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One of the most famous and recognizable actors of our time is Tom Cruise. Best known for portraying Ethan Hunt in the action-packed Mission Impossible, as well as playing a fighter jet pilot in Top Gun, and the vampire Lestat in Interview with a Vampire, his movies have earned more than 9 billion dollars in the box offices around the world, which makes him one of the highest-grossing actors. He has graced our screens for more than 30 years, and yet there are still so many things we don’t know about him.
1. Tom Cruise cares so much about making people believe what they see in his movies is real, that he does his own stunts. He is so dedicated that he learned to hold his breath for more than 6 minutes and risked his life by hanging from a flying plane in the latest installment of Mission Impossible.
2. At one point, he wanted to be a professional wrestler. He loved wrestling and was pretty good at it in high school, but he suffered an injury and unfortunately, was forced to quit the sport. Fortunately for us, it resulted in him becoming an actor and making a lot of great movies.
3. Tom Cruise is one of few famous people who doesn’t have an action figure or a video game character modeled after him. The story goes, he doesn’t allow his image to be used for that purpose, forever leaving hundreds of action figure collections incomplete.
4. He’s been an airplane pilot, a vampire, a secret agent: Tom Cruise has done it all. However, one of the strangest roles he’s played is that of Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. What you didn’t know is that the character, from the balding head to the crazy dancing, was entirely Tom’s idea.
5. After always being the hero in so many movies, he just can’t help himself. He can’t resist helping people in real life too. For example, he once rushed to the defense of a woman who was being mugged, with his bodyguards not far behind.
6. However, that is not the only reason why he is a real-world hero: he witnessed a hit and run in 1996, and after taking the victim to a hospital and discovering that she had no insurance, he paid her $7000 medical bill.
7. Unfortunately he has never played an actual superhero, although he came close. He was almost part of the Marvel Universe. He considered playing Iron Man, but finally decided against it, and 10 years later the role went to Robert Downey Junior.
8. Tom loves doing his own stunts so much that not even the director of the movie can stop him! When filming Edge of Tomorrow, he refused the director’s plea for hiring a stuntman. Apparently, it was the right call and he left the director in awe of his skills.
9. He can also pilot planes. No big deal, right? He has a pilot’s license which he got in 1994 after shooting Top. Is there anything this man can’t do?
10. Apparently not, because he also does the driving during the filming of fast car chase scenes too! And it doesn’t matter even if he makes mistakes. Mistakes? There are no mistakes when Tom Cruise is involved, just pure awesomeness. When filming Jack Reacher, he crashed the car in to some barrels, but the scene was too good to be scrapped.
11. As far as American actors are concerned, Tom is pretty high on the list of the best paid. In 2016 alone he had earned $53 million dollars, which put him fourth on Forbes’ list of highest paid actors for that year. He is worth $550 million dollars!
12. He is also a fashion icon! Just by wearing a pair of sunglasses in Risky Business he increased the sales of Ray-Ban by almost a half!
13. Besides being a wrestler, another one of Tom’s ambitions was becoming a priest. He got a scholarship, attended a seminary school, but, in a long list of troublemaking, stealing booze was the final straw which eventually got him expelled.
14. The reason he wanted to play Claus von Stauffenberg in Valkyrie was that he saw a photo of the colonel and thought that their resemblance was uncanny.
15. What would the world of gif-dom be without those awesome gifs of Tom Cruise running? Empty, I tell you, it’d be empty. And we need loads more of those, so he’d better make loads more action movies!