This article is from the archive of our partner .

In a moment that could've been scripted for a Cameron Crowe film, the writer and director got a pep-talk from Tom Cruise during a long drive to quit moping after Elizabethtown bombed, according to a New York Times profile. After his 2005 movie starring Orlando Bloom as a man whose life is devastated after making a faulty sneaker debuted poorly, Crowe was understandably distraught: "I wasn’t in a fetal position, but yeah, I was blue," he told The Times's Leah Rozen. But then Tom Cruise arrived:

"I was deep in the writing cave," Mr. Crowe recalled, "and he said: ‘Hey man, you need to be directing. You’re forgetting the joy, the adrenaline.’ He’s, like, ‘Let’s go for a drive.’"

The drive took them to the nearby set in Los Angeles of Knocked Up, where the writer and director Judd Apatow was trading punch lines with Seth Rogen and the film crew. Mr. Cruise introduced Mr. Crowe to Mr. Apatow, who joked that he’d been stealing for years from Say Anything, the sharp-witted teen comedy that first established Mr. Crowe as a director in 1989.

"Cruise sidles up to me and goes: ‘See? Get out of your house, man, it’s fun,’" Mr. Crowe said. "And that’s when it felt like, yeah, it’s time to direct again."

Ok, so it may not have only just been Tom Cruise's convincing that got Cameron Crowe back in the director's chair. It may have also been annoying to see Judd Apatow having so much fun making movies that riffed on his jokes.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to