In Minority Report opening Friday Tom Cruise plays a fugitive cop who goes incognito to avoid the FBI. Does the Top Gun stud have something to prove by obscuring his handsome mug with scary masks?
"This is the fourth [movie] with a mask," Cruise concedes. "Eyes Wide Shut, Vanilla Sky, Mission Impossible and now this. You know what, I don't think there's any psychological things underneath that. It just happened that the story needed that."
On screen, his MR character uses a special drug to instantly alter his looks but Cruise actually had to do hard time in the makeup chair to ugly himself up. "It's funny," he says. "I really don't like glue on my face. A prosthetic [mask] is fun when you have it on I enjoy that part but with the smell of the glue, trying to get it on is uncomfortable!"
Striving for anonymity in a world full of retinal scanners, Cruise's cop must also have scary surgery to change his eye color. In the story, this meant sacrificing his eyeballs to have them replaced by someone else's! Natch, the sight of Cruise's eyelids being pried open caused much squirming in the seats at a recent preview screening.
"That was my eye that was being hooked up like that," he insists. "They put numbing drops in my eyes and I came on the set and couldn't see. My eyes were blurry, so they sat me down and opened my eyes." Yikes! Couldn't Cruise have allowed a stunt double or mannequin to take his place? "That's no fun!" he laughs. "I don't want to sit in my trailer. I want to work! I want to be there!"
Fortunately, he kept his real-life peepers, simply simulating the switcheroo by wearing contact lenses. How was life with brown eyes for the hazel-eyed star? "It was great, actually," Cruise enthuses. "I didn't have to wear sunglasses. I've got very sensitive eyes under hot lights. I squint a lot. But they made these lenses so they were like sunglasses. I dug it!"