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Top Gun: Maverick May Be Crushing It With Audiences, But Mickey Rourke Has Some Not-So-Nice Things To Say About Tom Cruise's Acting

Top Gun: Maverick has blown away all expectations by not simply being a box office success but an absolute smash. The movie has grossed over $1 billion at the global box office and put Tom Cruise back on top as one of the biggest movie stars in the world. However, one former Academy Award nominee is far from impressed and Mickey Rourke isn’t hiding how he feels.

Appearing on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Mickey Rourke was asked what he thought of Top Gun: Maverick’s current success and the Iron Man 2 star, who has previously been critical of Marvel movies for what he also perceives as a lack of acting, made it clear that he’s not a Tom Cruise fan. He called the actor “irrelevant” and said that Cruise isn’t the sort of actor he would aspire to be. Rourke said…

That doesn’t mean shit to me. The guy’s been doing the same effing part for 35 years. I got no respect for that. Really. I don’t care about money and power. I care about when I watch Al Pacino work and Chris Walken and DeNiro’s early work. Richard Harris’ work. Ray Winstone’s work. That’s the kind of actor I want to be… like Brando back in the day. A lot of guys that just tried to stretch as actors.

It’s a criticism that has been said about a lot of actors, not just Tom Cruise, that they don’t really act in their movies, but play themselves, or slightly different versions of an on screen persona. It’s not exactly a stretch to say that Tom Cruise often plays characters that are similar. One can be critical of Cruise for that. There are other actors, like Daniel Day Lewis or Gary Oldman, who are known for transforming into very different characters for very different movies,

One can also be critical of the audience, who clearly likes to see him playing those sorts of characters. When Cruise does branch out and play more diverse sorts of roles, and he certainly has done that, they don’t always get the recognition of the audience. Studios are less likely to spend money on movies that have Tom Cruise playing roles outside of the action hero if those roles don’t make money.

Certainly, we’ll be see Tom Cruise play the “same role” again in the coming months, as he has a pair of Mission: Impossible movies on the way, so he’ll be playing literally the same role he has played a half dozen times before. After that, we’ll have to see. One assumes that the action movie roles will start to slow down at some point, Cruise is 60-years-old after all, but it doesn’t seem likely Tom Cruise will retire from acting when that happens, so maybe we will start to see a more diverse set of performances from him. Maybe it will be enough to impress the doubters. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.