Tom Cruise got an emergency ‘MI4’ PR makeover to ward off the 2005 crazy

Man, I have to admit to thoroughly enjoying digging up the photos for this story because the memories of Tom Cruise’s 2005 public breakdown (particularly while he toured for War of the Worlds and MI3) really needed some refreshing. You see, Tom was rather well behaved during the entire Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol promotional tour. Basically, Tom was so tame in his behavior that we all focused instead upon his botoxy, nebulous, tweaked-up, plastic-surgery face. Well, that and his adorable little lifts, which by the way, really are much different Robert Downey Jr.’s lifts (RDJ proudly owns those things, and Cruise pretends they don’t exist at all). Yet Tom did very well during this tour to reign in the crazy. Someone very wise advised him to focus on talking about the stunts. There was no jumping up and down on couches, no mention of Scientology, no fingers pointed in journalist’s faces, no crazed expressions, no happy trails revealed at baseball games, no motorcyle rides down the red carpet, and no strange body language. In other words, there was none of this:

Tom also didn’t pull any sketchy red-carpet PDA on director Brad Bird like he did to poor Steven Spielberg:

In addition, Tom also significantly toned down the public perception of his relationship to Katie Holmes. Sure, he paid brief lip service how “amazing” she is, and he etched a love note to her on the Burj Khalifa, and then he papped himself for an entire weekend with Katie and Suri, but he also left Katie at home for all of the international premieres. When she did show up on the NYC red carpet, things were so restrained that Kaiser declared that Katie and Tom were “phoning it in”. That’s certainly a natural reaction while observing a zombie couple who used to act like this on the red carpet:

Essentially, Tom has been working very hard to reign in his wacky OT Level VIII, Scientology personality so that he can appeal more to the general public (a.k.a., “wogs”). Now he’s fully “refreshed” in more ways than just his face. A story in this week’s issue of In Touch confirms that Tom has enlisted the help of PR experts, who helped him cultivate a less “obnoxious” and more “sophisticated” vibe while promoting MI4:

As Tom Cruise strolled down the red carpet at the New York premiere of his latest blockbuster film, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, he looked cool, calm and collected. “He spoke in a soft voice, and was gracious to reporters and fans,” an onlooker at the December 19 event tells In Touch. “Everyone was so impressed with how warm and polite he was.”

Tom’s demure behavior was shocking — considering he usually acts totally amped up at his premiere extravaganzas, often dipping his wife, Katie Holmes, and greeting fans over-enthusiastically. But this time, Tom acted like a grown man, and it was intentional.

Six years after jumping on Oprah’s couch like a lunatic — and seeing his popularity dwindle — he is finally heeding the advice of his handlers. “While promting Mission: Impossible, Tom was instructed to keep the focus on the film and not his personal life,” an insider explains of the star, adding that Tom’s wild antics after he began dating Katie were blamed for the failure of his flick War of the Worlds. “He really aliented his fans with his bizarre behavior back then. This time, he was given guidelines on what is and isn’t acceptable.”

He wants everyone to like him. Now, instead of over-the-top publicity stunts and passionate public makeouts with Katie, 33, on the press circuit, a much calmer Tom is sticking to the subject. “I think making movies is a dream come true,” the 49-year-old told In Touch at his new film’s premiere. “It’s something I’ve never taken for granted.”

And with his mature new attitude, it seems like the dream will continue to be a reality for Tom. As the insider sums up, “He’s well on his way to regaining his throne as the most popular star in the world!”

[From In Touch, print edition, January 9, 2012]

This story mostly gets it right except for the finer detail about when Tom’s box-office potential tanked as a result of his outlandish behavior. Neither War of the Worlds ($234,280,354 domestic) nor MI3 ($134,029,801) were significantly affected because these were action films based either upon a great literary work or an existing franchise that people still really wanted to see regardless of the Cruise. However, when Tom tried in 2007 for a political drama in Lions for Lambs, no one showed up. That movie made a mere $15 million on a $35 million budget, and even though Meryl Streep and Robert Redford played supporting roles, people just didn’t want to see Tom in a leading role at that point. Part of this failure could be attributed to subject matter, but even a political movie should be able to recoup its relatively small budget when it stars A-listers. Primarily, that movie tanked because Tom’s crazy face continued well into 2006 and further tainted the well.

