Signaling a new era of co-operation between Bollywood and Hollywood, Hollywood star Tom Cruise was Sunday accorded a red carpet treatment at a special pre-release screening of his forthcoming movie “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, over a fortnight before its global release Dec 21.
Wearing a blue shirt and jeans, keeping in mind Mumbai’s warm weather, Cruise, 49, was at his charismatic best, even as his host and co-star, Anil Kapoor, beamed with pride at the Imax Cinema in Wadala in central Mumbai.
When Cruise, Patton and Kapoor – who plays telecom tycoon Brij Nath in the film arrived, they were throatily cheered by the gathering.
Many carried posters with “We Love You, Tom Cruise,” and “Welcome to Mumbai, Tom Cruise,” which Cruise happily signed.
Cruise and co-star Paula Patton spent nearly two hours wowing and directly interacting with their fans, happily signing autographs, accepting their good wishes for the movie, which nearly 1,500 of them watched.
“I have wanted to come here all my life. I kept telling Anil, a great actor and an incredible host, ‘I promise you I will come to India’. Yesterday when we were at the Taj Mahal, I told him ‘You have to pinch me. I can’t believe I am here’,” said a smiling Cruise.
Besides Budapest, Moscow and Dubai, Mumbai is one of the cities where parts of the film have been shot, though much of the location has been recreated in Dubai and Vancouver.
Asked about his experience in India, Cruise said he met Kapoor and became friends with him when he gave away the Golden Globe Award to the “Slumdog Millionaire” team, which included the Indian actor.
At the time, Kapoor invited him to India, and Cruise accepted it, promising to visit at some point.
Asked Whether he was familiar with Indian cinema, Cruise said: “Yes, I know some of them. You make so many movies. I don’t know all of them. But, you have made many great films, and have great film-makers and actors here.”
Co-star Patton appeared sharper when she quickly named ‘Aishwarya Rai’ when asked what stars she was familiar with, and mentioned “Monsoon Wedding” as her favourite Indian movie.
“This is the first time a top Hollywood star and producer not only screened his forthcoming movie for an Indian audience pre-release, but remained personally present to interact with his fans,” said an official from the host team.
Referring to the film in whih he plays an IMF agent Ethan Hunt accused of a terrorist bombing in the Kremlin, leading to US-Russia tension, Cruise said he was excited working the movie’s director, Brad Bird.
In the traditional hallmark of the MI franchise, the latest one provides ultra-high adrenaline action supported by a racy script that keeps the viewer on the edge of the seat.
Among the highlights in MIGP is a breath-taking stunt by Hunt (Cruise) atop the Burj al-Khalifa, the world’s tallest building in Dubai.
Asked to comment what went through his mind while doing the stunt, Cruise laughed: “I am not afraid of heights… I am scared of falling.”
Whether his family – actress Katie Holmes and daughter Suri – are concerned about the intense action in all the MI films, Cruise said: “They know who I am and what I do. I have always done things like these my whole life. They know I want to entertain an audience. I call them and say – ‘Do not worry’ – They know, understand and appreciate my dedication, and they understand.”
“I always feel that what I can do that I would be excited, and the my audience would be excited,” Cruise said, asked what kind of challenges a top Hollywood star like him encountered.
Also present on the red carpet was Kapoor’s vivacious daughter, actress Sonam, accompanied by actor Neil Nitin Mukesh and Indian film director duo Abbas-Mustan Burmawallah, for promoting their new film “Players,” due for release early next January.