Tom Cruise makes headlines with "Eyes Wide Shut"

Hollywood, USA
July 17/18, 1999

The real luxury is the risk.

by Claus Philipp

When this man gets a stomach ache, the upper management of the large U.S. film studios call for the highest level security alert.

Namely, as Tom Cruise woke up one night in 1998 with a terrible stomach ache, the announcement of his illness brought only risky discredit for the Cruise fans in the Eyes Wide Shut project which was already surrounded by wild rumors: "Stanley Kubrick made his star sick!" This kind of headline could have been a nightmare in view of the filming which had gone from 18 planned weeks to just about a year in duration. In the meantime Cruise and his wife, Nicole Kidman, passed up lucrative offers and engagements totalling to triple-digit millions.

The Tyrone Power of the present time will now see whether the risk has really paid off. He and Kidman have already written film scripts, if one may believe U.S. critics, with a nakedness unique among superstars. Now there is only the question of whether the erotic thriller "Eyes Wide Shut," inspired by an Arthur Schnitzler dream novel, will become an acknowledged work of art as the last masterpiece of the recently deceased Kubrick, as well as a summer hit in the theaters, with the help of his stars.

The chances of that are not bad: Cruise infiltrated his Sunny-Boy image as an atypical bloodsucker (in Interview with a Vampire) just as successfully as he burst into the top of the movie charts afterwards as producer and leading actor of the complex thriller, "Mission Impossible." "His genius is founded in good part in his diligence and his joy of experimentation," believe industry insiders: in contrast to many of his highly gifted colleagues, Cruise has never taken the obvious path to success. Great producers are more important to him as collaborators than fabric of the mainstream.

For the future it appears as thought the recently turn 37 year old can do nothing definitively wrong with this tactic: with John Woo he risked at the time letting Mission Impossible 2 turning into a ballistic ballet. With Steven Spielberg again he wants to film a sinister future vision by Philip K. Dick: "Working with such people is the only true luxury which my position in the film business allows," believes the declared Kubrick fan.

When criticism about his membership in Scientology comes up, that does not particularly bother him any more: even speculations about his presumed intentions with Kidman have been silenced - in part by mild complaints against the media. Three adopted children relate a different reality, believes Cruise, and "Eyes Wide Shut has brought us closer together." Despite stomach aches.

German Scientology News