“That part did not exist”: Tom Cruise Saved His Career With One Unexpected Movie Role That Was Called Anti-Semitic at its Release

The unbelievable story of how Tom Cruise resurrected his career.

“That part did not exist”: Tom Cruise Saved His Career With One Unexpected Movie Role That Was Called Anti-Semitic at its Release


  • Tom Cruise was donned as 'a walking PR nightmare' because of his antics that led to him quickly falling out of favor with Hollywood back in 2006.
  • Tropic Thunder's Les Grossman role managed to resurrect the Mission: Impossible star's career.
  • Les Grossman's role never really existed. Tom Cruise created it himself, including the appearance and the dance.
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Judging from the massive success wave that Tom Cruise currently rides on as one of the most fan-favorite actors of all time, it seems pretty unbelievable to believe that the Mission: Impossible star was once in danger of losing his entire acting career. Yet, as unbelievable as it may be, it’s only true, considering how Cruise was rather quickly falling out of favor with Hollywood back in 2006, all thanks to his marvelous antics that earned him the title of being ‘a walking PR nightmare’.

Tom Cruise in a still from Mission: Impossible
Tom Cruise in a still from Mission: Impossible

In fact, had it not been for an unexpected cameo role in his friend Ben Stiller’s 2008 box-office hit that was initially termed as being ‘anti-Semitic’Tropic Thunder—perhaps Cruise would have actually ended up losing everything he worked hard for down the drain!

Also Read: Scientology Allegedly Forced Members to Donate for an Auditorium Seat Named after Tom Cruise’s Daughter Suri


Tropic Thunder Saved Tom Cruise’s Career By A Role He Made Himself

Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder (2008)
Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder (2008)

Also Read: Tom Cruise’s New Movie after Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two is Most Certainly Not What Fans are Hoping to See

It might sound a bit too bizarre to fans who still haven’t watched Tropic Thunder, but the role of Les Grossman—a Diet Coke-guzzling evil studio executive—in the film is the very part that saved Tom Cruise’s entire career from going down the drain.

Yet, what’s even more surprising than that is the fact that the role actually never existed in the movie! As Ben Stiller shared during an Explain This interview with Esquire:


“Tom Cruise had the idea to play Les Grossman in the movie,” Stiller said. “That part did not exist. He said, ‘Well, there’s no studio executive and that would be really fun to be that guy.’”

Not only that, but the Top Gun alum even took it upon himself to decide what his character would look like in the movie. In fact, the dance to Ludacris’ Get Back at the end is actually something the unrecognizable Cruise in the film created himself!

“And he had this whole idea of what the guy should look like. It was his idea to dance. And I remember when we did a makeup test, someone handed him a Diet Coke and then he just started moving.”

During another interview with BBC Radio 1, Cruise himself admitted to this story. Apparently, according to him, Les Grossman was the very character missing in the story to make it a massive hit.

“I read the script, and he had all of the characters, but the studio wasn’t there,” he said. “There was a structural compression missing down on those characters, you know, that keeps the pressure on these guys that really drives the story. I was like, ‘You need the studio.’”

Thankfully, everything turned out on a good note for the prosthetics donned fully sent into spoof-dom Tom Cruise, who not only earned critical acclamation for his extraordinary performance but even earned his almost-sinking career back!


Also Read: Tom Holland Can’t Be The Next Tom Cruise Due To $407M Mark Wahlberg Franchise, According To Fans

Why Tom Cruise Was Falling Out Of Favor With Hollywood In 2006

Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds
Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds

Even though he is one of the greatest actors of all time now, Tom Cruise almost lost the favor of Hollywood back in 2006, all thanks to a list of controversial public behavior he pulled at the time, leading to him donning headlines for all the wrong reasons.

First on this list was his extremely indecent behavior during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, where he was supposed to promote Steven Spielberg‘s War of the Worlds but instead ended up declaring his love for his then-girlfriend Katie Holmes in an overly excited manner (more famously known as his notorious couch jumping stunt). This earned him a lot of uproar from the audience.


Then came the criticism he faced for accusing Brooke Shields, who was struggling with conception at the time, of spreading “irresponsible misinformation” about antidepressants and even branding her as “dangerous”. Although the criticism got him back in his head and he apologized personally to Shields for his behavior, this stunt he pulled left an indelible mark on his career.

All of this led to Paramount Studios cutting ties with him after a 14-year relationship, with a major thanks to his public behavior inciting this decision. All of these circumstances pointed to only one thing at the time: that Tom Cruise was literally on the verge of losing his career.

But then came Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder in the picture, and the rest was all history.


Written by Mahin Sultan

Articles Published: 1287

Mahin Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. With more than a year's worth of experience in her field, she has explored and attained a deep understanding of numerous topics in various niches, mostly entertainment.

An all-things-good enthusiast, Mahin is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Commerce, and her love for entertainment has given her a solid foundation of reporting in the same field. Besides being a foodie, she loves to write and spends her free time either with her nose buried in a good book or binging on COD or K-dramas, anime, new movies, and TV serials (the awesome ones, obviously).

So far, Mahin's professional portfolio has 1,000+ articles written on various niches, including Entertainment, Health and wellbeing, and Fashion and trends, among others.