Hollywood megastar Tom Cruise did something unique in Japan last week. Instead of walking the red carpet greeting fans before the Japan premiere at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, he did it in reverse. They showed the film first, and then he walked the red carpet so he could spend a couple of hours with his fans, signing autographs and posing for photos.
It's typical of Cruise, who turns 52 on Thursday. More than any other star, Cruise always makes sure he has plenty of time to interact with his fans when he visits Japan -- which he has been doing every year for the past 20 years.
During last week's visit to promote his new sci-fi film, “Edge of Tomorrow,” which is being released in Japan with the title “All You Need Is Kill," Cruise, director Doug Liman and producer Erin Stoff traveled over 1,770 kilometers in one day, flying from Osaka to Fukuoka to Tokyo, greeting fans.
"It's been a remarkable visit," Cruise said at a news conference in Tokyo. "I never get tired in Japan, no matter how little sleep I get. The fans energize me."
"All You Need Is Kill" has a special relevance to Japan. It is based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka's extremely popular science fiction novel which took young Japanese readers by storm when it was published in 2004. The novel was later serialized in a weekly magazine as a manga adaptation in 2014. Cruise plays a soldier named Cage who is caught in a time loop. After being killed in a war with alien invaders, Cage wakes up only to be killed and sent back to the same battle over and over again. Each time Cage wakes up and returns to fight the alien aggressors, he becomes a stronger and more capable solider.
Making a film based on a Japanese novel is always a big challenge in Hollywood, but Stoff and Liman said that as soon as Cruise signed on, it became a lot easier. Cruise said they all wondered how the Hollywood treatment of the novel would be received in Japan. But he said the story had a lot of appealing factors.
"I think that it is a original story, which is hard to find these days," he said. "It also has an unusual love story. We all challenged ourselves every step of the way, working as a team, because at the end of the day, if you don't have a good character-driven story, then it is just loud action with special effects."
Cruise said he always tries to watch one movie a day because he loves storytelling. "I want audiences of my films to feel the same way," he said. "I hope they leave the theater, really having enjoyed the film."
Cruise was also full of praise for co-star, British actress Emily Blunt. "I've seen a lot of her work and she is a talented and intelligent actress with a great range. It was fun working with her. It's the only time I ever worked with an actress who got to kill me hundreds of times. I've never been shot in the head by a woman before," he quipped.
The busy actor said he'll be back in Japan very soon. He is already in pre-production for “Mission: Impossible 5” and has a further three films in the pipeline – “Van Helsing,” “Top Gun 2” and “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”
"All You Need Is Kill" opens in Japan on July 4.© Japan Today