Tom Cruise has been a huge action movie star for decades, but his biggest role may have been when he took a turn for the dramatic in Jerry Maguire. It turns out, some tried to talk director Cameron Crowe out of casting Cruise. It seems that even in 1996 Tom Crusie had a reputation for being an actor who took control of the movies he starred in, and Crowe's friends were afraid the director would lose control of the project if he cast the Top Gun star. According to Crowe...
Your friends take you aside and say, 'If Tom Cruise says yes, you lose your power. You can't do a thing. It just becomes a freight train that's out of control, and it's a Hollywood freight train, you'll be lucky if you see the back of the caboose.'
Cameron Crowe had made his name making smaller movies. His previous directorial efforts to Jerry Maguire were Say Anything... and Singles, both popular films but neither one had the sort of star power that Tom Cruise brings with him. Crowe told Alec Baldwin on his NPR Show Here's the Thing that this is what people were telling him would happen if Tom Cruise, who had been offered the part of the title character, said yes.
However, Cameron Crowe goes on to say that the reality could not have been further from the truth. While Cameron Crowe admits he became apprehensive about working with Tom Cruise, he says that the actor instantly wanted to work with him, rather than take over. Ultimately, while Cruise said he wanted the part, he also wanted to be sure Crowe wanted him in the part.
And you get terrified. And then Tom Cruise calls from England and said, 'I read your script. I hope I'm the right guy for you. Let me come out and read it for you.'
You're like, 'Wait. You're wanna come out and read it?'
'Yeah, why not know if it's right for both of us? Let me read it for you, see if I'm the guy for you'
And he was 'that guy' from the moment he got off the plane.
It's safe to say that Tom Cruise was the guy for the role of Jerry Maguire, as the part earned Cruise his second career Academy Award nomination. It's clear that the pair really enjoyed working together as they would do so again a few years later for Vanilla Sky and Crowe says he hopes to work with Cruise again one day.
Tom Cruise may flex his muscle as a Hollywood leading man when it comes to his desire to do his own stunts, but apparently, that doesn't mean he expects to take charge of every movie.