Eileen Berlin was the representative of Tom Cruise when he was an unknown 18-year-old actor desperately trying to make it big. During the four and a half years they worked together, Berlin was almost like a mother to this extraordinarily talented but troubled young man who would become a Hollywood megastar.
Eileen, now 86, and her late husband, Simon, met Tommy, as they nicknamed him, in 1980 when he was struggling to escape from a dysfunctional home. He was only 14 years old when his mother, Mary Lee, separated from Thomas Cruise Mapother III. In an interview with the American magazine Parade in 2006, the actor said that his father was a “bully and a cowardand added: “He was the kind of person who, if there were problems, would hit you.”
“He told us that he needed us to manage his career and find him a Hollywood agent,” Berlin recalled in statements to the British newspaper. DailyMail. “He signed with us after turning 18.” But Cruise also needed a place to live.. “He was trying to support himself by working as a waiter. He didn’t make enough money to rent a place, so we told him he could move into our apartment. Our son was in college so we gave Tommy his room and when he needed a car he would drive my husband’s blue Cadillac.”, he detailed.
“Tommy had many faces, you see it in the photos”Berlin said in the interview he gave in a building on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side where he gave Cruise a home when he was a penniless, jobless actor. Flipping through dozens of dusty black-and-white photos taken during his first photo shoot, he stated: “There is contempt, arrogance, frustration, charm, sadness. I saw him in all those moods.”
“What I have never seen is a real display of happiness in Tommy”, he added. “He was always very ambitious and determined to be a star. And that made him a perfectionist.”
Berlin said Cruise always had a hot temper so he wasn’t surprised by the actor’s outburst on the set of “Mission: Impossible 7.” In one of his fits of rage, he recalled, the actor threw a birthday gift.
“Tommy had a terrible temper”, he claimed. “He was very angry with his father. He was in a bad mood and he would get angry with a snap of your fingers.”
“I gave him a scrapbook of all his teen mag commercials for his 19th birthday, and he yelled at me, ‘I don’t want to be in teen mags.’ She threw the album at me hard and hit me on the cheek”, he detailed.
The first major role he landed while Eileen’s protégé was as a military cadet in the 1981 film “Taps,” co-starring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn.
Berlin also recalled an incident in which Cruise became enraged after a waitress recognized him during a break from filming at Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania when he met Berlin and her husband for lunch. “Tom told us: ‘Please tell him not to ask me any questions. I’m still in character.’”
He claimed that his controlling nature that dominates his behavior to this day was on full display when he was negotiating his contract for his first box office hit, the comedy “Risky Business” (1983), in which he co-starred with Rebecca De Mornay.
Berlin said Cruise – still a Hollywood novice – ordered him to write 11 demands to the film’s producers. In addition to collecting his salary of USD 75,000 in cash, the actor demanded a first-class plane ticket, accommodation in a five-star hotel and a gym. “He was very self-centered. Everything revolved around him,” Berlin said. “Risky Business” grossed $63 million, more than ten times its budget of $6.2 million
Although he has denied having undergone various plastic surgeries, Berlin said he would be surprised to learn that the actor underwent cosmetic touch-ups. “Tommy has built an aura around him. I believe that he will do whatever it takes to preserve the youthful image of him for as long as possible and will fight anything that gets in his way.”
“Her first photo took an entire day shoot as she posed in different outfits. He was perfectly determined,” he recalled of the first portrait Cruise took of himself to send to prospective agents. Finally, the Golden Globe winner signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the most influential firms in Hollywood.
Berlin recounted that Cruise prepared for the photographic production by parading in his underwear: “We had a wall of mirrors and he would walk around in his little jockey shorts and clenched his fists and flexed his biceps and admired himself.”.
Although the actor is recognized as one of the most attractive men in cinema, he did not always feel like a heartthrob. When he was young, Tom had a complex about his short stature.
“He liked to show off his body. He was very proud of it, but he was worried because he was only 5’7″. He said he wanted some shoes that would lift him up a little bit,” he added.
The last film in which she represented him was “Top Gun”, in which he played a Navy pilot. It was the highest-grossing film of 1986, earning $176 million worldwide.
Cruise and Berlin’s professional relationship ended when he decided to cement his superstar status by moving to Los Angeles. Berlin said Cruise expected her to follow him and was despondent when she told him there was no way he would abandon her family and other clients of hers in New York. They kept in touch for years to come, and over dinner he mentioned that she was researching the teachings of Scientology.
Later, Berlin began to receive invitations to church events. “I think Tommy was the perfect candidate for Scientology.“, said. “He had told me that he didn’t know anyone in Los Angeles and that he needed support. He didn’t believe in therapy, but obviously he needed help and Scientology was there to help him.”
and stated that She wasn’t surprised that all three of her marriages, to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, ended in divorce.
“I was surprised that he had three marriages and that they lasted this long. I wish I had other things in her life. But I don’t think he loves people. He loves what he does. I feel sad for him. He worries me that he is alone. As long as he can work and make his movies, he’ll be fine. What if he ever can’t do that, I don’t know.”, he concluded.
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Tom Cruise’s first representative revealed unknown details of the actor when he had no money or home: “I don’t think he loves people”