I’ve always thought Tom Cruise had only two facial expressions. First, there’s the Intense Stare, which suggests he’s struggling with moral torment, or perhaps trying to add up two large sums.
I recently read he suffered from dyslexia as a child, so now I realise he’s probably just still having trouble with his cue cards.
Tom’s other look is the Manic Grin, which he employs at regular intervals to startling effect.
Whenever I see it I can’t help but think of the obligatory scene in any ape documentary, when the head ape bares his teeth to the others as a sign of dominance, as if to say, You’re on my turf now. I think you should take a tour of our Scientology celebrity centre.
Now, of course, Tom has expanded his repertoire to include the Happy Face, which pops up every time he’s asked about fianc? Katie Holmes. I’m so happy. I’m just really very, very happy.
On close inspection, it’s not dissimilar to the Grin, although it now comes with the Happy Dance, which is less alpha ape, more organ grinder’s monkey.
He did it on Oprah a while back and he did it again on Rove Live this week.
The latter was a sobering moment, not just because he looked like an idiot -“ the audience actually groaned in embarrassment. His attempt at self-parody fell flatter than Pauline Hanson’s singing voice. I almost felt sorry for him.
The problem with Tom is, sympathy is impossible. Just when I was wavering and considering that maybe, just maybe, he’s a misunderstood victim of the celebrity machine, he says of his children, They’re great people. Great people? They’re 10 and 12 years old! I wonder if he thought he was being asked about his publicity agents.
The most remarkable element of Tom’s career is the recent shift in public opinion.
It seems like only yesterday you couldn’t even think anything unsavoury about him without being slapped with a lawsuit.
Now, he’s the most ridiculed man on the planet. A punching bag with perfect teeth. He’s had water squirted in his face by a fake reporter and had other celebrities doing the Crazy Tom dance for audience laughs.
The emperor has no clothes, it seems.