August 19, 2008
For 25 years he has been one of Hollywood's most lusted after stars.
But Tom Cruise has abandoned his good looks - and his dark locks - to play a bald, overweight and exceedingly foul-mouthed movie executive in a new comedy.
The 46-year-old teams up with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black and Steve Coogan in Tropic Thunder, about a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie that is currently America's number one film at the box office.
Cruise has a cameo appearance as hard-nosed producer Les Grossman. He took the role as a favour to his friend Stiller.In the movie, Grossman is financing a star-packed war picture that's being shot in Asia - and to say the unpleasant money-man throws his weight around is an understatement.
In one scene, filled with excessive bad language for comic effect, he orders an underling to punch the director in the face.
Cruise's co-stars have praised the dramatic actor's foray into comedy.
Downey Jr said: 'The fact that he came in and in six days of shooting made that kind of impact, I'd say per hour, he was the big winner in Tropic Thunder.
'I'll tip my hat to Tom.
Black added: 'People are gonna be shocked because they've not seen him do comedy before.
'You know why he was so good? Because he trained for it. He researched it just like he does all his dramas and his other film roles. He brought the same scientific intensity.
'He is the surprise of the summer