Tom sat down for a candid and lengthy Q&A that appears in the magazine’s June issue on newsstands May 18. Check out the full interview below.
PLAYBOY: After singing 1980s rock anthems in front of a wild crowd in Rock of Ages, is it more fun to be Tom Cruise or Bruce Springsteen?
For Bruce, I’m sure it’s more fun to be Bruce. I like being me because making movies is all I ever wanted to do. But when I look at Bono, Springsteen, Bon Jovi or Axl Rose and hear the songs they wrote and how they perform them and the life they have, I have a greater appreciation. It takes so much work to get to that level.
PLAYBOY: It’s hard to take your character that seriously. He’s prone to theatrics, and his only real friend is a baboon.
He’s a slave to rock and roll. When he’s onstage, he gives it everything. Off it, he’s looking for soulful moments in odd ways, and that’s where the comedy comes in. We had this sweet love song, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” and I’m falling in love with this girl. But it’s a sex scene, and that’s where it has to be funny, because it’s rock and roll. I read all this stuff about Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Axl Rose, Motley Crue and the groupies. My character has them, but suddenly there’s this sweet scene that changes everything. If it works, people will laugh and it’ll be emotional. This hard-rock guy is singing this romantic duet, falling in love with this woman. But since it’s rock and roll, he’s singing most of it to her backside.
PLAYBOY: And yet you constantly seem to be proving things to others.
Here’s the thing about competition. I don’t think that wanting to do my best qualifies as that. I love making movies. Whether it’s making a film or raising my children, personally I’m striving to do the right things and to learn. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person, and when I become interested in something, I give it my all. In life, I always wanted adventures and to learn different fields of endeavor. The great thing about being an actor is I’ve gotten to see what a fighter pilot’s life is like and a race car driver’s. I’ve gotten to fly airplanes, race cars, learn about motorcycles. In Rock of Ages I studied music, learned how to sing and see it from a singer’s vantage point. I carry those interests and lessons through my own life. I guess I am always striving to be competent. But when it comes to working with other actors or releasing movies, I don’t feel competitive. It’s a group effort.
PLAYBOY: The press makes much of your marriage to Katie Holmes. How does she respond?
She is an extraordinary person, and if you spent five minutes with her, you’d see it. Everything she does, she does with this beautiful creativity. When she becomes interested in something, she doesn’t talk about it, she does it. One week I said to her, “You’ve been up in the middle of the night. Is everything okay?” She smiled and then threw this thing on my desk and said, “I wrote this script.” She wanted to try it, and she did. She wanted to try designing clothes, and now her line is wonderful and, to me, an example of how she just creates beautiful things in her life. She has a voice and warmth as an artist, as a mother. She’s funny and charming, and when she walks into the room, I just feel better. I’m a romantic. I like doing things like creating romantic dinners, and she enjoys that. I don’t know what to say—I’m just happy, and I have been since the moment I met her. What we have is very special.
You can read the full interview HERE.