'I LOVE Paula Wagner, but she wants to produce elsewhere and in her own venue, and I don't intend to stand in her way. I'll say this of her leaving United Artists – whatever Paula wants is what I want her to have! And I hope we'll continue working together on future projects.”
Umm, Paula Wagner got canned. Sure they might call it leaving under her own terms or whatever, but lets face it, she got canned, and Tom must have known she was going to get canned and didn't do anything. For years and years and years she stood up for him and defended him when the entire world was against him. He didn't do anything. Yes, she was not the best choice for the role, but when you are putting out Tom Cruise flops, how willing would you be to greenlight them very quickly. That last line of his about working together on future projects is a big load of crap also. He isn't going to go near her, and he can always say that nothing has ever materialized while still trying to look good.
So spoke Tom Cruise on the phone with me this week. He added, cryptically: “I don't run United Artists; I just own it.”
Well then you need to find someone to run it a little better or else you are just going to own a bunch of empty property.
IT'S ALWAYS fun to talk to Tom, who tells me that his now “controversial” film about the German resistance attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler in World War II is coming out on Dec. 26. All those critics who have panned the project, “Valkyrie,” in advance, should know that nothing can deter Tom from his belief in this story. He says, “It's original. It's suspenseful. The writers Chris McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander are just great, and I can't say enough good things about the director, Bryan Singer. I first met him at the 'Mission Impossible' premiere, and we've been hoping to work together ever since.” (Singer is the man who did “X-Men” and “Superman Returns.” He will direct the next “Superman” as well.)
I already talked about this quote earlier this week. The only thing I will add is that Liz gets to her knees kind of quickly here.
WHEN I asked Tom why he felt so many people in the business have gone after the Valkyrie” project as if it's a bad idea or something historically obscene, he sighed: “It just doesn't make sense to me either. The moment I read the screenplay I knew it was an important story, and as it's a true tale of heroic resistance to one of the great villains of history, I can't imagine that people won't want to see it.”
I ASKED Tom if he will continue doing comedies on the heels of his “character” impersonation as a fat, horrid studio executive in Ben Stiller's “Tropic Thunder”? He laughed, “Well, I'm always looking for something new, and Ben's movie is hilarious. He and I are old friends, and he is a really good director, so originally I said I'd do it just for friendship. But it turned out great. I actually love comedy, and I did it in 'Risky Business,' so I'll do more if it presents itself. I'm also always looking for a good love story, and I think I have one in a coming international thriller called 'The Tourist.' I believe I will be doing that.”
First of all I don't think of Risky Business as a comedy, but whatever. So, that was 25 years ago, and he says he loves comedy. Well actually now that I think about he has been in a lot more comedies than he gives himself credit for. When I saw him playing an Irish guy in Far and Away I nearly cried from laughing so hard. Oooh, and I always thought Days Of Thunder was a comedy. Either that or some really bad acting. But, to show that I am fair and impartial, or pretending to be, he was in Austin Powers with the cameo and it was pretty funny to see him there.
I told Tom I was looking forward to his wife's debut on Broadway in the revival of Arthur Miller's “All My Sons.” He said, “Things are going really well for Katie, and we'll see you on opening night, Sept. 18th.”
He called her Katie. He did he did, he really , really did. Going to need to get audited for that slip up. Nice of him to plug her opening date.
I congratulated moviedom's big star on his little baby girl. He began to burble: “Oh, yes, she's so charming; she's so beautiful; she's just great!” (That was Daddy talking, not the formidable icon who has made billions of dollars for Hollywood since 1983.)
Moviedom's big star? Guess Tom was having a little trouble keeping it up or something. Is that burble or burp. Goodness she is trying hard here to get that nose deeper.
AND THE Fox News Channel's “Lips & Ears” gossip show should be interested to hear that Tom Cruise watches it. I told Tom I'd done an on-air bit last week about “Valkyrie,” asking why it can't be accepted in the same way World War II movies by Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood and Francis Ford Coppola are viewed.
Tom said, “Yes, I'm aware of what you said on air. I saw it, and I appreciate it.” So, “Lips & Ears,” you are being heard.
What he saw was a clip some SeaOrg person gave him because he probably gets everything that mentions his name to see if he can sue them, or in case someone actually says something nice about him. Oh, and the reason they are treating his movie differently is because it sucks.