CANNES, France (AP) — Tom Cruise mania descended on Wednesday in Cannes where the actor made a whirlwind appearance at the…
CANNES, France (AP) — Tom Cruise mania descended on Wednesday in Cannes where the actor made a whirlwind appearance at the film festival, walking the red carpet, receiving a surprise Palme d’Or and watching a squadron of French fighter jets fly over Europe premiere of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.
Cannes pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 59-year-old star, paying tribute to Cruise with not only a rare onstage interview and a red carpet premiere with a flyover of jets trailing colored smoke, but with the unexpected presentation of an honorary Palme d’Or. The president of the Festival, Pierre Lescure, announced the prize – around fifteen Palmes d’honneur have already been awarded – on stage just before the start of the screening. Cruise snatched the top prize at Cannes as the audience gave the actor a standing ovation.
Cruise brought a palpable buzz to the Croisette, where crowds gathered around the Palais des Festivals shouting “Tom!” to try to catch a glimpse of the 59-year-old star. “Great Balls of Fire” sounds on the carpet.
Cruise hadn’t been to the festival in three decades. But with plenty of media disruption questioning the theatrical experience, Cannes and Cruise were giving off the vibe of longtime pals. “He devotes himself to cinema,” said artistic director Thierry Fremaux. Cruise’s enthusiastic reception was in some ways like an action hero’s reception, here to save the day.
“I make movies for the big screen,” Cruise said to applause during an onstage interview at the Debussy Theater in Cannes.
The European premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, brought out what is likely to be one of the most star-studded red carpets at the Cannes Film Festival, which opened on Tuesday and closes. will continue until May 28. Those in attendance included Viola Davis, Dakota Fanning, Omar Sy and Eva Longoria – as well as ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ stars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Glen Powell.
While Cruise arrived by helicopter to the film’s San Diego premiere aboard an aircraft carrier, he came to the Cannes premiere in a more traditional fashion, with the film’s cast and filmmakers in a cavalcade of cars . Cruise paused for several minutes to sign autographs and take photos with fans lined up across the street from the red carpet.
Before that, the festival paid tribute to Cruise with a tribute consisting of a career-spanning video montage, after which Cruise opened up about his dedication to film in an interview that stayed away from personal matters. Instead, he answered questions from interviewer Didier Allouc about why, Mr. Cruise, do you take such risks doing your own stunts?
“Nobody asked Gene Kelly ‘Why are you dancing?'” Cruise replied.
The Cannes stopover of “Top Gun: Maverick” is part of a world tour of the film before its theatrical release on May 27. It has already landed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas and premiered in San Diego. Paramount Pictures delayed its release for two years during the pandemic, a move that appears to be paying off with rave reviews and box office expectations that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ will easily score the biggest opening weekend ever. by Cruise.
When asked if he had ever been tempted to direct the film to a streaming service, Cruise replied emphatically.
“No, that will never happen,” Cruise replied to loud applause. “That would never happen.”
Cruise spent most of the conversation explaining his extreme dedication to the art of filmmaking, how from a young age he dug into every element of film productions and analyzed how certain modes of action worked best on the big screen. . Filming the 1981 film “Taps” with George C. Scott, he returned to it again and again as a formative experience.
“Please,” Cruise said at the time, “if I could do this for the rest of my life, I would never take it for granted.”
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
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