Tom Cruise didn’t gain much weight to play a 300 pound pilot: why not?

Tom Cruise

Here’s a first look at Tom Cruise on the set of Mena, which is filming in Atlanta. Tom is in the same city as the Captain America: Civil War production. Mena is the awards-baiting vehicle where Tom plays Barry Seal, the drug- and gun-trafficking pilot who worked for both 1980s cartels and the CIA. Seal tipped the scales at 300 pounds. No one thought Tom would gain all of the weight, but industry insiders expected him to gain “a significant amount.”

These photos do not reflect such a weight gain, which is puzzling. Tom never does anything halfway, so the decision to not alter his public appearance feels out of character. His version of “fat” is wearing a loose, rumpled shirt. Dude finally moved out of the action-movie comfort zone he’s inhabited for the past decade. Yet he’s not going to properly stuntqueen an Oscar bid. I can’t knock him for not wanting to screw up his metabolism with a quick weight gain scheme. But Tom’s not even wearing a fat suit!

Lainey has some other photos where Tom has a gap in his teeth after his character gets punched. (That’s what happens when you mess with drug cartels.) In these pictures, Tom’s shown alongside Sarah Wright, who plays pregnant Lucy Seal. The press always sets Tom up with co-stars. Fortunately for Sarah, she’s married (to Eric Christian Olsen of NCIS: LA). These photos of Tom with his movie family make me a little sad. He has plenty of time to star in all of these films, but we won’t see him carrying Suri around anytime soon. He can only pretend to be a present father. Reality is too much.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet

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47 Responses to “Tom Cruise didn’t gain much weight to play a 300 pound pilot: why not?”

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  1. Ms. Lib says:

    In the street pictures he does look like he has gained some weight. His face looks fat!

    • Wheeze says:

      He gets filler injections. You can google the compare pics for now vs mission impossible II period. Many more smile lines but he’s lost the trademark chiselled look.

  2. MrsBPitt says:

    Tom is just going to use his thetan mind control on the audience and make us all believe we are looking at a 300 pound man…..DUH

    • Size Does Matter says:


      I can’t imagine what it would take to gain 150 pounds for a movie. Gwyneth didn’t do it for that movie – Shallow Hal? Why would we expect Tom to do it?

      Also, he looks like a grown up head nerd from Revenge of the Nerds in the white shirt. I swear I can hear that derpy braying donkey laugh.

      • Sugar says:

        It wouldn’t have worked for Gwyneth to gain weight for Shallow Hal because she was simultaneously playing the fat version and the thin version of the character.

      • Gelina says:

        Tom Cruise will undoubtedly wear a fat suit to play a 300 pound man. In “Shallow Hal”, Gwyneth Paltrow wore a fat suit.

  3. INeedANap says:

    She’s 31, he’s 52…does that age difference reflect the actual Lucy and Barry Seal, or is this just Hollywood being Hollywood?

    • Don't kill me I'm French says:

      I think There was a huge gap age between Seal and his wife

    • Jessica says:

      I think she’s around the right age for his wife (actually called Deborah), depending on when exactly this is set, but Cruise is around a decade too old.

  4. jen says:

    300 pounds of Tom Cruise? Sofas everywhere just shuddered….

    But seriously, I think it’s s bad idea for a 50 year old to pack on a lot of weight. Wearing a fat suit makes sense. Not everybody is Christian Bale-level nuts

    • Don't kill me I'm French says:

      Even Bale is not as crazy as that .Who would gain more 150 pounds for a role?

    • Jen43 says:

      Exactly. Losing the weight at 50 isn’t easy. Not to mention it is bad for his health.

      • bette says:

        I agree, I just turned 50 and its harder to lose 5 lbs than it was even at 40. Also, the cardiac risk is so much greater when you are overweight and older.

        They should put a fat suit on him like they did in that Ben Stiller movie (forgot the name) he was great in that

      • Katie says:

        I think gaining 150 lbs would be unhealthy at any age. But yeah losing it at 50 would be awful! I’m 34 and have started to notice those sneaky extra pounds don’t come off as easily as they once did.

        Can I also just say an general EWWW to these pics of Tom? He’s awfully creepy looking. Shudder

  5. Don't kill me I'm French says:

    He looks good.I like his hair .
    If Jennifer Lawrence can act a 35 years old woman and to be nod for Zoscar,I don’t see why Cruise can’t act this character ?

    • bette says:

      Yes, I didn’t buy her for 35 at all, and I like her as an actress. The Silver Linings Playbook as a book was so much better–I listened to it on audio and it was great

  6. DenG says:

    The little man did take on the role of Jack Reacher (6’5″ and 50″ chest) so I’m sold.

    • Nerdmomma says:

      Ha! I was going to say the same thing… He didn’t grow a foot taller and pack on 100 pounds of muscle to play Reacher. He just needs us to pretend.

    • JBC says:

      Ugh. I love love the Jack Reacher books, so couldn’t bring myself to see the movie because Tommy was playing him. I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief. Reacher’s size is such a crucial part of who he is that to have this little fella trying to fill the role was woefully disappointing. But in this case, I guess, if size isn’t a critical part of the story the way it was for Reacher, it’s less of an issue.

