On Tom Cruise and Terrible Comparisons

Posted: November 9, 2013 in Film, Music, and Television
Tags: ,

So I read the reports from multiple sources that Tom Cruise compared his job as an actor to fighting in Afghanistan. Further investigation revealed that his lawyer actually made the comparison, talking about the amount of time the actor took away from his family to work on location shots. Tom Cruise, rather than telling his lawyer to curb the hyperbole, agreed with the comparison, calling it “brutal.”

Mr. Cruise can still cry me a river.

Deployed troops spend time away from their families to protect our nation. Lots of working class parents also have to spend similar stretches away from their families (among them, my husband) just to keep their families housed and fed. I sincerely doubt Mr. Cruise’s time working on location shots is as important to national security or as essential to keeping his family above the poverty level as the sacrifices these people make.

Some of Tom Cruise’s defenders have pointed out that acting is scary work. It’s true. I’m no stranger to acting myself. Even way off-Broadway repertory theater can be nerve-wracking. However, it’s nowhere near as scary as the prospect of not being able to pay the bills, and it’s absolutely nothing compared to looking death in the eye.

I got PTSD from a car crash. A real crash, involving no special effects, stunt cars, or professional stunt drivers. A real crash causing real and long lasting injuries. A real crash that- at the time- I did not expect to survive. But while my friends who’ve served in the armed forces have proven very understanding and instrumental in helping me cope, I would never compare my experience to theirs. Mine was a one-time incident. They’ve seen and been through much worse, living in daily fear for their lives and souls and those of their brothers and sisters in arms.

Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is just a movie actor in desperate need of some perspective.

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