Here’s more memories, this time of 2006 in Cruiseland:

Photos courtesy of Fame and WENN

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40 Responses to “Tom Cruise got an emergency ‘MI4’ PR makeover to ward off the 2005 crazy”

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  1. Jane says:

    He needs psychiatrist makeover.

  2. Helenny says:

    Not wearing underwear? I’m going to try and forget I ever saw this.. He’s so creepy and try-hard and overrated. Yikes.

    • Andie B says:

      Picture this..he may have had a discreet, teeny weeny thong on instead of underwear. More creeped out now?

      • sapphire says:

        GMD goes commando? Blech. And the belly shirts on a male don’t help-domeone buy him a belt.

        Weird to see robowife look animated.

  3. Bite me says:

    I saw IM4 on IMAX and it’s was amazing

    • Tiffany says:

      I have started feeling a little bad for him. I think his whole couch jumping thing was him just being REALLY happy about being in love, and naively thinking that people would be happy for him. He doesn’t get the schadenfreude of the American audience.

      His religion isn’t that crazy too me…I am an atheist, so aliens sound just as odd as virgin births. To each their own.

      • Flan says:

        I think American audiences are more forgiving than European audiences, but the couch jumping thing was insane to the max.

  4. DenG says:

    I think I’ve only seen Kate-bot in one movie – Batman Begins. Never watched Dawson’s Creek. Sometimes I wonder about her sanity, what with the fashion designer / dancer delusions. What in heck happened to her?

  5. Eleonor says:

    He has some works done, it’s also sad to look at this 2005 photos, and see that Katie had some life in the eyes.

  6. samab says:

    in the last photo that sign he makes with his hands,I heard is something regarding illuminati …well at my home and I thought everywhere in the world that’s sign means pussy.I guess i’m wrong…or someone else knows it my way?

    • Tiffany says:

      It means Rockafella for Jay-Z’s record label (notice he is standing next to Kanye when he is throwing that sign). A lot of crazies think that Jay-Z, Gaga, etc. are Illuminati.

  7. CG says:

    ROFL that second pic of him and Spielberg is priceless.

  8. fi says:

    I don’t think people skipped out on Lions for Lambs because of Cruise – his character wasn’t really the lead and it actually fit into the cray cray perception people had of him. It was very politically subversive and extremely depressing and I think that had more to do why it kind of tanked. I actually thought it was a very good film and his character fit his actual personality perfectly.

  9. lucy2 says:

    The 2005 stuff did a lot of damage to his image and career, and I think it was right after he’d fired his longtime PR person (who apparently had been some sort of magician to hide that level of crazy for so long). Sounds like Xenu hired him some new PR folks to keep him more in line this time, after all he is their golden boy.

  10. mike says:

    Actually, MI3 is considered a modest flop, based on past performances and its estimated budget. More accurately, it’s considered to have underperformed, of which the leading cause was assumed to be Tom’s kraaaaazyness.

    And he’s never recovered since. Even MI4 has been underperforming so far, despite being probably the best in the franchise.

    However, I wouldn’t blame Tom for the failure of LAMBS. Political dramas rarely do well. After all, even the much superior and equally-blessed-with-A-list-actors Clooney vehicle THE IDES OF MARCH hasn’t done well outside of arthauses.

    If Clooney and Gosling can’t sell political drama to the general public, what chance does Tom Cruise have?!

    • Gypsy says:

      Wrong!!! MI2 was not a flop, check boxoffice returns,

      Domestic: $215,409,889
      International: $330,978,216

      Domestic: $134,029.801
      International: $253,820,211
      They performed better than MI1
      MI2 made the most money so far.

      What bugs me is that I spent so much time and energy pouring hate on Tom Cruise, laughing at his doomed career, calling him crazy and he comes out with MI4 and for two weeks now it’s winning the box office, maybe I’m the loser, maybe I’m the pitiful one.

  11. Girl says:

    I’m loving this TC crazy retrospective. Damn could he bring it. Very sad that he’s part of a cult that forbids him from getting actual help if he is actually mentally unwell though.

