Today we read Playboy for the articles. Or, one really, really long article. The mag’s interview with Tom Cruise stretches for five pages online and covers everything from his childhood motorcycle stunts to whether he’s had or would ever get plastic surgery (nope) to the time he sang “Pour Some Sugar on Me” for Def Leppard (amazing). If you are a Tom Cruise fan, you should read the whole thing. If not, we’ll just share the most interesting part for people who still can’t shake that image of the couch-jumping, Scientology-touting Cruise of 2005.
Asked if he feels like he was judged too harshly after the infamous Oprah outburst, he gives a relaxed (rambling) answer that concludes: “How harshly I’m judged or not judged, I don’t think about stuff like that. I feel lucky. I remember as a kid I wanted an adventurous life, and I’ve gotten it. So if someone judges me harshly, it’s okay. I don’t even judge them harshly for doing it.”
BUT that doesn’t mean he sits back and takes whatever the media will dish to him. “I remember back as a little kid, going into a new school. Always, you know there will be a guy coming up at you, and you just wait for it. The first day someone’s going to slam me against a locker, and then it’s on. I don’t want the fight, but it’s there, it’s happening.”
Cruise then extends that school analogy a little further: “There’s one thing you know with a bully. I don’t care how big or mean they are. If you allow it, if you don’t stand up to that … And there are different ways to do it. There’s the schoolyard, but sometimes just confronting them works. I learned hard lessons as a kid, and you think that once you grow up and aren’t at school, it will be different. It isn’t; it’s just bigger. I was being evaluated by the world. You have language barriers. There are lots of ways to incite incidents through miscommunication. The Internet has made it more immediate for false stuff. I’ve learned to just let it go or communicate where you can.”
So, the Rock of Ages star said he picks his battles, when it comes to fighting back against rumors (like he did in the late ’90s and early 2000s when he sued tabloids and a porn actor for publishing stories he was gay). “They know I mean it, that if I have to, I will sue,” he explains. “You start with a letter saying, ‘Okay, you know it’s not true. Apologize.’ There is a point with a lot of things when you just go, You know what? I don’t want to waste my time with this. I’m busy. I’d rather spend this time with my kids and my wife, at home or on our movies, creating a life together.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
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