The new issue of Empire magazine, on sale this Thursday, features the usual deluge of movie world exclusives – among them, this never-before-seen look at Tom, in his forthcoming crime thriller American Made.
The new movie is a (relatively) smaller story about Barry Seal, a real-life unlikely drug smuggler working for the CIA, no world-invading aliens in sight. But as his director Doug Liman explains in the new Empire, despite a smaller scale than their last collaboration in Edge Of Tomorrow, this is no quiet affair.
“Neither Tom nor I were interested in making a dry biopic,” says Liman. “Barry’s second wife collaborated and opened her files, but we cherry-picked the details we liked; Tom and I wanted to create our own version of Barry Seal. For us it was how to tell the most exciting story.”
Shooting the movie was a gonzo adventure in itself. Cruise is famed for his DIY stunts, and American Made offered him a rare chance to fly a plane solo on film for real. The idea gave producers heart palpitations, but Cruise and Liman got their way. “We had to go to some exotic locations in South America,” chuckles Liman. “We flew three hours across uninhabited rainforest to a Colombian military airstrip at the edge of rebel-controlled territory. It was so remote that Tom and I slept in tents and foraged for wood to make camp fires at night.”