  12. Hmmm says:


  13. Jackie says:

    so funny! thank you for the great walk down memory lane. i kinda miss the wacko cruise….but we know he is lurking just beneath the surface…

  14. Vesper says:

    Does anyone else wonder if he is bipolar?

    • Bermuda Blues says:

      He is so creepy and intense in all those photos. It really makes me wonder if he wasn’t having a manic episode.

  15. I miss the crazy Tom with the wild behavior. That was fun!

  16. SolitaryAngel says:

    It’s very sad to see how lively Katie used to be, compared to her absolute lack of emotion now. 🙁

    Although I loathe everything $cientology stands for and I believe it is a horrible, dangerous cult–I do feel a bit sorry for TC. It must be an awful thing, to be so lacking/empty inside that he would so wholeheartedly buy into this ‘religion’.

  17. Em says:

    Ummm… am I the only one that likes his over-enthusiasm/manic-ness? Why should everyone have to behave the same? Rock on with yo’ crazy self TC

  18. Michelle says:

    To me, he looks extremely CRAZY in EVERY picture!

  19. whatevs says:

    lol the harassing spielberg pics

  20. tomc. says:

    People doesn’t care about the gossip side of him anymore that may be a good thing because he is nuts more of the time.

  21. Tiffany says:

    As Tom Cruise strolled down the red carpet at the New York premiere of his latest blockbuster film, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, he looked cool, calm and collected. “He spoke in a soft voice, and was gracious to reporters and fans,” an onlooker at the December 19 event tells In Touch. “Everyone was so impressed with how warm and polite he was.”

    Alright. What were they thinking when they wrote that. There are alot of things you can say about Cruise, but not being warm to fans is not one of them. He always walk the line for hours to do autographs, take pictures and talk with fans. That is one of the things that I always like about him along with the crazy. I saw MI4 and I can see why Jimmy Fallon was all fanboy about it, that movie was awesome.

  22. william says:

    Agreed Tiffany.

    Tom by far spends the most amount of time with his fans, way more than any other celebrity out there.

    Even when he’s off camera he still acts very nice to people.

    Look him up on Youtube and you’ll see amateur videos people take of him as he visits someplace somewhere.

    As far as I can tell he doesn’t realize he’s being filmed, so it’s quite refreshing to see him say hello to the doorman, shake someone’s hand to a stranger who recognizes him, smile and pose with people who ask for a pic, again all of this done without him knowing he’s being filmed.

    That gets major points from me, which is why I brush aside his love for Katie and his religion (c’mon people, it’s his choice in life to do these things) and continue to be a fan of his films.

    Try to get Leo to even do a fraction of this and it’s too much for him.

  23. margo says:

    Love that, so correct!
    Tom is really so brain-washed–poor little bastard and his money sucking cult that tortures people.
    It caters to celebrity, sycophants funneling the loots!
    How sad it’s going to be for him when he is finally seeing what we all already do about his fake church thats a scam

  24. cruiz2 says:

    I’m not seeing the crappy, smirky, sideways smile from Katie back then. No dead eyes either. What the hell happened to boring her? I like a crazy Tom, more entertaining than Suri!

  25. Original Tiffany says:

    Katie has lost SO much weight being “married” to Tom. Check out the face and arms and compare to now. He must be sucking her life away, now she is tiny Katebot.

  26. Julie says:

    I’ve always felt like the eyes are the window to the soul and it’s no better illustrated than the b4 and after Katie….or I mean Kate.

  27. ShanKat says:

    His-and-hers rhinoplasty. His nose is way smaller at the bulb, and hers is narrower at the bridge and shorter. It’s really well-done.

    Crazypants religion aside, TC is a genuinely nice guy. He’s just so intense, people find it off-putting. But it’s all very sincere…even if it’s also sincerely whacky.

  28. MerryHappy says:

    I loved his crazy-it was just kind of harmless and manic!

  29. Magsy says:

    I was never a big Tom Cruise fan, too much teeth in his smile and the lifts always bothered me. There’s not much dimension in his acting and if Katebot didn’t want to be next to him she can leave at anytime.