Valkyrie, Tom Cruise’s latest film, has proven to be a bit tricky in terms of promotion, having gotten some bad press prior to its release on Christmas Day. Besides the film’s touchy subject of the rarely recalled German resistance against Adolf Hitler, the film is also touted as Cruise’s comeback vehicle—quite a tall order considering Cruise’s controversial behavior in recent years. Cruise, however, remains steadfast and enthusiastic during the film’s promotion.
“It’s nice to be able to have people talk about the film, as opposed to us reading about the film,” Cruise insists. “It is what it is. And I understand it. I do understand it.”
Much controversy has occurred throughout Valkyrie’s production. Its release date has undergone several switches, and much mocking and lampooning has circulated online in the form of photographs displaying the similarities between Cruise and Col. Claus Von Stauffenberg, the prospective Hitler assassin Cruise plays in the film. Officials of the German Defense Ministry had also, in one instance, prohibited filming at the Benderblock in Berlin due to Cruise’s staunch belief in Scientology, which Germany does not consider a religion.
Aside from problems with the film, Cruise has had his share of bad publicity since 2005. A seemingly psychotic “couch-jumping” stint on Oprah, a quite uncomfortable interview with Matt Lauer, and the fact that Paramount Pictures dropped him after a 14-year relationship are just some of the monkeys that have been on his back.
Since his stint as a hip-wiggling, potty-mouthed studio head in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, however, for which he got a Golden Globe nomination, Cruise has been trying to redeem his image. He had already cleared the air with both Oprah Winfrey and Matt Lauer, and also put up his very own website.
“I think there is that part of me, there is that spirit of wanting to engage in life,” Cruise goes on, referring to his Valkyrie role. “Here’s a guy who worked under tremendous amounts of pressure, and still could be absolutely clear and lucid about his choices and try to push this and drive this forward.”
Enjoy the pictures from the New York City premiere of “Valkyrie” (December 15).