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“He’s a pretty incredible human”: Tom Cruise Helped Jessica Chastain to Star in $132M Oscar Nominated Film by ‘Firing’ Her from Oblivion That Nearly Landed Her Best Actress

“He’s a pretty incredible human”: Tom Cruise Helped Jessica Chastain to Star in $132M Oscar Nominated Film by ‘Firing’ Her from Oblivion That Nearly Landed Her Best Actress

Not many exist in the industry who have the authority, will, or intention of criticizing the work and reputation of Tom Cruise. What the actor has contributed to mainstream cinema is an irrevocable blessing doled out in small portions over the years. In doing so, Cruise has not only elevated Hollywood to what it is today but has given the industry a foundation on which to stand for the coming hundred years. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now about the downfall of the moviegoing business. And it has been said and established: Tom Cruise saved Hollywood too.

Oblivion (2013)
Oblivion (2013)

Also read: Movies That Are Visual Treats But Severely Lack In Proper Coherent Storylines

Tom Cruise Helped Jessica Chastain Get Out of a Contract

It may very well be expected of Tom Cruise to assist a fellow co-star in getting out of a stitch but hardly when it comes at the expense of his own film. Oscar-winning actress Jessica Chastain had signed on to Cruise’s 2013 sci-fi film, Oblivion, for the role of Julia (it later went to Olga Kurylenko). Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the star-studded film went on to garner mixed reviews from critics upon release, but at the time, Cruise’s involvement was a testament to the success of any project.

Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko in Oblivion
Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko in Oblivion

However, the script for Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty crossed Chastain’s desk before filming for Oblivion had begun and the opportunity seemed good enough to sacrifice even starring alongside Tom Cruise. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actress revealed,

“Someone contacted him from my agency and said, ‘Listen, she wants to work with you. And she would love to, but there is this other film, and it’s so important.’ And with his support, I was able to do this movie. He’s a pretty incredible human.”

Tom Cruise’s involvement in negotiating Jessica Chastain’s role in the film was not divulged by the actress but the little she said goes a long way in proving how Cruise gives precedence to Hollywood above all, primarily considering what is better for the industry as a whole, and only then takes into account the individual success of his own projects.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

Also read: “It’s like Dwayne’s Angels”: X-Men Star Jessica Chastain Announces She’s Doing a Movie With The Rock, Emily Blunt, and Nicole Kidman

Tom Cruise Goes Above & Beyond For His Love of Cinema

For Tom Cruise, the annual parade of prizes and awards means little to nothing in comparison to the rewarding experience that making a film holds. The actor has time and again gone above and beyond his way to give his all to ensure the progress of Hollywood and the components that make it happen, be it actors, directors, producers, or stunt doubles. And to date, only Will Smith has best been able to describe the inexplicable phenomenon surrounding Cruise’s obsessive need to see the industry as a whole to succeed:

“How many people in [Cruise’s] position would want me to win, want me to be a bigger and better movie star? […] I was so used to competition between other artists that I just didn’t get him at first. That blew my mind because that is not how this business works at all.”

Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg at the Oscars luncheon
Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg at the Oscars luncheon

Also read: Steven Spielberg Praised Top Gun 2 Star Tom Cruise for ‘Saving Hollywood’s A**’ By Not Bending Over to Streaming Giants: “You might have saved theatrical distribution”

In a nutshell, Tom Cruise embodies the industry itself. Hollywood’s success is what gives him fulfillment and gratitude for his work, and as altruistic as it may sound, it is the one principle that has guided the megastar for the entirety of his career as an actor and producer. After all, it isn’t every day that the great Steven Spielberg walks up to someone in the middle of an Oscars luncheon to thank them for saving the movie industry.

Oblivion is available for streaming on Peacock and Prime Video.

Source: Vanity Fair

Written by Diya Majumdar

Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has more than 1200 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, and an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists