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What Becomes A Star Most? For Tom Cruise, It’s Control



From top: Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” and “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.”Credit...From top: Murray Close/Paramount Pictures, via Getty Images; Paramount Pictures, via Associated Press; Paramount Pictures

“In order to do my job,” Ben Stiller, as Tom Cruise’s stunt double Tom Crooze, muses in a video made for the 2000 MTV Movie Awards, “I have to ask myself: Who is Tom Cruise? What is Tom Cruise? Why is Tom … Cruise?”

This is a tricky line of questioning.

Onscreen, Cruise is unmistakably our biggest movie star, as the New York Times reporter Nicole Sperling recently explained — the last true exponent of a century-old studio system that has been steadily eroded by the rising forces of franchise filmmaking and streaming. His powerful charisma and daredevil stunt work have combined, yet again, in his latest hit, “Top Gun: Maverick,” bringing it past the $1 billion mark.

Offscreen, Cruise is elusive. He is the frequent public mouthpiece for a cryptic, controversial religion that seems harder to understand the more he talks about it. He is intensely secretive about the details of his private life. Even when he makes the occasional effort to seem like an ordinary, relatable guy, he winds up sounding like an A.I. approximation of one. Asked by Moviebill magazine to describe his most memorable filmgoing experience, Cruise couldn’t name one. (“I love movies,” he said, very normally.) When asked which team he was rooting for at a Giants-Dodgers game he attended last fall, he replied, “I’m a fan of baseball.”

It can be hard to reconcile these disparate sides. So it is worth considering the question: Who is Tom Cruise?

Much of his early success as an actor, through the ’80s and ’90s, was predicated on a certain down-to-earth charm. The sexed-up, troublemaking young Cruise of “Risky Business”; the guileless, endearingly naïve Cruise of “Cocktail”; and the tenacious, morally principled Cruise of “Jerry Maguire” each relied on his ability to convincingly embody the American Everyman, the sympathetic heartthrob the audience could desire or root for. Around the turn of the century, he complicated that image by appearing in more challenging, less accessible films, like “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Magnolia.” Auteurs like Stanley Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson helped showcase Cruise as a serious actor, capable of delivering subtle, nuanced performances.

He has moved away from romance, drama and the independent art house. Over the last decade-plus, he has become more firmly entrenched in the action-adventure genre, perfecting the summer tentpole blockbuster. His performances tend to emphasize his easy charisma and powerful athleticism, but Cruise still brings to these roles a touch of the same delicate charm and actorly nuance of his dramatic fare. You see it in the breezy, naturalistic chemistry he shares with Jennifer Connelly in “Maverick,” and in the jaded, world-weary intensity he has carried through the last couple of “Mission: Impossible” sequels. My favorite recent Cruise performance was from the underrated “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014), in which he plays a cowardly, sniveling politician forced to relive the same deadly battle over and over again — a playful sci-fi take on “Groundhog Day” that found the actor playing against type to delightful effect.

But that’s just part of the story. One of the defining features of the last decade of his career is a level of quality control for which he himself is chiefly responsible. It’s not that he is incapable of making a bad movie: “The Mummy” (2017), Universal’s failed attempt to kick off an entire “Dark Universe” of big-budget creature features, made that clear. But recent Cruise films have in common a degree of ambition and enthusiasm that is rare in today’s blockbuster landscape, and when everything works, that effort pays off enormously. You will not see Cruise phoning in a performance. You get the sense that he treats every movie he does these days as if it were the most important one he has ever done.

Cruise encouraged his co-stars to bear G-force speeds for “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Cruise encouraged his co-stars to bear G-force speeds for “Top Gun: Maverick.”Credit…Paramount Pictures

The results of this commitment have a way of feeling almost miraculous. How could anyone have expected “Top Gun: Maverick,” a sequel to a 35-year-old action movie with a rather cool critical reputation, to be not only far superior to the original film, but also one of the finest action films in many years? But then you read about Cruise’s dogged insistence on keeping everything as real as possible — demanding a minimum of computer-generated effects, forcing himself through arduous flight training, encouraging his co-stars to bear G-force speeds until they literally threw up. Some of Cruise’s co-stars over the years have characterized his obsessiveness as extreme to the point of what sounds like cinematic despotism, and it’s true that it would probably be easier, and cheaper, to do much of this in front of a green screen. But that’s not Cruise. When it comes to this stuff, he cares too much.

