Tom Cruise comes out with a new movie at least once a year. Currently, Oblivion is still in theaters and Jack Reacher is being released on BluRay. He is one of the world’s biggest movie stars. But every time one of his movies is released, I hear people say “I’d go see it, but I hate Tom Cruise.” While I fully understand that people hate actors for no particular reason, I’m guilty of this too, I find it hard to understand why people hate Tom Cruise for his brief stint of insanity that occurred 8 years ago.
We, as a mass-media consuming audience, tend to forgive people for terrible things. Some celebrities literally get away with murder, rape, debauchery, and being Charlie Sheen. But for some reason, the public cannot get past an overly-excited guy who jumped on a couch and called Matt Lauer, “Glib.” Which we now know is true.
Here are 5 ways that Tom Cruise can change the public’s perception of him, if at all possible.
5 – Direct a Documentary about an Important Social Issue
Humanitarian work is a thing of the past. Sure, there are celebrities like Angelina Jolie who devote a great deal of time to humanitarian work, but instead most people visualize her jet-setting to war-torn countries so she can adopt their children. Sadly, doing charity work wouldn’t be enough to redeem Cruise. Instead, he needs to focus on important social issues, like Ukranian dolphin juggling or robotic rights. Obviously he’d need to remove his strange philosophies and personal biases from the filming, but he should make it very left-leaning so it’s nominated for an Academy Award. This will help him win the respect of his fellow Hollywood stars and finally get award recognition.
4 – Take Smaller Roles
We are all used to Tom Cruise headlining action movies. Often, his name is in bigger font that the movie title itself. He plays a solid leading man in action flicks, but it’s time for something different. I think his best roles were in ensemble movies like Magnolia and Tropic Thunder. Even in last year’s terrible Rock of Ages, he was the best part by far. He should look for ensemble comedies, dramas and even comic book movies where he plays a small part, but steals every scene he’s in. He has the acting chops. He just needs to take himself out of the spotlight.
3 – Be on Dancing With the Stars
I know, I know, this show is seen as the C-list celebrity graveyard. But what if Tom Cruise pulls a James Franco and becomes unpredictable with every job he takes. By joining the cast of next season’s Dancing With the Stars, Cruise would undoubtedly win the hearts of middle-America. This is highly unlikely, but this could be the boost Cruise needs to win back the women he had inadvertently offended 8 years ago. Also, being on the chopping block every week might be the humbling experience that many people think he needs.
2 – Come out of the Closet
I say this with tongue in cheek. For some reason (South Park) the internet throngs cannot get past their obsession with Cruise coming out of the closet. They just can’t let it go. But what if he actually did? The endless mocking would immediately end. If he came out as gay, or even bisexual, he would be revered as an inspiration and hero.
1 – Leave Scientology
I hate to even say this, because to tell a man he needs to leave his Faith for PR reasons, sounds very trite. But the main dragging issue for Cruise is that he’s the face of Scientology. This is the number one thing that could start to affect the public’s perception of Tom Cruise. He doesn’t even need to be completely disrespectful of his former beliefs either. Instead, he can appear on a morning show (maybe not Today) and apologize to everyone for previous erratic behavior and say he’s found a balance in life. He shouldn’t just completely disregard his former religion, but instead he should say that he’s grateful for past experiences, but that he’s glad to be moving on.
Or he could just say how crazy he was back in his Scientology days and everyone would welcome him with open arms.