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Ten Things About... Tom Cruise

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Jack Reacher premiere: Tom Cruise

© PA Images / Ian West/PA Wire

Tom Cruise, that thrice-divorced, Razzie Award winning Scientologist and... uh, slightly vertically-challenged actor and producer, is the highest-paid living person in Hollywood as of this year. Still, he probably needs it for all those divorce settlements.

This week, the War of the Worlds star has been out and about promoting his new film Jack Reacher, a crime thriller adapted from the Lee Child books. Cruise said at the world premiere that it was "easy" to play the role of Jack - a heroic former soldier hellbent on delivering justice - because the character reminded him of himself. Oh, so Reacher's a modest kind of guy too?

Everyone knows about Katie Holmes and Suri and that divorce which nobody's supposed to talk about so we've dug out ten facts about Cruise that you might not know.

1. Tom Cruise was born in New York on July 3, 1962 as Thomas Cruise Mapother IV. He was the son of a special education teacher and an electrical engineer, both Catholic, and has three sisters. As a child, Cruise's ambition was to become a Catholic priest. The family lived in near-poverty, dominated by an abusive father.



2. His mother's maiden name was Pfeiffer (no relation to Michelle, we presume) and the Mapother bit comes from his great-grandfather who was given the name after being adopted by a Welsh immigrant. Cruise has German, Irish and English ancestry. The mixed-up man was once named as the most irritating actor in Hollywood.

3. His first wife Mimi Rogers introduced him to Scientology. His second wife Nicole Kidman reintroduced him to Catholicism. And his third wife Katie Holmes reminded him what childish minds journalists have when they dubbed the couple 'TomKat'. Now all Cruise needs to do to make everyone's Christmas is declare undying love for Geri Halliwell.

4. This year saw rumours abound that Cruise had 'auditioned' wives with the help of the Church of Scientology after divorcing Nicole Kidman. Cruise denied it and considered suing Vanity Fair, which published the story.



5. Famously Cruise, as a Scientologist, doesn't believe in mental illness and has branded psychiatry a 'pseudoscience'. His criticism of anti-depressant use has naturally not endeared him to many people. In fact, one of the most popular Google search results for Cruise is satirical non-fan website Tom Cruise Is Nuts.com.

6. In 2006, just before his daughter Suri was born, Cruise was quoted in GQ magazine saying he planned to eat her placenta because it would be "very nutritious". Then the world's media reported him as "playing down" the aforementioned placenta plan. How do you play down eating a placenta? Maybe only chomp on half the umbilical cord?

7. He has a bizarre taste in names. He is fond of saying that 'Suri' means 'princess' in Hebrew and 'red rose' in Persian. What Cruise doesn't mention is that it means 'pickpocket' in Japanese.



8. Some of us used to get Air Miles when visiting the same holiday destination numerous times. Tom Cruise gets an entire day dedicated to him. Every October 10 since 2006, Japan has celebrated 'Tom Cruise Day' because Mr Mapother is the only Hollywood actor to have been to the country that many times.

9. He's hoping for a Mission: Impossible 5. Cruise said that he started the first film - which was also the first he produced - hoping he could make "many of them". When will he learn the mission is impossible - i.e. can't be done? Just get over it and move on with your life, Tom!

10. Cruise part-times as a Good Samaritan in shining armour. In 1996 he took the victim of a hit-and-run to hospital and then paid her medical bills when he discovered she had no insurance. The same year, he rescued a couple of young children from a crowd of people at one of his own movie premieres so they didn't get trampled on. And once after witnessing another car accident he stayed with the couple involved, talking to them until help came. Depending on whether they were Tom Cruise fans or not, that could have been a very long time.

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