Tom Cruise: My Job Is As Tough As Fighting In Afghanistan


File this one under, celebrities really can be pricks sometimes:

So now we’re seeing a very interesting side of Tom Cruise.

He sat for a deposition in his $50 million libel suit against a magazine publisher that claimed in a story that Cruise had abandoned daughter Suri.

In and of itself, the deposition is fascinating reading for the glimpses you get into the life of one of the richest and most successful and best known men on this planet.

And while you and I may think we work hard, we’ve got nothing on Cruise, who compares his shoots to serving in Afghanistan.

“That’s what it feels like. And certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal,” he said, per TMZ.

Because, you know, running to get the last doughnut on the craft table is just like getting your leg blown off by an IED.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Popular Culture, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. john personna says:

    Give Tom a break. He’s no rocket scientist, but he makes some good movies.

    Love the way he went for it in Tropic Thunder.

  2. CSK says:

    The appalling part is that maybe he wasn’t being hyperbolic–maybe he truly believes that getting paid 75 million dollars for MI:III, being attended to by an entourage the size of a small college, and having a stunt double do all the heavy lifting really is harder than, as you say, getting your leg blown off, or both legs, or all four limbs.

    I always thought he was a twerp. Good to see it confirmed.

  3. DC Loser says:

    How many USO tours has he been on?

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Tom is better off when scripted. He’s an actor, when he speaks without a script he gets into trouble. I’m beginning to think that he’s an airhead.

  5. Gavrilo says:

    He can’t handle the truth.

  6. @john personna:

    To be honest, the only movies he’s been in that I’ve truly liked are those where he was paired up with truly great actors such as Rain Main (Dustin Hoffman) and The Color Of Money (Paul Newman)

  7. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’ve stopped worrying about how well rounded Tom is as a human being, and just gone with the fun empty movies. Knight and Day was like that.

    Jack Reacher was fairly absurd, but if you could laugh at the pulp nature … puts down his gun to fist fight the villain.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    For me, Cruise has passed into Woody Allen territory: I know way too much about his bizarre personal life to be able to suspend disbelief when I see him on the screen. Even watching a movie I used to like, I find myself thinking about Scientology or couch jumping every time he is on screen.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Scientologists… Republicans…Similar delusions. Similar disconnect from reality.

  10. Todd says:

    I’ve been to Afghanistan, and I don’t find this in any way “offensive”.

    Some reports are saying that it was his lawyer that compared making movies to Afghanistan. And even if it was him, the context appears to be about why he was separated from his daughter … again, as someone who’s spent a fair amount of time away from kids, that part rings true. Doesn’t matter where you’re at, away to for 6 months or a year, phone calls and the occasional Skype chat just aren’t the same as being there.

    Some people are just looking for reasons to be “outraged”, and I’m sad to say that sometimes my fellow service members are among the biggest cry babies of the bunch.

  11. EddieInCA says:

    Doug –

    Because, you know, running to get the last doughnut on the craft table is just like getting your leg blown off by an IED.

    I’m probably the only person on this board that has actually met and worked with Mr. Cruise.

    A. Tom Cruise doesn’t run anywhere, unless the cameras are rolling. The rest of the time, he’s driven, flown (in a private plane) or flown (in a private helicopter).
    B. Tom Cruise doesn’t eat doughnuts, unless it’s for a scene.
    C. Tom Cruise doesn’t go to Craft Service. Craft Service comes to Mr. Cruise.

    D. He’s completely as douche-y as that comment by him would suggest regardless. One can add paranoid, difficult, and flat out crazy to the list.

  12. steve s says:

    Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it’s not like anyone else. As you drive past, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you’re the only one that can really help. -Tom Cruise

    yeah, he’s a whack job.

  13. Moderate Mom says:

    Cruise is such a tool.

  14. Fear the Same says:

    @john personna: That actually seems consistent with the Lee Child written source material.

  15. Fear the Same says:

    @steve s: Ah but Tom has actually walked the walk having pulled people from burning cars and saving tourists from getting. trampled. Not many celebrities can say that they’ve actually saved a human life..

  16. Tony W says:

    @EddieInCA: Interesting, but I suppose not surprising – even his movie role choices do not speak well of his personal character – he has spent his career playing the best fighter pilot, the best pool player, the best race car driver, the best bartender, etc. ad nauseam. Compare him with a real actor – say Tom Hanks – and the differences are clear.

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Jimmy Stewart, James Doohan, Gary Cooper, Robert Clary… all better men than Cruise. He’s Scientology’s highest-profile stooge.

  18. bill says:

    @john personna: that was a great role for him, i don’t go outta my way to see cruise fliks but he can act. he’s basically playing the “tom cruise” actor bit these days- and he gets paid well. and he did play a vet before, so he’s all about war and stuff….but made an ass of himself with that quote.

  19. James Pearce says:

    Looks like this is bogus:

    I normally don’t pay much attention to this kind of story, but on this Veterans Day weekend a lot of veterans and their families have expressed outrage to me about this quote.

    So I looked into it.

    Read the rest to find out why the words “per TMZ” should never appear under your byline.

  20. JWH says:

    @James Pearce:

    Cruise’s attorney is putting up some investment-grade spin there … but he does have a point. If I’m reading the article right, Tom Cruise was comparing shooting a movie and Afghanistan in terms of being separated from his family, not in terms of location conditions.

