Thursday, December 11, 2008
It was quite a while ago that I named Tom Cruise the Hunkiest. Nutjob. Ever. And a lot has happened in those three years. He has married, had a kid, and settled down. NOT. He has been as bat-guano crazy as ever and I got to have a brief glimpse of that while in New York recently.
As I mentioned, we went to go see tweener musical 13. Right next door was All My Sons, the Arthur Miller obscurity currently featuring Katie Holmes. We had gotten over to 45th Street a little early and while just wandering around we noticed a large black SUV with massively tinted windows parked at the curb. In the vicinity were a couple of guys with really massive camera gear. Recognizing the profile of a paparazzo from when I stalked Julia Roberts, I went over to investigate.
As soon as I crossed the street, another two more VIP SUVs pulled up behind the first one. The camera guys started yelling “Hey, Tom! Over here! Hey Tom!” I quickly realized that the well-coiffed short guy stepping out of the middle SUV was Scientology’s top ambassador. I quickly got off a shot of the completely unrecognizable back of his head, but his trademark sunglasses can be seen in the reflection of the window.
He grabbed a small child out of the car, presumably Suri, the alleged fruit of his loins, and made it to the stage door holding her in front of him so that neither of their faces could be seen.
By now my wife had gotten across the street and grabbed the camera away from me. She took a picture of Katie as she stepped out of the car and was moving around for a better angle when she got shoved in the shoulder by the NYPD guy running celebrity duty along with the beefy private security guys. I did get one brief glimpse of Tom’s toothy smile as he held the door for his bride.
Only in the aftermath did I piece everything together. Since Katie had a show to be in, and finding a babysitter for Thanksgiving weekend must be a bitch for even the most famous A-lister, Tom decided that he and Suri would just hang around backstage while the little lady went to work. That Tom would want to spend a holiday afternoon hanging around backstage with his wife can be interpreted as either dotingly lovey-dovey or creepily controlling.
We stood around and watched some more as the Cruise motorpool of three Yukons set up camp for the afternoon. The driver and the cop chatted amiably as a lackey shuttled purses and diaper bags and other accessories through the backstage door. I quickly realized that since this was a matinee and there was another performance that evening, the Cruises were in for the duration.
Sure enough, when we left our show two hours later, the full motorcade was still parked out front. Usually the limos for the stars just drop them off and come back just after the curtain call, but these guys had reserved street parking just off Times Square for the day. I can only imagine the pandemonium that occurs after the last show when the threesome get back into their three car parade to go home.
In contrast, on our way back to the hotel much later that night, we were passing the theater where The Seagull was playing and there was a small crowd at the back stage door. There, Kristen Scott Thomas was signing playbills and posing for photos. When everybody seemed satisfied, she drew a winter-chilled sigh and climbed into her single Lincoln Continental towncar to go home.
She seemed to only have a single assistant helping her out. If only she too merited three SUVs, an entire security squad and a couple of New York’s Finest at her beck and call.
Since then I have been seeing droves of publicity pictures of Tom and Company in various candid shots strolling in the park or chatting with their good friends, the Beckhams. And I don’t believe an ounce of it. There is not a moment of Tom Cruise’s public life that isn’t carefully planned and choreographed. Because he never loses control.
BlatantCommentWhoring™: How tough is it to be Tom Cruise?