Tom Cruise has cemented a remarkable acting career with his action flicks which are not to be underestimated. He has taken the lead on doing action stunts all by himself majorly and has done some of the most difficult stunts ever. Given that his filmography is filled with action roles, his dramatic roles have given quite a significant push for him to further rise in the industry.
One such role was his Oscar-nominated portrayal of Sergeant Ron Kovic which he played in the 1989 film, Born on the Fourth of July. Given that he gained acclaim for that film, he had gone to extreme lengths to give his best. However, the director had put in another request to enhance his performance.
Born on the Fourth of July Director Wanted Tom Cruise Paralyzed!
Tom Cruise played the role of paralyzed Vietnam vet and activist, Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July which was highly acclaimed by film critics.
As per Andrew Morton’s written biography, Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography, film director, Oliver Stone during the pre-production phase proposed an idea to make his role more impacting. Stone suggested that the actor would be injected with a chemical drug that would have left them temporarily paralyzed thus giving more depth to his role.
However, the insurance company responsible for the film rejected the idea as it was believed that the drug would have caused permanent issues which would have jeopardized Cruise’s entire career. While the idea was shut down, he did his best to bring out the depth it needed leading him to get his first Oscar nomination.
Tom Cruise Spent a Year Preparing for Ron Kovic Role
It was reported that the actor spent a year completely immersing himself in his character. His character joined the United States Marines and went to Vietnam, which is how he get wounded and returned in a wheelchair.
Cruise knew his role was quite difficult to execute given he had never done something like that before, he did what he does best, research.
He visited several veterans’ hospitals and gained knowledge through books about the Vietnam War as per Los Angeles Times. He even wheeled with real-life Kovic to get fully comfortable with the chair. It was reported that the duo was once asked to leave a store as their wheelchairs were leaving marks on the floor.
He even stayed in his character while going to studio meetings. He took his role quite seriously that the director had to remind him to start enjoying his life after the shooting wrapped up. Their great efforts eventually helped the film in grossing over $162 million worldwide
The Born on the Fourth of July is available to watch on Netflix.