2002 Tom Cruise interview: talks Minority Report

It’s a partnership made in Hollywood heaven: box office royalty Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, participating in the new film “Minority Report.” Cruise plays a Washington cop in the futuristic film noir, which is directed by Spielberg and based on a Philip K. Dick short story. – CNN

CNN anchor Bill Hemmer talked with Cruise about the film in an interview that aired on Tuesday’s “American Morning.”

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise stars in a new science fiction thriller. It’s called “Minority Report.” It will be out in theaters across the country this weekend, on Friday in fact.

I talked with Tom about a week ago, and he told me how much of a thrill it was for him, not only to work with Steven Spielberg, who he considers a very close friend, but also the premise of the movie … about police being able to detect crimes before they take place.

HEMMER: I understand that you came up with the short story, or saw it first, anyway, and passed it on to Steven Spielberg.


HEMMER: So you recruited him?

CRUISE: You know, Steven likes to say, I’m a director; I’m a director for hire. But you know, when you’re going to send something to Steven [it gives you pause]. I’ve been wanting to work with him — who doesn’t want to work with Steven Spielberg? — and so I sent it to him.

He was a friend of mine, and it’s also … you get a little nervous before you send something like that. I was waiting going, man, what does he think, what does he think? I thought he probably won’t be interested, and then he called and said, “Yes, I want to do this.”

HEMMER: So Tom Cruise gets nervous about whether or not he has an idea that Steven Spielberg will even accept …

CRUISE: Sure, because I thought it would be fantastic. I thought of him working on this, and he’s a brilliant filmmaker and I want to work with him, and of course, you know, it means a lot to me.

HEMMER: What’s he like on set?

CRUISE: He’s amazing.

HEMMER: Really? How so?

CRUISE: He’s Michael Jordan. He’s Joe Montana. He’s Gretzky. He’s …

HEMMER: Do you know what I said to him? I said, “You strike me as a guy who is laid-back when you’re on location.”

CRUISE: Steven?

HEMMER: He said, “No chance.”

CRUISE: He’s relaxed, but he moves very fast. And he keeps things moving. But as an actor, I never felt rushed. He’s — we used to show up early before the crew, just to walk the sets together.

HEMMER: You guys bounce ideas off each other all the time.

CRUISE: Give and take.

HEMMER: Are you closer now?

CRUISE: Yes, absolutely.

HEMMER: You would do another one with him?

CRUISE: Oh, please, in a second.

HEMMER: Just to let you know, he said he’d do a dozen more with you.

CRUISE: Good, well, I would do two dozen more with him. He’s — I think of all the wonderful moments that I’ve had in the cinema, and also years later looking at the cassettes and DVDs of his films, he is the great storyteller. And I think what he did with this was magnificent. … He just — you know this is Steven Spielberg movie, start to finish. … To be inside when he’s coming up with — up with the ideas and to be part of that and see his imagination and how it works, that is a great pleasure.

HEMMER: There are messages in [“Minority Report”] that people are picking up on, about things like technology, things like Big Brother. And I’m curious to know your perspective on whether or not too much technology is a bad thing.

CRUISE: I think [if technology is] used in a way that is not responsible, [that] is a bad thing. I think technology and where it is going inevitable, and there’s great benefits that can help an individual in society at large. But … if it’s not used properly, if it’s not used in responsible manner and if people aren’t held responsible for what they do, then it’s a problem.

HEMMER: How about this, though? Because you kind of send a mixed message in the movie. No murders in six years? You would think in Washington, D.C. …

CRUISE: With the short story, it’s a tug. No murders in the future, but you see — I don’t want to give story away — but you want to see what happens. You think it’s a good thing, but it reveals the other side of it when used in a way that’s not responsible. So it is a dilemma.

HEMMER: Do you have a fascination with the future?

CRUISE: Yes. I’m a gadget guy. I like gadgets. I want to know. I loved the information that Steven and [screenwriter] Scott Frank got from the scientists [they interviewed] to say what does the future look like? What does it hold for us? That’s why Steven didn’t make the story take place 500 years from now. It’s 50 years from now.

These things are happening right now. We have cameras in the city that are watching people. We have, you know, where people go and surf the Net, and yet there’s someone watching them and taking notes on the sites they go to, what they buy, so they’re doing character profiles on them. It’s happening to us right now.


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