“Mission: Impossible” was a slick espionage film, directed by Brian De Palma, based on a TV series from the 1960s. How is it possible that it yielded five sequels, and how is it conceivablethat the sequels keep getting better, culminating in “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” (2018), which is pretty much an unqualified masterpiece? (The final two installments, “Dead Reckoning Part One” and “Dead Reckoning Part Two,” are due in 2023 and 2024.) Again, the credit should go mainly to Cruise, who, for the sake of our entertainment, will happily climb the world’s tallest building, hold his breath for six and a half minutes, or jump out of an airplane with the cameraman.

But Cruise’s devotion to the movies runs deeper, if that’s possible. It’s a devotion to the Movies with a capital M. As A-list talent flocks to deep-pocketed streamers with blockbuster ambitions, Cruise has remained adamant that he will not make a movie for the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, refusing to negotiate on the possibility of a V.O.D. premiere for “Maverick” earlier in the pandemic. (“I make movies for the big screen,” he explained.) His interest in preserving that traditional cinematic experience shines through in the colossal scale of the productions themselves, so that when Cruise is looming over you in immense, Imax dimensions, he feels every bit as big as the image. It’s a reminder that so much of what we watch is tailored to the streaming era — a mass of “content” designed to play as well on a phone as on the big screen. For those of us who still care deeply about the cinema and fear for its future, Cruise’s efforts feel invaluable.

Cruise gets much of the credit for the ever-improving “Mission: Impossible” franchise.

Cruise gets much of the credit for the ever-improving “Mission: Impossible” franchise.Credit…Paramount Pictures

It’s also a reminder of why we go to the theater to see Tom Cruise movies — to see Tom Cruise himself. We can still be tempted to the cinema by the names on the marquee, but as franchises have become the dominant force in the business, the persuasive power of those names has declined. The supremacy of proven, bankable intellectual property today over the traditional star system has meant that we are more likely to seek out Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America than Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans; the actor in the cape is more interchangeable than ever. With Cruise movies, that relationship is inverted. Does anyone particularly care about the adventures of Ethan Hunt? (That’s the name of his character in “Mission: Impossible,” in case you forgot.) Hunt is just another name for the man we really care about: Cruise, plain and simple.

Cruise has all of the qualities you want in a movie star and none of the qualities you expect of a human being. As a screen presence, he is singular; as a person, he is inscrutable. But it’s his inscrutability that has allowed him to achieve a sort of clarified, immaculate superstardom, one that exists almost entirely in the movies, uncontaminated by mundane concerns. Cruise the star burns as bright as any of his contemporaries, and far brighter than any who have come up since, in part because he continues to throw more and more of himself into his work and give up less and less of himself everywhere else. Who is he? You have to look to the movies to find out.


Tina Turner’s Cause of Death Revealed




More details on Tina Turner’s passing have come to light.

One day after the legendary performer died at the age of 83, her cause of death has been attributed to natural causes, her representatives confirmed to Her publicist also told NBC News her death came after a long illness.

E! News has reached out to her manager for comment but hasn’t heard back.

On May 24, her team shared that she passed away at her home in Switzerland.

“With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow,” a statement posted to her social media pages read. “Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly.”

During the latter years of her life, the “Proud Mary” artist opened up about battling several health issues, including high blood pressure, vertigo, a stroke, intestinal cancer and kidney failure.

In her 2021 documentary, Tina, the singer also shared she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder as a result from her tumultuous marriage to her ex Ike Turner.

“I’ve been on such a wild roller-coaster in the four years since my wedding,” Turner—who wed music executive Erwin Bach in 2013—wrote in her memoir, My Love Story, per Today, “that even I have difficulty keeping my medical catastrophes straight.”

Turner’s passing came just five months after the death of her and Ike’s son Ronnie and nearly five years after her son Craig passed away.

