Pour Will Smith, Tom Cruise’s promotional marathons prove that he is not a human being like the others, if not a human being at all.
There is a theory that Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise are just two ageless vampires with plans to suck mankind’s liquid ; in one by becoming a globally adulated star reconverted into a cachetonneur then an experimental actor collecting only the money of deviant cinephiles; and the other, a world-renowned star then an über-caricatural version of himself only existing by playing the Bebel of the American blockbuster.
In 1996, Cruise was already known on a planetary scale. He is perfectly primed his passage from the status of young premier to confirmed actor, and is preparing to settle as a carrier of the blockbuster identified with the release of Mission : Impossible first of the name the same year. On the other side, Will Smith is fresh out of The Prince of Bel-Air, released Bad Boys the year before and is preparing to lay one of the foundation stones of his box office domination with Independence Day.
It’s not fresh my Prince of Bel Air ?!
And it is with the Austrian oak, Arnold Schwarzenegger, that he will come to seek advice, the evening of the inauguration of his restaurant Hollywood Planet. From what Smith disclosed to Insider during an interview for the release of his autobiography, the T-800 will give him the following advice:
“You are not a movie star if your films are successful only in the United States. You’re not a star until every person in every country in the world knows who you are. You have to cross the entire globe, shake all hands, kiss every baby. Imagine yourself as a politician in the race to be elected the biggest star in the world.”
A tip that The Governator will visibly apply to his own career. Smith will then observe the competition around him:
“I started to notice that other actors hate traveling, have to talk to the press or do promotional marathons. It was sheer madness for me […] I then began to observe the rest of the competition to see who knew, who else had the secret.”
And then, if the promo goes wrong, we know how to be forgotten …
Will’s research led him to Tom Cruise who was clearly “the head of the peloton“and Smith sought to draw inspiration from it as much as to surpass it:
“I calmly began to dissect all of Tom’s promotional activities […] When I arrived in a country to promote, I was asking local executives to give me Tom’s promotional schedule, and I swore to myself to do two hours more than him, no matter how much he was doing in each country.
Unfortunately, Tom Cruise is either a cyborg, or there are six like him. I received reports that spoke of 4:30 am spent on lurkings reds in Paris, London, Tokyo… In Berlin, Tom literally signed every autograph until no one else wanted it. Tom’s promo marathons are clearly the most impressive in Hollywood.”
“-You are sure for the promo, Mr. Cruise ? –Yes, I grab the microphone easy like that, looked !”
Suddenly, Smith made it much simpler: if he can’t be Tom Cruise, he will be Will Smith the rapper-actor. So, at the end of each preview, Smith did live performances that drew hundreds of fans:
“Tom couldn’t do that – not more than Arnold, Bruce [Willis, ndlr], or Sly [Sylvester Stallone, ndlr]. I had made my way through the entertainment column to the headlines. And when your film goes from entertainment to news, this is no longer a movie – it’s a cultural phenomenon.”
You can find this story and many others in the autobiography of Will Smith, Will, available in France since November 10, 2021. Or as the father of Serena and Venus Williams in The Williams Method which will be in theaters, on December 1, 2021. It is not yet known whether a film titled The Cruise Method is planned, but we will dig, I promise.