  7. Senaber says:

    Aw the pic of him holding the little girl does make me sad for Suri! And I can’t blame the guy for not wanting to wear a fat suit either. Filming in Atlanta? It’s like 90 degrees this week, which feels like 115 and like you are swimming through air. I love Atlanta but it must be hell for all the actors that film here in heavy costumes. (I was an extra in Atlanta once and I had to wear a wool dress with a sweater in June for 3 days straight outside!!! I could’ve DIED.)

    Tommy will get his honorary Oscar once he distances himself from CoS and does some rebranding. He might be a terrible father but he is a super entertaining movie star.

  8. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    He’s trying to balance Jonah Hill who gained 100 pounds to play a slim guy in that other movie.

    • chaine says:

      Why didn’t they just hire Jonah Hill for this role? He already weighs 300 lbs and has almost as many Oscar nominations as Tom Cruise. I’d see the movie if he was playing Seal. TC, not so much.

  9. Jackie Jormp Jomp says:

    He had some of the best face work of anyone for awhile….now not so much…looks like a strange woman more than he does Tom Cruise.

  10. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Do people still go to his movies? I can’t look at him.

    • Nerdmomma says:

      I can’t see a movie with him in it. Total turn-off.

    • Anastasia says:

      Nope. I haven’t seen a film of his in more than a decade, and I can no longer watch his old ones, either. Even the sight of him gives me the chills.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      I have facebook friends posting all kinds of pictures from the set and the trailer area, and they all seem excited but they all say they don’t like him. Someone must be watching his films

  11. Mia4S says:

    Playing roles meant for actors 10-15 years younger; filers and plastic surgery; action movie after action movie. I guess Scientology gives the superpower of horrendous insecurity? Go visit your daughter you idiot.

    • Shambles says:

      Amen amen amen. I couldn’t give a fart less about his weight for an Oscar-bait movie. What I care about is how his real life, non-fictional child is going to feel in a few years when she sees photos of him carrying another little girl around for a paycheck, when he couldn’t even be bothered to see her. At all.

  12. Shambles says:

    Poor Suri.

  13. Willa says:

    Why not? Because he’s vaaaaain!

  14. Chrissy says:

    Wow, he really looks his age in the first photo!

  15. Adrien says:

    Well, he wore a fat/bald prosthetics playing Harvey Weinstein in Trophic Thunder.

  16. Isa says:

    I’m from the area so I’m definitely going to see the film. I wonder if they will mention the Boys on the Track. Such a mysterious case- two teenage boys were ran over by a train. The coroner said they smoked too much marijuana. There’s theories it was all a cover up and Barry Seal was mentioned a lot in the book I read.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      Are you in Ball Ground? I’m in Waleska. My friends have all been posting pictures on Facebook from the set.

  17. Esmom says:

    I’m guessing they are currently filming scenes where he hasn’t gained the weight yet? And he’ll wear a fat suit for the 300-lb version of the character? Who knows.

  18. Kiddo says:

    Where’s Kitten? She should be recommending the Vicks Vapo rub for the irritated zit.

  19. Cindy says:

    “He can only pretend to be a great father, reality is too much”. Yeah, he really does seem to have a problem with reality doesn’t he? Why do I feel sorry for him, I know he’s a sh*ty person. I just think he sold his soul to the Scientology god/alien and all that’s left is a shell.

    No, he doesn’t look fat. But, stone cold nuts aside, he really can act when he’s not doing the action crap.

  20. kri says:

    Honestly, the only time Tom Cruise looks really happy is when he is working. As far as the weight gain, that would be extremely unhealthy for anyone.

  21. Hautie says:

    I saw a documentary on the whole cocaine/CIA/Columbia issue that invaded Miami called, Cocaine Cowboys. It runs occasionally on Showtime.

    Barry Seal was part of that story, told in the film. Seal was a big mouth… very vain guy. Talked entirely too much. I can actually see Cruise pulling this one off. And I have only been able to seen him as a nutcase for years. But something about his odd behavior. Makes me think, I could believe him as this shady odd Barry Seal character.

    Even if Seal was a big guy in person… he was a very short man. And I don’t believe it is necessary for Cruise to bulk up. As long as he gets the personality down.

  22. judyjudyjudy says:

    very bad idea to go up and down in weight just for a role, unhealthy for the body.

  23. I Choose Me says:

    Yeah, this is the guy who played Jack Reacher. Granted Reacher is a fictional character but he’s supposed to be 6 foot 5. I think Tommy boy is like 5 foot 6. So I’m pretty sure he don’t care about the actual physical dimensions of the characters he plays as long as he gets to be all badass on screen.

    But I wouldn’t recommend any actor put on three hundred pounds to play a role.

  24. RobN says:

    Unless the weight is an integral part of the character and why the character acts or is treated the way they are, I can’t see what difference it makes.

  25. whybenice says:

    It’s like when he was hired to play Jack Reacher, 6’5″ — 5’6″ can’t act its way to 6’5″ and the movie bombed. Love that readers of those novels revolted against the casting.