Tina Turner's Cause of Death Revealed

Her death sent shockwaves through Hollywood, with many celebrities speak out about the influence her achievements had on the industry.

“Through her courage in telling her story, her commitment to stay the course in her life, no matter the sacrifice, and her determination to carve out a space in rock and roll for herself and for others who look like her,” Angela Bassett, who played the legend in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It, said in a statement. “Tina Turner showed others who lived in fear what a beautiful future filled with love, compassion, and freedom should look like.”

As the actress—who won a Golden Globe for her role—noted, it was an honor knowing the icon on a personal level.

“Her final words to me, for me, were ‘You never mimicked me. Instead, you reached deep into your soul, found your inner Tina, and showed her to the world,’” she added. “I shall hold these words close to my heart for the rest of my days.”


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Tina Turner survived an abusive relationship with Ike and death of two sons




Tina Turner escaped an abusive relationship to find true love with her second husband, Erwin Bach.

The singer, who passed away aged 83 on Wednesday following an unspecified illness, was in a relationship with the record executive for 38 years. The pair married in 2013.

Tina had publicly praised Erwin for helping her find happiness after fleeing from her first marriage to husband, Ike Turner, which was plagued with physical and emotional abuse.

Ike first met Tina when she was a vulnerable teenager named Annie Mae Bullock. He renamed her Tina, and went on to form the musical duo, Ike & Tina Turner. According to Tina, he micromanaged her career, withheld her finances and beat her while she was pregnant.

After filing for divorce in 1978, Tina was left in debt and had her children to support. She went on to establish a successful solo career.

The songstress met Erwin in 1985 when he was working as an executive with EMI. The pair had an instant connection the moment they met, when he arrived to collect her from Düsseldorf airport.

She said Erwin had taught her how “to love without giving up who I am”, and that he had never been intimidated by her fame or success. He even donated a kidney to her in April 2017, which saved her life.

Writing in her book, Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, Tina said: “Falling in love with my husband, Erwin, was another exercise in leaving my comfort zone, of being open to the unexpected gifts that life has to offer.

“The day I first met Erwin, at an airport in Germany, I should have been too tired from my flight, too preoccupied with thoughts of my concert tour. But I did notice him, and I instantly felt an emotional connection.

“Even then, I could have ignored what I felt — I could have listened to the ghost voices in my head telling me that I didn’t look good that day, or that I shouldn’t be thinking about romance because it never ends well. Instead, I listened to my heart.”

Tina’s spokesman confirmed she died “peacefully” at home and added: “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model. With her music and her inexhaustible vitality, Tina Turner thrilled millions of fans and inspired many artists of subsequent generations.”

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Tina Turner: legendary rock’n’roll singer dies aged 83




Tina Turner, the pioneering rock’n’roll star who became a pop behemoth in the 1980s, has died aged age of 83 after a long illness, her publicist has told the PA news agency.
Turner affirmed and amplified Black women’s formative stake in rock’n’roll, defining that era of music to the extent that Mick Jagger admitted to taking inspiration from her high-kicking, energetic live performances for his stage persona. After two decades of working with her abusive husband, Ike Turner, she struck out alone and – after a few false starts – became one of the defining pop icons of the 1980s with the album Private Dancer. Her life was chronicled in three memoirs, a biopic, a jukebox musical, and in 2021, the acclaimed documentary film, Tina.

“Turner’s musical character has always been a charged combination of mystery as well as light, melancholy mixed with a ferocious vitality that often flirted with danger,” scholar Daphne A Brooks wrote for the Guardian in 2018.
Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on 26 November 1939 and raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she recalled picking cotton with her family as a child. She sang in the tiny town’s church choir, and as a teenager talked – or rather, sang – her way into Ike’s band in St Louis: he had declined her request to join until he heard her seize the microphone during a Kings of Rhythm performance for a rendition of BB King’s You Know I Love You.
She had suffered ill health in recent years, being diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and having a kidney transplant in 2017.

‘I was just tired of singing and making everybody happy’ … Tina Turner performs at the O2 Arena, London, in 2009. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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