His childhood was filled with pain and neglect from his father, being far from the childhood you would think of a future star.
Over the course of around three decades, Tom Cruise has grown into an iconic actor who made a mark on the big screen with some of Hollywood's most successful films. But beneath the surface, beneath the veneer of a man who runs away from explosions and fights off the bad guys, he has a warm heart and a loving who's lived through some of the most tragic experiences a person can go through.
He was born as a son of an abusive father who neglected his needs. According to ABC News, he described his father as "bully and a coward -- the person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you... It was a great lesson in my life, how he'd lull you in, make you feel safe and then, bang!" Growing up with an unloving father would have been one of the most painful experiences that marked his childhood.
Though his father was abusive, Cruise knew not to let the negativity seep into his own personality. "For me it was like, 'There's something wrong with this guy. Don't trust him. Be careful around him.' There's that anxiety," he said. His father was no longer an active part of his life from the age of 12.
Through it all, Cruise had no proper chance to make friends that could push him through the pain. "I had no really close friend," he said. "I was always the new kid with the wrong shoes, the wrong accent. I didn't have a friend to share things with and confide in." Without the company of friends, it meant that he had to go through all his troubles alone.
Longlasting friendships weren't part of his childhood, and being bullied didn't make things easier for him. "So many times the big bully comes up, pushes me," he said. "Your heart's pounding, you sweat, and you feel like you're going to vomit. I don't like bullies."
He had to carry the burden of a heavy 'label' that made him question whether he was normal or not. "The school took me to a psychiatrist to get tested. They said, 'Oh, he's dyslexic.' I'm labelled. It instantly put me into confusion," he said. "It was an absolute affront to my dignity," he said. "I remember thinking, I've got to figure this out. What's normal? Am I normal? Who's to say what's normal? I didn't understand what 'normal' is. It still doesn't make sense."
He was made to jump from one school to another about 15 times in the span of 12 years. But instead of being weakened by all the troubles of his childhood, he found strength in them and grew tougher. "My childhood was extremely lonely. I was dyslexic and lots of kids make fun of me," Tom Cruise said, according to Dyslexia-Reading-Well.com. "That experience made me tough inside because you learn to quietly accept ridicule."
Things started turning around after he injured his left knee during his time on the high school wrestling team. Because that injury led him to audition for the production of Guys and Dolls in school, according to Best Life. His teachers started seeing that he was full of talent when it came to acting. But Tom Cruise set out on becoming a priest when he was a teenager and even attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati on a church scholarship for a short while.
But when the timing was right, he understood his true calling was acting and he eventually landed a role in the 1981 film Endless Love when he was just 19, as reported by The Famous People. After a few small roles here and there, his role in Risky Business in 1983 was a turning point. And then began a streak of success with Top Gun, The Color of Money, ‘Cocktail, Rain Man, and Born on the Fourth of July, and gradually his careers turned into one of the most successful ones in Hollywood.
People from the industry have only good things to say about him. "He's so sweet and generous," said one of his co-stars, Emily Blunt, as reported by Business Insider, while director Drew Goddard said, I've never met a more enthusiastic, creative, and supportive... He has that energy and to feel that energy directed towards you about you, it's like a drug. It's wonderful."