Tom Cruise turns 59 today. The actor has made his name through action movies, gaining fame and praise for doing most of his own stunts, no matter how dangerous.
But Cruise is a genuinely good actor as is apparent in more dramatic roles. Here are five movies that prove that he is more than an action star:
1. Rain Man
Then a mid-20s actor, Cruise was at the top of his game in Rain Man, though his performance was overshadowed by a peerless Dustin Hoffman. Rain Man is a different kind of road-trip movie. Even today, Rain Man is counted as some of Cruise’s best works.
2. A Few Good Men
A legal drama written by Aaron Sorkin based on his own play, A Few Good Men was also ace writer-director’s Hollywood debut. Even among actors like Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Kiefer Sutherland, Cruise managed to distinguish himself.
3. Eyes Wide Shut
The last film of legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and certainly his most controversial, Eyes Wide Shut tried to explore sexual desire through a psychological lens. Regardless of the quality of the film (the reactions usually fluctuate between two extremes), both Cruise and his co-star Nicole Kidman, then his wife, were compelling in their respective roles.
4. Jerry Maguire
Cruise’s rare romantic-comedy Jerry Maguire was a a heartfelt, inspiring film that worked both as a romcom and as a sports drama.
5. Interview with the Vampire
In this adaptation of popular vampire novelist Anne Rice’s book, Cruise plays the role of Lestat de Lioncourt, a vampire, who gives a grieving Louis de Pointe du Lac, Brad Pitt’s character who has lost his wife and unborn child, an escape from his emotions. He offers to turn him into a vampire. Louis accepts but comes to regret it. Cruise’s role was complex and difficult and he proved more than up to it.