He rushed down the road with his bodyguards and chased the attackers away." When asked about the mugging, a spokesperson for Cruise explained, "He does not want to talk about this. He does like to help people but he likes to keep it quiet."

Cruise almost played Iron Man

Visualizing anyone else in the role of Tony Stark whose name isn't Robert Downey Jr seems like blasphemy. It's not easy to be cool and witty whilst flying around in a constricting tin suit but Robert Downey Jr does it with aplomb and a flair that's tough to beat. Nevertheless, it would have been interesting to see what dynamic Tom Cruise would have brought to the role of the billionaire arms dealer with questionable facial hair. The Indian Express reports that Marvel Studios had earmarked Cruise as the first choice to play Iron Man. They believed he was a lot more of a box-office draw than Downey Jr. Yet Cruise turned down the opportunity to ignite the Marvel cinematic universe because he didn't think the role would work.

Cruise explained, "If I commit to something, it has to be done in a way that I know it's gonna be something special. And as it was lining up it just didn't feel to me like it was gonna work." Cruise later added that no one but Downey Jr could have done the character justice. "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau battled studio executives hard for Downey to play the role, claiming the actor would effortlessly connect with a character who shared a similar redemption story.

Disney used Cruise's image as the prototype for Aladdin

Tom Cruise's portrayal of Maverick in "Top Gun" made such a powerful impression on many in the audience that it led to an upsurge in recruitment for the U.S. Navy. It also triggered a massive 40 percent sales increase for Aviator sunglasses. Yet perhaps its strangest legacy was how the character of Maverick was the inspiration for Walt Disney's animated version of "Aladdin." People report that Disney president Jeffrey Katzenberg was so taken with Cruise's portrayal of the charismatic pilot with attitude that he urged his animators to capture the essence of what made him tick and bring it to life in Disney's forthcoming cartoon.

Photos of Cruise were draped everywhere in the studio for illustrators to take inspiration from. Animator Glen Keane explained to The Los Angles Times, "In all Cruise's poses, I noticed there was a confidence, a look in the eyebrows, that gives him intensity and at the same time a smile that has a kind of impish look like he's got something up his sleeve." In tribute to Cruise, Aladdin was blessed with a "straight-off-the-forehead nose."

He gives chosen celebs a Cruise Cake every Xmas

Being a good pal of Tom Cruise might get you a white chocolate coconut bundt cake delivered by private jet every Christmas. Yahoo! reports that close friends of the big-hearted actor can expect a little something extra in their stocking and it's full of creamy goodness and very nice to eat. Chosen celebs who receive the signature item from Doan's Bakery in Woodland Hills, California, are unanimous in singing its praises. Jimmy Fallon brands it "unbelievable." Henry Cavill positively gushes when he calls it, "the most decadent, the most amazing cake." And Kirsten Dunst wastes no time in calling it "one of the best cakes I've ever had." Such is the power of the "Cruise Cake," celebs fall over one another to stay on Tom's nice list.

Cruise rarely consumes sugar himself and so, "I send cakes to everyone and I wait for the calls." When the recipients call to express their delight, Cruise said, "I'm like: Tell me about it!" According to The Guardian, Cruise was introduced to the cake by Diane Keaton. He was instantly converted. Having once spent three days straight eating chocolate cake as a young actor until he was violently sick, Cruise is partial to a nice sponge, but the white chocolate coconut bundt was like nothing he had ever experienced before. It was kind of an eureka moment, and for years he has made it his business to spread the word and send them to famous faces all over the world.

When each one of Tom Cruise's three wives turned 33, he left them

The innocence of chance and the fickle hand of fate land lead to some strange symmetries in everyone's life. Take Tom Cruise and the number 33 for example (via MammaMia). When Katie Holmes, Nicole Kidman, and Mimi Rogers's marriage with Cruise came to an end, why were they all 33-years-of-age? Is it a bizarre coincidence or intriguing conspiracy? That's the question that has plagued Cruise fans for many a moon. Showbiz CheatSheet notes that Cruise's first wife, Mimi Rogers was responsible for introducing him to Scientology, and rumors abound that the Church of Scientology has been an unseen and silent bedfellow in the break-ups.

