When most people think of Tom Cruise in a film, he is usually typecast in the lead role of an action movie. Yet in the ridiculous film that was Tropic Thunder, Cruise managed to have the most ridiculous character of them all.
In Tropic Thunder Les Grossman was the foul-mouthed executive of the studio that is producing the titular film within the film. His screen time was brief, but is filled with memorable lines such as, “Now I want you to take a step back… and literally fuck your own face!”
Again this role was not something that those who’d come to know the actor would have expected from him.What’s even more surprising is that Tom Cruise revealed he was the one who created Les Grossman. In a recent interview with BBC 1 radio, the actor detailed how he got the idea for the character.
In the interview, Cruise goes on to explain that the initial idea came to him when he asked Ben Stiller what he was working on. When Stiller asked him to read the script, Tom Cruise suggested that they add a studio element to the script. The reasoning behind it being that the studio heads would keep the pressure on the film crew, really driving the story.
When Stiller came back about a few weeks later with a rewrite, Cruise wanted to play the character for Grossman. His pitch being, “I want to have fat hands, and I want to dance.”
As a result of that sentence, and a set of prosthetic “Fat Hands,” came the most memorable scene in the film, where Tom Cruise, as Les Grossman, dances along with Ben Hader’s character for Matthew McConaughey’s character to “Apple Bottom Jeans” by Flo Rider.
He may have his quirks about him in real life, but there is no doubt that Tom Cruise is an amazing actor, and a visionary when it comes to the art.