Tom Cruise is an actor/producer who blends the multi-talented, over-dramatic senses of Old Hollywood with modern films with almost effortless perfection. By performing his own stunts, fighting for the best and biggest stories possible, and leaning into the technology that captures the best possible shot, Cruise cares about cinema a lot.
Not everyone cares like Cruise does, but should they?
In a recent GQ expose, Timothée Chalamet revealed that he felt a lot of pressure for being one of the first new leading men in Hollywood with his role as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve'sDune franchise. Right after finishing Dune: Part One, Cruise sent Chalamet an email that inspired his upcoming performance in Dune: Part Two. Chalamet says, "He basically said, in Old Hollywood, you would be getting dance training and fight training, and nobody is going to hold you to that standard today. So it's up to you."
Dune: Part Two | Official Traileryoutu.be
The email included a list of all the experts Chalamet might need for stunt training, including a motorcycle coach and a helicopter coach.
This email became a "war cry" for Chalamet as he prepared to film Dune: Part Two. Filming over the summer and fall of 2022, Chalamet saw the Academy Award nominated film Top Gun: Maverickeight times. "Top Gun was just hugely inspiring to me last summer when we were making Dune," Chalamet says to GQ. "Some of the crew were kind of scoffing at going, but I just thought it was one of the greatest films I've ever seen."
While filming Part Two, in the summer and fall of 2022, Chalamet said he saw Top Gun: Maverick eight times. On one occasion, he bought out a movie theater in Budapest for two bucks a seat and took the whole cast and crew. “Top Gun was just hugely inspiring to me last summer when we were making Dune,” he said. “Some of the crew were kind of scoffing at going, but I just thought it was one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.”
'Dune' Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Once Chalamet received that email from Cruise about the responsibility of an actor who takes on the leading man role in Hollywood, Chalamet took his message to heart. Villeneuve saw the change almost instantly from Chalamet.
If there is anything we can learn from Cruise, and now Chalamet, is that discipline in your craft is necessary and infectious. If you are performing at your never best, then everyone else around you will strive to reach that level. Don't limit yourself and say you'll fix something in post. Instead, be deliberate in your work on set.
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