There's a theory noted by The Daily News that Cruise's divorces all have their basis on Scientology, which is not a rabbit hole we any sane person would wish to disappear into. Nevertheless, conspiracy theorists insist that because the number 33 has such a deep significance in Scientology, the age of each of Cruise's three wives at the time of their divorce cannot be ignored.  They also point out that Phoenix, Arizona, where the first Church of Scientology was founded, lies on a circle of latitude that lies 33 degrees from the Earth's equator and has been called the 33rd parallel. At best it's a loose connection, but it remains one of intrigue for those who delight in playing "connect the dots."

Cruise once lost it big time on the set of Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise's no-holds-barred COVID-19 safety rant on the set of the seventh "Mission: Impossible" movie was a welcome slice of behind-the-scenes Hollywood honesty. As anger-fueled rants that could turn the air blue with their sheer savagery and cuss words, it was right up there with Christian Bale's torrid dressing-down of the director of photography on the set of "Terminator Salvation." Only the hardest heart would not find a sliver of joy in listening to an A-Lister having a huge meltdown on the job. It demonstrates quite poignantly that behind the most polished PR job and promotional campaign lies a human heart that beats with the same frustrations and foibles as the rest of us.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Cruise barked, "I am beyond your apologies" to a few members of the crew he thought were violating COVID-19 protocols. He snarled, "We are not shutting this f****** movie down. Is it understood? If I see it again, you're f****** gone. And so are you." Some criticized Cruise for what they perceived as an exploitation of his power and for coming across as a control freak. Cruise later clarified that he was "very emotional" at the thought of the film's production being shut down again. He told Empire Magazine, "I said what I said. There was a lot at stake at that point. All these emotions were going through my mind. I was thinking about the people I work with and my industry."

Cruise has been accused of attempting to convert other celebs to Scientology

The New Zealand Herald reports that Cruise credits his success in Hollywood to Scientology. He told ITV in 2016, "It's something that has helped me incredibly in my life; I've been a Scientologist for over 30 years. It's something, you know, without it, I wouldn't be where I am. So it's a beautiful religion. I'm incredibly proud." The church was founded in the 1950s by sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard. It believes that individuals are not just the product of their environment or genes, but immortal spiritual beings with unlimited capabilities and experiences above and beyond a single lifetime.

Tom Cruise has long been a vocal advocate of Scientology. By at least one telling, Cruise attempted to convert Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen to the cause. Rogen recalled in an interview with Howard Stern (per Far Out Magazine) that during a meeting with Cruise, Cruise said, "If you let me just tell what it was really about, if you let me, just give me like 20 minutes to really just tell you what it was about, you would say 'No f****** ing way." Feeling uncomfortable, Apatow managed to steer the conversation toward movies, and their conversion was forgotten.

Cruise isn't a big fan of antidepressants

As a Scientologist, Tom Cruise subscribes to a philosophy that frowns upon prescription pills and chemical substances that alter the brain's chemistry. People report that in 2005 this belief saw him lock horns with Brooke Shields over her use of antidepressants. In the aftermath of giving birth to her daughter Rowan in 2003, Shields battled with postpartum depression. She documented the struggle in her book "Down Came the Rain."

Although a fan of Shields, describing her as "an incredibly talented woman," Cruise criticized the actress for her assertion that antidepressants cured her. He branded it as "irresponsible," and said, "When someone says medication has helped them, it is to cope, it didn't cure anything. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever." Shields begged to differ and hit back at Cruis by stating, "Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them."

His nice-guy image isn't just a solid PR campaign

Tom Cruise often comes across as the nice guy's nice guy. His everyman and easy-going demeanor almost appear too good to be true. Is it a bulletproof PR job or is Cruise actually one hell of a great guy? It's actions and not words that make a man, and judging by the long list of "Cruise to the rescue" stories in circulation, the guy is indeed, one rocksteady dude you'd want in your corner when things go south. Vulture reports that Crusie's good deeds are legion.

For example, Cruise one invited Zac Efron to his house just to teach him how to ride a motorcycle. Efron said, "It's just so cool he gave a s***, the fact that he cared at all. No one else did." Cruise also invited "Mummy" co-star Jake Johnson to his gym, the "pain cave," and got him in shape. 

Yet that's just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone who works with Cruise on set sings his praises. Stanley Kubrick once said, "You've never seen an actor more completely subservient and prostrate themselves at the feet of a director." It's not just other celebs he helps out. He once came to the rescue of a family whose sailboat went up in flames, and he paid the medical bills of an aspiring actress who was involved in a hit-and-run. 

Last but not least, no matter how busy he is on set, Cruise will always take his kids' calls, even if it means breaking from character.