Alex Stephenson The Tom Cruise Action Vein

Every time Tom Cruise is embroiled in a bout of international intrigue, or in charge of saving the way of the samurai, his fucking forehead vein pops out. And it’s disgusting.

We’ve all seen that viral video of Tom Cruise running to the tune of I Need a Hero, and we all know the Mission: Impossible 3 clip at the end is exceptionally hilarious because it doesn’t seem to end. The Tom Cruise Action Vein is in half of these shots, and if you’ve seen his stellar trenchcoat and briefcase running in The Firm, you will have noticed it there as well. I recently got an email asking if all that running in his movies makes him seem more masculine than he is, but that seems ridiculous.

Tom Cruise has shown in recent years that he is incredibly self-aware (for the record – the Oprah couch jumping incident in 2005 is what lead to the era of self-aware movie stars), and by all accounts now he is an exceptionally nice guy who doesn’t try to convert you to Scientology unless you’re Scarlett Johansson and he’s trying to convince you to take a role in M:I3. So if he’s self-aware, he knows that he runs in every movie. He knows all the stunts he’s done, and he knows which ones resemble his previous work. But since running is often used as a metaphor in movies, it probably means something that one of the biggest movie stars of the last few decades seems to do it constantly.

People that worked with Cruise in the early 1980s often say how they knew he was going to be a star. Many of them thought he was weirdly obsessed with the idea. While he would go have dinner with Matrin Scorsese’s parents after meeting them on the set of The Color of Money, he would also be focused enough to alienate some of his young co-stars on The Outsiders. Profiles have been written about Cruise suggesting that his terrible relationship with his father have lead for him to look for parental relationships, but that’s probably not what he’s running to either. Again, he’s a bit too smart for that. (Plus, that role in Magnolia pretty obviously covered his issues with his father.)

Perhaps his career-centredness is the idea here; he’s not looking of parental figures and alienating his teenage costars. He just wants to succeed in his career, and doesn’t care about whatever it was Matt Dillon did in the early 80s. Perhaps adults get that a little bit more than soon-to-be Hollywood stars in the coke-fueled 80s. Tom Cruise is obviously a hard worker. He produces and stars in movies, and seems to particularly hold a large creative influence on the Mission: Impossible franchise. He does his own stunts, because he’s kind of insane and doesn’t mind swinging around on the exterior of the Burj Khalifa. But whatever he does, he’s going to work as hard as he can to make sure he, and his film, succeed. This might not always happen, but he’ll never stop trying. He’s not running away from anything, nor to anything. He’s running because he just wants it so fucking badly.

Cruise might be crazy, but we could probably learn a thing or two from him.

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