Tom Cruise pushed Todd Field into directing

Todd Field Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is an intense dude, so when he tells you something, you’re probably safe to at least consider it. That’s what Todd Field did when Tom Cruise said that he should shift from acting to directing.

On Variety’s “Awards Circuit Podcast”, Todd Field revealed that on the set of Stanley Kubrick’s final film, 1999’s Eyes Wide Shut, co-star Tom Cruise approached him to give him some career advice. “He [was] basically pushing me onto the fighter jet…I said, ‘oh yeah, I went to film school.’ And he said, ‘no, no…you’re going to DIRECT.’ What are you going to do?” The answer was to direct, and two years later, Field made his directorial debut with the Oscar-nominated In the Bedroom.

At the time of Eyes Wide Shut, Todd Field was focusing strictly on his acting, appearing in movies directed by the likes of Woody Allen, Carl Franklin and Penelope Spheeris. Interestingly, in Eyes Wide Shut, Field played Nick Nightingale, who left one unfulfilling profession to pursue a more creative passion.

While Tom Cruise nudged Todd Field towards the director’s chair, Field couldn’t have taken him too seriously–he has only helmed three films in over 20 years. His sophomore effort, Little Children, came in 2006, while his long-awaited third film, Tár, hit theaters in October. The wait seems to be worth it, as it not only has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, but our own Chris Bumbray gave a “perfecto-mundo” 10/10, calling it a “masterpiece that will stand the test of time even if it goes under-appreciated now. It’s one of the great movies of our era.”

Todd Field was slated to helm an adaptation of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City–which juxtaposes the Chicago’s World Fair with the crimes of serial killer H.H. Holmes–starring Keanu Reeves, but has since dropped out. With that, here’s hoping it’s not another 16 years until his next film.

Source: Variety

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.