No, Tom Cruise Did Not Compare Acting to Serving in Afghanistan

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Does Tom Cruise think being a movie star is tougher than serving in Afghanistan? No, he does not. Tom Cruise may be a vaguely delusional Scientologist who has girlfriends go through an audition process, but he's not that separated from reality. 

TMZ first accused Cruise of comparing filming a movie to a tour in Afghanistan on Saturday. The quotes came from legal documents related to a $50 million libel suit against a publishing company over accusations Cruise abandoned his daughter Suri after his divorce from Katie Holmes. "That's what it feels like," Cruise said, referring to the Afghanistan comparison. "And certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal."

But we now know the truth behind this ridiculous rumor thanks to CNN's Jake Tapper. The accusations originate from a deposition in the libel suit. When you look at the entire exchange between Cruise and the opposing counsel, you can see where he was taken out of conext. Lawyers for the tabloid were grilling Cruise about a letter responding to accusations of abandonment from one of his attorneys, Aaron J Moss, which read: "But the truth, as you know, is that Mr. Cruise is a devoted father, who simply happens to be working in London on film. By your reasoning, any actor who is shooting on location in a foreign country could be charged with child abandonment, as could all of the mothers and fathers serving overseas in the military." Here's the relevant exchange with Cruise: 

"Now your counsel has publicly equated your absence from Suri for these extended periods of time as being analogous to someone fighting in Afghanistan," opposing counsel asks him. "Are you aware of that?"

"I didn't hear the Afghanistan," Cruise replies. "That's what it feels like and certainly on this last movie it was brutal. it was brutal."

"Do you believe that the situations are the same?" Cruise is asked.

"Oh come on," Cruise says, "you know, we're making a movie."

Cruise says making a movie is tough, yes, but he also makes clear it's not same as serving in the military. The situation resembles Harry Reid's alleged slight against kids with cancer during the government shutdown. Both scandals started when isolate, potentially damaging remarks were removed entirely from their context. 

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