Tom Cruise has been praised for his versatility as an actor, starring in several movies in virtually every genre. However, fans were still surprised to see him in the 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder.
Many people wondered why and how he finished up landing a function in the film. Years later, Cruise explained how all of it happened.
Cruise and Stiller experienced a connection for quite some time and frequently spoke about their upcoming projects when hanging out. Cruise initially discovered Tropic Thunder while the two were watching a video and was instantly hooked.
“I read the script, and he had all of the characters. Nevertheless, the studio wasn’t there,” Cruise told BBC Radio 1 in 2017. “There is a structural compression missing down on those characters, you realize, that keeps the pressure on these guys that drives the story. I was like, ‘You will need the studio.
He wanted ‘fat hands and free reign to dance.
After their conversation, Stiller visited work on the script and fleshed out the ideas more. When he came back to Cruise with the updated draft, Cruise knew he must be involved.
“So he came ultimately back, like a couple weeks later, and I started reading. I read this character, and I went, ‘Okay.’ I said, ‘This is fun,’ I said, ‘Would you mind Ben? I want to play this character. I said, ‘I want to have fat hands, and I’m going to dance.’ And he looked at me, and he was like, ‘What?’
Stiller initially didn’t understand Cruise’s intention with the role, confused by Cruise’s costume ideas and characterization. Cruise knew he needed to exhibit Stiller’s total image of the Les Grossman character to ensure that Stiller appreciate it.
“He said, ‘Look, have you been sure you can’t just be you? Like, look like you and take action?'” Cruise said. “I said, ‘No, no, no man, I’m sorry, I don’t know how else to play this character.’ So then I did the makeup test, we’ve tested the fat hands, you realize, and the entire look, and so we’re doing the wardrobe, and there was no music playing … I said, ‘Look, allow me to just—I wanna make some moves for you.’ You realize, so I recently started working, you recognize, on less, you realize just moving that way
After watching Cruise showcase his strange dance moves, Stiller finally understood what Cruise wanted to complete as Les Grossman. Stiller finished up calling Cruise back, laughing hysterically,
“He just called me, and it was—he was laughing he picked the music out, edited this thing together, he was just pissing himself,” Cruise said. “And he sent it if you ask me, he’s like, ‘Okay, I have it, I get it.
Tropic Thunder ‘was well-received by critics and fans
Jam-packed with Hollywood juggernauts including Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, and Matthew McConaughey, Tropic Thunder was extremely popular. The film grossed over $195 million, based on Box Office Mojo, and both Cruise and Downey earned Golden Globe nominations because of their performances.
Well, it was probably the very best time for Cruise to complete something that’s not in his wheelhouse. In those days, Cruise was still getting over the box-office disaster of “Mission: Impossible 3,” and his public statements about Scientology caused Viacom chair, Sumner Redstone, to inform a reporter, “We don’t believe a person who effectuates creative suicide and costs the business revenue must certainly be on the lot.”
Thankfully, Cruise’s friend Ben Stiller wanted him to stay “Thunder.” And while the movie’s co-screenwriter Justin Theroux tells it, they wanted Cruise to have a more significant part indeed.