have control over the hallowed final cut of a film.

Here. the line between actor and director is blurred: the actor becomes something like an

auteur. Warren Beatty was one: in Peter

Biskind's book about the revolution of 70s Hollywood. [Susy Riders". Raging Bulls. he shares the page with Scorsese. Coppola. Lucas and Spielberg. Such power is held by the actors mentioned above. btit not all of them can ‘greenlight‘ a film. ie get what they want. get it made when they want. how they want. Tom Cruise can.

Crtiise took the next step tip the power

ladder with Mission:Iiii/mssi/ile by setting tip his own company and producing the film. And when he finished his two years' work with Stanley Kubrick on Eyes Wide Shut. he took an even more active role in Ms] 2. There were rumours aren‘t there always'.’ that during

Mel Gibson

With the American War Of Independence drama, The Patriot, Gibson looks se to

- rekindle the extraordinary success of Braveheart And should the Gibster’s magic fail him in the future, he could always prolong the English-bashing by making a colonial epic, Ra/heart anyone?

Tom Hanks

Hanks seems unable to do wrong playing the all-American guy in Saying Private Ryan and The Green Mile Shedding 40 pounds to play a Fedex man marooned on a desert island over Christmas in the forthcoming Castaway may change that.

Julia Roberts

Roberts' star turn in Erin BrockoVic/i bumped her salary up to $20 million a picture, making her the highest paid

actress in Hollywood. It remains to be seen whether Roberts can nab such well-written roles in the future, in Hollywood those come few and far between

Ridley Scott

The former Bladerunner director might have hit the

d... skids With 6/ lane, btit is still hot from rejuvenating the sword and sandals epic with Gladiator Scott is currently filming the Silence Of The Lambs sequel, Hannibal

Steven Spielberg

This guy wrll never, ever leave the top players' list ET, lndiana Jones and Jurassic Park have ensured Hollywood's own Peter Pan a place in the hall of fame Lately, Spielberg’s been dabbling with a number of potential viinners the Harry Potter film and Stanley Kubrick's unfinished project, Al

the film‘s lengthy shoot and re-shoot. Cruise sacked staff left and right. wielding his power like a rod of iron.

"There were some people who said. “it's impossible". and that's not what I like to hear.‘ says Cruise. ‘.\lakiiig movies is never very easy. There are always problems. and you get very tired. The process of making them is difficult. btit every day is different. It's not the business that I enjoy. btit I love being involved in the movie-making process. It wasn‘t about control. It was. and is. about haying another creative outlet. ljtist love making movies and l don’t like to make bad ones.‘


Demi Moore

She went tOpIess for $12.5 million in Striptease and audiences weren’t impressed. She went hairless in GI Jane for

a similar amount and audiences still weren’t impressed. Next, Moore is changing gears and teaming up with golden boy writer Ron Bass (Rain Man) and acclaimed Belgian director Alain Berliner (Ma Vie En Rose) for the low budget Hollywood satire Passion Of Mind.

Eddie Murphy

Is Murphy running out of steam? _, a...z . Increasingly desperate to get laughs, be dressed up as old fat

people in The Nutty Professor, and he's doing it again in Nutty Professor ll: The K/umps. And this time Martin Lawrence beat him to it with Big Momma ’5 House.

Mike Myers

Myers is cooling off after big time Austin Powers success, and the aborting of his latest prolect, Dieter doesn't help his

reputation, Instead, Myers is working on a live action Scooby 000 film.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

After the heart-op, Arnie said he’d be back to kiss ass better than ever, but then he gave us End Of Days; he cried in that, for chrissakes. Having turned down

Terminator 3, next up for the former Mr Universe is The Sixth Day.

John Travolta

Tarantino may have engineered his comeback from the desolate 80s, but in his own hands

Travolta’s renewed success looks short-lived. With the awful, awful Battlefield Earth, he halved his 320 million fee to realise his Soentology mentor L. Ron Hubbard's pulp sci-fi novel to the screen.


made a staggering $75 million, the second film is likely to double that


L'nsurprisingly. the overarching theme of Ms] 2 is power. Cruise‘s super—spy lithan Hunt plays a game of cat and mouse with Dougray Scott's super-villain Seam Ambrose. They‘re locked in mortal combat over a chemical weapon that could destroy the world. and a beautiful woman (Thandic .\'ewton‘s cat burglar Nyah Hall). The opening sequence introduces Cruise 15()() feet tip a sheer rock face in Utah. He slips. he falls. he saves himself. Then he smiles.

Cruise was doing all of his own stunts. ‘lt was fantastic. unbelievably exhilarating.‘ he says . "l‘hcre were places where I had less than the width of my linger to hook ontof Later in the film. Cruise is involved in a hiin speed motorcycle chase (with acrobatics) and a martial arts battering with Scott. And. of course. he gets the girl. Spies are the ultimate masters of self-control.

“I’ve always been attracted to people who reach otit for things they want and try to achieve it any way they can.‘ says Cruise. ‘We all have to ask ourselves are we the person we want to be. I've seen a lot of people give tip on their dreams. btit that‘s not me. To me. nothing is impossible:

Cruise has evinced that philosophy in other film roles. in 'Iiip (iiiii he was the best airforce pilot. ln Days Of Tllllllcft‘l‘ ditto a rally driver. [it Jerry .Wugiiire he came back from destitutioii to set tip his own sports agent business. And get the girl. In liyes Wide Shut he . . . well his New York shrink didn‘t achieve much of anything. btit in his director. Stanley Kubrick. Cruise did find a mentor: ‘Staiiley worked effortlessly. He didn‘t waste time. he wasn‘t indulgent. He worked seven days a week. It wasn‘t unusual for him to do twenty takes. I did identify with this kind of obsession with your work.’

And in .llugiin/i’u he took on the most hideous role -— an egomaniacal misogynist whose catchphrase was ‘tame the cunt’ and won a (iolden (ilohe and almost scooped an Oscar.

But doesn‘t such power corrupt and create rampant egos and control freaks'.’ Speaking in Cannes this year. actor Nick .\'olte said: ‘The star system sticks. Basically. Hollywood boils down to four or live male leads. It's a tricky dance to play. to weave in and otit of that and not become corruptcd.‘

Asked to respond to that view of Hollywood. Cruise says: ‘I didn't become an actor to have power. that didn't interest me. But it happened. I have it and I've had a lot of opportunities. Whatever power I carry. I try to channel it in a way that makes good films. But power is fleeting. It doesn’t last forever in one‘s career.‘

Yet for Cruise. that may not be the case. He may be the world's most successful and glamorous film star. btit he‘s also a husband and father. He sums tip his ten-year marriage to .\'icole Kidman which has seen them adopt two children -— thus: ‘lt's pretty powerful. especially with the kids.‘

MI 2 opens Fri 7 Jul. ..i 2-301; THE LIST 9

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