Tom Cruise

Vanilla Sky

Interviewed by Film 2002

The character you play, David Aames, is a high-flying New Yorker, leading a privileged but somewhat self-centred life...

When you look at the character in the beginning you see someone who has everything and yet he's running through Times Square, alone, looking for answers. There are notice boards and signs calling out to him, giving him solutions on life and loneliness. There's this trend towards pop culture which is so prominent in today's times. The film really explores how people are affected by modern society, the choices they make, and the consequences.

The film is very unusual. Was it difficult to get the Hollywood studios to agree to make a film like this?

No, not really. Fortunately that's one of the freedoms that I have. They didn't put any demands on the movie and stayed away from us while we were making it. It was such a luxury. Everyone came on board without even reading the script because they trusted Cameron [Crowe]. The cast really respect him and so do the studios so they gave us the money and let us get on with it.

You exec-produced "The Others" and co-produced "Vanilla Sky" as well as starring in it. That's very hands on...

I started to produce pictures because I've been in so many and I just love making movies. I like to be fully involved in each movie I do whether I'm starring in it or producing it. I look at the rushes every day and discuss the film with the director, throwing in advice if needed. I recognise the importance of every stage of film making and so many things can go wrong. I try to create an environment where the least mistakes can happen. I see them coming up because I've been there, so now it's easier to find solutions and rectify problems.

With the Oscars not too far away, when are we going to see you up there making your acceptance speech?

I've always felt what I do is extraordinary - being able to make these pictures and doing something you love. So, I'll just keep doing it. I love it, I don't do it for the awards.

Steven Spielberg plays a cameo role in "Vanilla Sky" and you've just finished one of his films, "Minority Report". What can you tell us about that?

I can't discuss much of the story at the moment because Steven doesn't want us to, but it's a mystery, action adventure. I've never worked with Steven before so I was very excited about it and jumped at the chance.