Thursday, August 24, 2006
Tom Cruise's meltdown - prettier than John Prescott's but equally bizarre - is open to many different levels of explanation. You can trawl the blogs for the next year or two if you are interested. The heart of the matter, however, will certainly be missed. Tom, I am convinced, lost it because everybody laughed at all of his jokes. I have seen this many times - most notably, years ago, I watched in dismay the spectacle of otherwise intelligent people chortling at Debra Winger's inert clowning in Morocco on the set of The Sheltering Sky. The simple truth is that, the moment you become a Hollywood star, everybody laughs at all of your jokes. They do this because they have to, but also because they are patronising and controlling you. They are afraid that if they don't laugh you will jeopardise the movie by going mad, unaware that it is precisely their behaviour that will ultimately despatch you to "Rehab". If everybody laughed at all of my jokes, I would at once lose my grip. (This may have already happened; people do always seem to be laughing at something in my presence.) It is exactly what happens to all movie stars and has now happened, probably with catastrophic consequences, to Tom. The kindest thing to do now is sedate him for six months and whisper repeatedly in his ear, "Mr Cruise, you are about as funny as a cluster bomb." That should do it.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:54 am