What a difference a month makes.
It was only June 8 that Tom Cruise was on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” happily describing a domestic life with wife Katie Holmes and daughter Suri that seemed idyllic. By the time June was coming to a close, however, Katie Holmes was filing for divorce.
Now, one of the questions everyone is asking is: Was Tom Cruise blindsided? We have no definitive answer on that subject, but if it were possible to ascertain the truth solely from his demeanor when he appeared on “The Tonight Show,” then the answer would seem to be yes.
Cruise came on the show that night to promote his new movie musical “Rock of Ages,” which was due to open the following Friday, on June 15. And throughout the interview with Jay Leno, Cruise repeatedly made affectionate references to his wife and children (not only to Suri, but to his two other children, who he adopted with ex-wife Nicole Kidman).
We were reminded of this guest-shot for one simple reason: With “The Tonight Show” in repeats all this week, NBC chose to air the Cruise rerun on Thursday night. So, we watched him for the second time, only this time, we watched with the benefit of hindsight. And we were eager to hear what he said when he referred to his family back then, before the divorce filing.
Among other things, Cruise revealed that his family was on his mind when he was in Dubai filming “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” atop the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa.
In the segment, Cruise mentioned his wife and kids when Jay asked the actor, who’s known for performing his own daring movie stunts, if he would ever like to try space travel. “I don’t want to die!” Cruise said. “I’ve got my wife, three kids …”
Then Jay showed a photograph of Cruise perched blithely and unaffectedly on the tiny tip of the Burj Khalifa tower, 2,723 feet above the ground, with no safety harness or restraint of any kind.
“Now, do you show that to your wife?” asked Jay, referring to the photo.
Cruise smiled and replied, “She knows who I am and she likes that. And it was nice because I climbed over the side afterwards and I signed her name and the kids’ names on the side of the thing so that was really fun. And so I took a picture of that.”
In this second portion of their interview, Cruise really did paint a picture of a blissful home life characterized by parties at friends’ homes, and evenings watching movie musicals with “Kate” (as he referred to his wife) and Suri. The subject of musicals came up because the conversation had turned to “Rock of Ages.”
“Kate loves musicals, and Suri loves musicals and I love musicals,” Cruise said. He then told Leno how he and his family were at a friend’s house for a party and the director of the “Hairspray” movie, Adam Shankman, was there. Shankman would go on to direct Cruise in “Rock of Ages.”
“I’d seen ‘Hairspray,’ you know with Suri, about a hundred times,” Cruise said. “You know kids … When they see one thing, you gotta watch it over and over!” he said with a laugh.
Cut to June 28, and his wife is filing papers in New York to get a divorce, amid rumors that she’s also seeking full custody of Suri, the young daughter Tom Cruise enjoyed watching “Hairspray” with so many times.
On July 3, Cruise turned 50. There’s been no news about how he might have celebrated this milestone.