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Tom Cruise // Pushing thirty, the star of 'Far and Away' gets his life together with the help of Scientology and wife Nicole Kidman

Title: Tom Cruise // Pushing thirty, the star of 'Far and Away' gets his life together with the help of Scientology and wife Nicole Kidman
Date: Thursday, 28 May 1992
Publisher: Rolling Stone
Author: Patrick Goldstein
Main source:

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Tom Cruise hits the accelerator and slides onto a deserted stretch of Sunset Boulevard behind the wheel of a car so hot, so space-age sleek, that you can't find one anywhere — not in a Porsche showroom, not in the Malibu Colony, not in the hippest Hollywood parking lot.


If anyone has a good theory about the source of Cruise's steely determination, it's Kidman. They're a yin-yang couple, with her playful, relaxed manner contrasting with her husband's earnest intensity. "I think the self-confidence comes from inside him," she says. "It's always been with him. When you talk to his mother, she says he's been like that since he was two years old. Tom was raised by women, by his mother and his sisters, under very difficult circumstances. And I think when you have that loving support group, it really grounds you. I think it made Tom confident enough to handle anything."

Others say some of Cruise's focus and intensity come from his involvement in Scientology. He became active in the controversial religion several years ago; his first wife, Mimi Rogers, is a Scientologist. Kidman has also been involved since she met Cruise. Scientology has its own lingo, like clear, TRs and OTs, as well as a belief in past lives and the existence of galactic civilizations; presumably, this belief is an outgrowth of founder L. Ron Hubbard's science-fiction writings. Adherents like Cruise say Scientology sharpens their focus and helps them gain more control over their lives. In Cruise's case, church courses also helped him overcome his dyslexia. "I was always focused on my career, even before I became involved in Scientology," he says. "Essentially, it's enabled me — it's just helped me to become more me. It gives me certain tools to utilize to be the person I want to be and explore the areas I want to explore as an artist."

Scientology has been criticized for its high-pressure sales tactics and cultlike paranoia and security measures. Cruise insists that contrary to Hollywood scuttlebutt, he hasn't forced any of his staff, agents or publicists to attend church classes. "I haven't asked or told anyone to do anything," he says evenly. "If they're interested, that's fine. But there's no pressure from me."

He did persuade the Far and Away production team, however, to record his and Kidman's dialogue with Clearsound, a Scientology-developed audio system. Sound quality is an obsession with Cruise. The only time he ever shows any anger is when he's asked why, with so many great high-tech Hollywood sound systems, he would need to have his own. "There's no such thing as a great Hollywood sound system," he snaps. "I've done enough looping in my life to know. The sound people in Hollywood are like a priesthood. They're from another era."

His eyes are dark. Gleaming. Laserhead is back. "No one usually gives a shit about sound," he says sharply. Even before his discovery of Clearsound, he pressed the Dolby system on his sound recordists. "With a lot of them, it just pisses them off," he says. "And I say: 'Fuck you, okay? I want the best. I simply found a system that's better. All I want is clarity on the voice. I don't think that's asking for so much, is it?' "


As Cruise warms to this topic, you realize that he is not talking about the movie anymore. He's talking about himself. "For me, to be an actor is a dream I've lived out," he says, staring me dead in the eye. "Who would think this kid could grow up and become a movie star?"

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