  21. JKB says:


    Tom Cruise is not an actor, he’s a star. Real actors disappear into their roles. Cruise’s movie are just Tom Cruise doing this, Tom Cruise doing that. Just like Julia Roberts. Performing monkeys. Amusing to watch, but very much the same regardless of the scenery. Real actors aren’t seen in a scene. The characters prevail. On occasion a turn of phrase, facial expression or movement may cause you to see the actor but the great ones even subsume that into their portrayal.

  22. bill says:

    @JWH: so the msm cherry picked some tidbits for us to weigh in on again?! not many people will read the whole story before screaming bluddy murder about it.

  23. 11B40 says:


    It’s about time that people realize that lawyers are the real heros in today’s world. I mean where would we be in our war-making without all those JAG beauties and cuties to protect our republic from war without sufficient rules and their proper enforcement.. Thank the heavens for those JDs and LLDs and their analytic and rhetorical skills that can turn almost any molehill into a mountain rampart against rapacious capitalism and rampant liberty. All hail.

    That Obama guy, he’s some kind or other of a lawyer, right ??? And his wife ???

  24. Todd says:

    What’s really great is the USAToday story that Doug links to in the post now makes clear that this whole thing was trumped up BS.

    It’s just a minor “error”, and it’s just Tom Cruise, who quite likely is a prick.

    But really, this is just another example of the death of journalism. The reason nobody trusts the media is because we now live in a publish 1st, verify later world. (the debunked CBS Benghazi story is another, even more egregious example)

  25. JWH says:

    @11B40: And this has what to do with the price of tea in China?

  26. al-Ameda says:


    That Obama guy, he’s some kind or other of a lawyer, right ??? And his wife ???

    Change your tinfoil, change your life.

  27. Franklin says:

    I’m sure he works hard, and maybe some of the sets are in inhospitable places, maybe the stunts are hard, and maybe he thinks that is as tough as Afghanistan. But who cares? The only relevant thing in this story is whether he abandoned his own daughter. If true, he’s provably an ass.

  28. WR says:

    @JKB: “Tom Cruise is not an actor, he’s a star.”

    And health insurance isn’t insurance, it’s a buyers’ club.

    Because it doesn’t matter if billions of people around the world share a common understanding of the meaning of words. If JKB decides they mean something else, that’s it.

  29. 11B40 says:


    Greeting, JWH:

    Well, to answer your question directly, not much I hope. Movie tickets in China perhaps, though.

    I’m sorry that you’re sorry you read my comment, So, at the risk of even further antagonism, I will attempt to explain.

    Now, I enjoy watching motion pictures but I don’t know anything much about how they are made or why they work well. Personally, I tend to view actors and actresses as people who are skilled at speaking the words and portraying the emotions of others, so I don’t very much look to them for personal guidance as to the vicissitudes of today’s living. With that as background, it has occurred to me for quite a while that the media’s relationship with Mr. Cruise is somewhat akin to that that the “mean girls” in high school had with those whom they thought should be more subservient. There seems to be a reward system in place the allows this hyper-scrutiny to continue apace as various peccadillo flags are run up the pole for others to salute.

    I’m not much aware of why this is or why it should continue. Whatever is included among Mr. Cruise’s previous perfidies, I’m not aware of anything that would justify such continuing castigation, and this in an age when our rulers are working so hard and so relentlessly to convince us that (politically incorrect) bullying is the major problem faced by what’s left of our republic. Whereas another (in)famous height-challenged male actor (because we now seem to have female actors too) has established himself as a harbinger of some EL Presidente por Vida or other’s upcoming decline, Mr. Cruise’s ambition’s seem significantly restrained. Yet, the hyper-scrutiny continues.

    So, I thought it might be useful to bring that to our lawyerly blogger’s attention in as obtuse a manner as possible.

  30. john personna says:


    Cynics have noted that the “set up our stars, then topple them” cycle repeats endlessly.

  31. dazedandconfused says:


    There’s a strange thing about acting, some folks pull it off by managing to be a completely different person. Put Forrest Gump next to the captain from Saving Ryan’s Privates and it’s hard to imagine that is the same guy. Meanwhile, Nicholson and DiNero are the same guy every time but, somehow, and I can’t figure out why, it doesn’t freakin’ matter. Anybody say those guys are bad actors? Whatever acting is and isn’t isn’t easy to understand or describe.

    I think the whole paparazzi phenomena is more than a little sick. Why are so many people obsessed over the private lives of these folks?

  32. grumpy realist says:

    @11B40: So are a lot of the individuals who deal with child abuse and animal abuse, you idiot.

    And I’d prefer having someone with a J.D. as a politician rather than someone without a J.D. as a politician, all other things being equal. They’re probably less likely to propose blatantly unconstitutional legislation like “Let’s outlaw Sharia!”

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Especially when you think of the number of actors who actually did go into the military during WWII. Wasn’t Stewart a pilot?

    The actor/actress I have the most admiration for is Hedy Lamar. Beautiful, great actress, and brilliant inventor.

  34. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: Wasn’t just movie stars, ma’am. Treat yourself to a biography of Ted Williams.

  35. Pylon says:

    I have zero regard for Cruise and his scientologist/antiPPD pronouncements. However, in his full quote, what he does is scoff at the idea his work is as hard as fighting in Afghanistan.