Thomas Cruise “Tom” Mapother IV (born July 3, 1962) is an American actor and producer.
The Work Ethic
Interviewer: “Did you learn a bit of German for the part?” Cruise: “I learnt German.”
That was for Valkyrie. For The Color of Money, Cruise played pool for 12 hours a day to prep. “Being super-informed bestows subtle confidence,” says career consultant and strategist, Sherridan Hughes. “Everyone else will feel at ease working with you and for you. You’re more flexible and adaptable than your peers because whatever happens, you’ve covered it.” Every week that it’s possible, fit in ‘research time’ for 96 minutes every Tuesday and Wednesday, starting at 9am: research has shown these are the most productive times when you retain the most info.
“Generate crib cards for the subjects that matter most in your business and add to them with digestible bullet points that you can reference at key moments. “It’ll keep brain space free,” adds Hughes. “A good rule: research something as if you were going for an initial, 20-minute interview about it. This stops you going too in depth but covers the key bases.” Think Rain Man in a hurry.
The Tom Cruise Body
When asked how he stays young, Cruise responded: “Sea-kayaking, caving… fencing, treadmill, weights… rock-climbing, hiking… I jog… I do so many different activities.”
Cruise doesn’t just have the body of a man half his age – he moves like one (remember the Mission Impossible: II opening scene?). Variety is the secret for those of us for whom David Beckham isn’t a training buddy. “How we move conveys energy and youth – not how buff we are,” says Anne Elliott, a sports scientist at Middlesex University.
“Regularly switching up cardio and strength work with something like fencing or climbing – like Cruise – maintains flexibility and balance: the first two things that give your age away.” Drop unusual practices into your workout, such as one-armed barbell presses – it’ll help unearth your physical weak spots. You can then work on them which will mean you maintain a more youthfully functioning body overall.
“I don’t invalidate it when I can’t do something…I say, ‘that’s interesting’ and go with it. It’s from there you get your energy.”
Failures don’t floor Cruise; he uses them to reboot momentum and uncover more of his personal skill set. “Never avoid looking at why something went wrong – list all the reasons why it did as soon as you can,” says clinical psychologist Dr Abigael San. It could be a relationship or weight loss plan as much as the movie Vanilla Sky. “Failure leads to inaction. Planning goals as soon as possible restores a feeling of power and control. If you didn’t get a promotion, do all you can to find out why.”
Write notes in a special document or folder on your computer, analysing everything in detail. “Physicalising the reasons snaps us out of negativity. Now consider three things you can do immediately with this situation.” Set yourself a deadline of three months to action what you come up with. “Each little success along the way – a new responsibility at work; a date with somebody new – will reframe that initial ‘fail’ as a catalyst to self-development.”
The Tom Cruise Diet
Recent reports have Cruise on a Beckham-devised diet consisting of a just 1200 calories, grilled foods and a noticeable absence of carbohydrate.
It doesn’t sound nearly enough fuel for the ultra-active short stack, but it’s probably his youth elixir. Carbs generate insulin – an ageing hormone, says nutritional scientist Dr Paul Clayton, author of Health Defence. “They become glucose molecules in the body, damaging muscle and skin tissues which causes ageing.” Clayton recommends fermentable carbs like legumes and pulses, which produce less insulin than digestible carbs like grains and spuds. If you must have your cake, eat it all in one meal only; a single insulin surge is less damaging than regular carb-snacking.
Chronic tissue inflammation also speeds up ageing. “Avoid it by cooking at low temperatures (ie grilling), and increase anti-inflammatory nutrients like flavonoids (from onions, say, or citrus fruits), isoflavones (from soy) and 1316 beta-glucan (found in brewer’s yeast supplements). Cue that youthful Cruise appearance: you’ll have her – hell, everyone – at hello.