It was reported a number of months ago that Tom Cruise would be playing a small part in the upcoming Tropic Thunder. Director Ben Stiller has expressed that he’d wished to keep the cameo a secret, but I guess you can’t have an actor of Cruise’s celebrity appearing on set without some sort of leak. The photo below shows Cruise getting into character, complete with bald cap, fake chest hair and fat belly suit:
While actors in the film, such as Ben Hader and Stiller himself, have since stated that Cruise is hilarious in his role, that was to be expected.
More convincing, though, is the reaction from an industry screening in L.A. on Tuesday night. It has now been revealed that Cruise is playing the studio boss of the fictitious war movie being filmed within Tropic Thunder (where a group of pampered actors are dropped into real warfare in the jungle when the director and writer get sick of their spoiled ways, but the actors think it’s just an extreme form of boot camp for the film – think Three Amigos! crossed with Apocalyse Now).
His character is, by all accounts, a foul-mouthed and ruthless mogul. The New York Times have described the audience reaction as “rapturous”.
We can only hope that Cruise has produced a genuinely funny character. Lord knows he’s in need of some audience goodwill right now, not to mention something to restore his credibility.