We’ve all had one moment – the Tom Cruise moment – the deadline

Almost every journalist who covered Hollywood in the golden age that stretched from it dangerous work (1983) until Top Gun: Maverick (Currently) he had Tom Cruise Moment. I had mine in 2002.

My father just passed away. It was a rude death, not quick, and as I was driving back for the last time from his presence in Sacramento, I made a promise to myself: I’d be at peace with everyone for a while. No fight. No arguments. Whatever anyone asks, as far as I can, I will do.

Fortunately, the first test took place somewhere around Bakersfield. On the way, I received a call from Mayer Roshannow editor Los Angeles Magazinethen Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown‘s talking.

We have a problemMayer explained. talking Schedule a topic – something related to work and/or career in America. But Tina managed to promise the cover for Tom Cruise. Maher couldn’t see any contact. But maybe I can find out. The interview has already been decided. Just be at the Bel-Air in about three days, interview Cruise, and write something, if not great, at least reasonable.

the correct. No fight. No arguments. Just an interview with Tom Cruise.

When I got home, the first words from my 14-year-old son were, “I’m so sorry, Dad. I heard about Tom Cruise.” We have long dealt with my father’s decline; And he knew how I felt about celebrity interviews. Dislike.

But there was. So I went to the Santa Monica library, which was more of a repository of information than a homeless camp in those days, and studied. Mostly, I read some pretty sympathetic old books about it Scientology, including what appeared to be a massive encyclopedia of Scientological terminology, beliefs, and “technology”. I thought it couldn’t hurt. Just in case the topic appears.

Which is where things got interesting.

I already met Cruz in Bel Air. It was one of those bright, fresh winter mornings in Southern California when you couldn’t see why anyone would live anywhere else. Tom was charming. Of course, he smiled. But I got straight to the point.

We have a problem, I said. The next issue is all about work and career. But we have a movie star on the cover – you. If we don’t want to look silly, we both have to figure out what you are dangerous work The man, Jerry Maguire, Better hot shot, Mission: Impossible (with Minority Report then on deck), could teach doctors, or lawyers, or investment bankers, or anyone talkingAn ad-hungry publishing team might have their mind.

To his eternal credit, and my undying gratitude, Cruz didn’t even blink. Instead, he started a smart, structured conversation about his films, career, goals, and principles that saw him through the ups and downs of a slippery and tricky industry. After I recuperated in the library, I was able to get on with the basic Scientology parts. Mostly, it was straightforward and real and did all the work.

God save him.

Because there was more to adventure. for one thing, talking folded before publishing the piece. But Pat KingsleyCruise’s publicist at the time wasn’t the one who let the disappearance of a magazine deprive her of the cover. Somehow managed to ship everything to Respectedpublished in May under the alarming headline: “The Most Dangerous Place.”

Cruz never became a boyfriend — professionally apart, I didn’t fool myself into thinking I had movie friends. But he was definitely careful for a while. Once, he sent a glass stand with the Basic Principles of Scientology written on it. My son kept it as one of his popular cultural works, along with a Charles Bukowski poster and Stooges album he found in the pile. At one point, Cruise invited my wife, Judy, and I to a big banquet at the Scientology Celebrity Center.

We have gone. It was strange, because we were seated at a table with two agents of creative artists and VIPs in Basic Pictures that did not look comfortable. Indeed, a certain Paramount Officer, seated to my left, was so annoyed that Judy and I quietly agreed to leave in the middle of the proceedings. “This guy makes me nervous,” she said.

When we slipped, the wait server shocked me. “I’m sorry you had to leave so early,” he said. “We have all read your article.”

Cruz sent a note, saying he, too, was sorry we couldn’t stay, but he hoped we’d have a chance to talk one day.

But we never did. My Tom Cruise moment is over.