It has been exactly 30 years since Tom Cruise — who returns to Cannes in support of Top Gun: Maverick — brought a film to the festival on the French Riviera. This time, the 59-year-old global superstar will be feted with “an exceptional tribute for his lifetime achievements” on May 18, according to fest organizers, which will include “an onstage conversation with journalist Didier Allouch” followed by a screening of the Top Gun sequel, which hits theaters in France on May 25 and in the U.S. two days later.
In 1992, Cruise and his then-wife of less than two years, Nicole Kidman, premiered their film Far and Away — a Ron Howard Western about a pair of Irish immigrants who make their way to Oklahoma in the late 19th century — as part of the fest’s closing night on May 18. The Universal film drew positive remarks from THR, with its critic calling it a “visual splendor. … Cruise is a corker as the scrappy dreamer, while Kidman is well cast as the spirited patrician lass.” (Other reviews were less kind, The Washington Post calling it “cliché clogged.”)
Cruise, then 29, already was a major Hollywood star — Kidman, then 24, far less so — having toplined a string of blockbusters through the 1980s that included Risky Business (1983), Top Gun (1986) and Rain Man (1988). With Kidman at his side, Cruise also presented the Palme d’Or that evening to The Best Intentions, a largely forgotten Swedish film written by Ingmar Bergman that beat out Robert Altman’s The Player and Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct.
Earlier that day, Cruise had refused to answer a reporter’s query about his favorite brand of toothpaste at a news conference. He had more to say to THR, especially on the topic of the L.A. riots, which had unfolded just two weeks prior. “It sickened me,” Cruise said of the Rodney King verdict, which he compared to the plot of his upcoming film, A Few Good Men, to be released in December 1992. “It was the whole issue of the [police’s] job to be highly responsible but taking that too far.”
This story first appeared in the May 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.