On Tuesday at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, I had the honor of meeting Tom Cruise.
I’ll give the ladies a chance to be jealous for a moment…OK?
Cruise was at the Burns to do a Q and A for his new movie, “Jack Reacher,” and I was at the Burns to see a French movie as a cover for me being there to meet Tom Cruise.
Say what you will about Cruise’s quirks as a person, you can’t deny that “Collateral,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” are all great movies. And if you can, then stop reading this, because I don’t like you.
One of the coolest things about the Burns is the talent it has been able to bring in for Q andAs and special events. As a former Pleasantville resident, it always struck me as a little surreal to converse with Kevin Smith, Alec Baldwin, Oliver Stone, Michelle Monaghan and Paul Simon less than a mile from where I grew up.
I was excited when I saw Tom Cruise was coming to Pleasantville, though a bit disappointed when the event sold out before I had the chance to buy tickets, and the Burns didn’t grant WAG access to the event. But like a Scientologist trying to reach Level IV, I was not to be deterred.
While sitting through “Holy Motors,” I stepped out a few times to use the restroom and to see if I could catch a glimpse of Cruise coming in. I did not, and by the time “Holy Motors” let out, I could hear him conducting the Q and A.
No worries as I headed outside to the super-secret back entrance where the Burns most famous guests leave. This entrance was so super-secret, that there were already people lined up hoping to catch a glimpse.
I waited with the rest of them, watching Cruise’s security do whatever his security does. They prepped us a bit, telling us to not step over a certain line and to be cool. If Cruise wants to sign, he’ll sign. If not, he won’t. All sounded good to me.
We briefly caught a glimpse of Cruise as he left the Burns to go to its offices. He waved to us. This was exciting.
After waiting for a little while longer, Cruise finally came out. And the world’s biggest actor was, actually, a pretty cool guy.
He took a photo with me, and then pointed out to the photog that he didn’t think the picture worked out well and taught him how to use his camera. I told him that he was very smart and that being photographed all the time has made him an expert on cameras. He laughed, we talked “Collateral” and how I saw it three times in theaters, and he wished me a happy holidays and a Merry Christmas and went on his way to talk show appearances, film premieres and whatever famous superstars do with their lives.
I went back to my one-bedroom apartment to watch the Nets game. Sounds about right.
– Sam Barron