No Hollywood movie star gets a bigger reception in Japan than Tom Cruise – even if he is only in the country for 14 hours. The 48-year-old star cultivates his fans here better than any other actor. In the past, he has taken his fans on chartered plane and shinkansen rides.
Last week, he didn’t have as much time to spend in Japan, so 800 fans were specially invited to a red carpet premiere of his new movie, "Knight and Day," in which he co-stars with Cameron Diaz. Cruise arrived at Haneda at 7:30 a.m., joined Diaz for the evening premiere at Roppongi Hills Arena, which was broadcast live to theaters in Shibuya and Shinjuku, and then spent an hour chatting with fans (including former yokozuna Asashoryu), before heading back out to Haneda for a trip back to Prague where he is filming "Mission: Impossible 4."
“There is something special about coming to Japan,” gushed Cruise who has been here 14 times for 14 movies. “I’ve always had a great relationship with this country and fan support is something that I have never taken for granted.” Diaz, also a regular visitor to Japan, said she has loved Japan ever since she spent six months in Tokyo working as a model when she was 18.
In "Knight and Day," a kinetic spy film directed by James Mangold ("Walk the Line"), Cruise plays a spy on the run, pursued by his agency who believe he is a rogue agent, and by arms dealers who think he has the world’s first self-renewing energy source. Along the way, he bumps into an auto mechanic (Diaz) and the two of them go globetrotting on the lam together.
"Knight and Day" reunites Cruise and Diaz, 38, who last starred together in the 2001 film "Vanilla Sky."
“It was great working with Cameron again,” said Cruise. “At least, in this movie, she wasn’t trying to kill me.” For her part, Diaz had plenty of praise for Cruise. “There is no one better to work with than Tom,” she said. “He does his own stunts and he made sure we all had a blast on the set, and I think that when you see the film, it will be evident what a good time we all had.”
Cruise, who still retains his boyish good looks, said that after he made the serious World War II film "Valkyrie" two years ago, he wanted to make something light that audiences could just go along and have a good time watching. “I’m proud of 'Valkyrie,' but this film has a lot more it in – there is action, comedy and romance.”
Cruise hasn’t been afraid to go against type – most noticeably as Les Grossman, the vulgar movie producer in the 2008 film "Tropic Thunder." He reprised the character to perform onstage with Jennifer Lopez at the MTV Movie Awards in June.
“Now it’s back to action with 'M:I 4,' which will be out in December 2011, and I promise you all that I’ll stay longer next time I come,” Cruise said.© Japan Today