To commemorate the 51st birthday of Thetan Master and extraordinary lover Tom Cruise, we've taken on the enormous task of cobbling together videos of Hollywood's strangest alien just being...normal. Sure, it’s easy to find crazy clips from Scientology videos, Matt Lauer interviews, and Oprah’s couch, but what about the real Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, the private guy who loves cooking spaghetti carbonara, flying planes, and fencing? What’s that guy doing tonight? Probably the same thing the rest of us would do on our first birthday after a public and messy divorce: enjoying a quiet normal night in.
So happy birthday, Tom, the normalest guy of them all. These are for you.
Tom Cruise Just Loves To Dance (1981)
In this Entertainment Tonight interview from 1981 or 1982, Cruise, gaining fame from his roles in Endless Love and Taps, takes his original nose and his man scarf for a stroll on the red carpet. Here he offers a surprisingly sincere and normal “I just love to dance.” Who doesn’t?
Tom Cruise Just Wishes He Had Brothers (1983)
In a September 30, 1983 appearance on the Merv Griffin Show (post-Risky Business but pre-All The Right Moves), Cruise tells the Great American Normal Sibling Story: he has three sisters, he wished they were brothers, but he loves them so much now. Just like you and your sisters.
Tom Cruise Just Sees Weakness When He Looks Into The Mirror (1984)
Gossip columnist and TV personality Rona Barrett asks Cruise in 1984 what he saw in the mirror growing up. More specifically, she asks him whether or not he thought he had all the physical “accoutrements that were necessary in order to possibly think of an acting career in films.” Like any normal person, he’s horrified by the question and responds in a normal way.
Tom Cruise Just Gets Sheepish On Camera (1986)
The success of Top Gun in 1986 was all Cruise needed to land an interview with Jimmy Carter—not that Jimmy Carter—but this Jimmy Carter. Cruise, like a patient normal person, looks around awkwardly as Carter barks directions to the camera operators.
Tom Cruise Just Tolerates Oprah’s Wet Pants Reference (1988)
It couldn’t have been easy to be Cruise in 1988. Promoting Cocktail, Rain Man, and filming Born on the 4th of July must have been exhausting. And then you go on Oprah to talk about your very serious film and she opens with a question about your wet pants. Normal response? Embarrassment.
Tom Cruise Just Likes To Grocery Shop And Watch Movies (1988)
Doing press for Rain Man, Cruise faces prying questions about his personal life and newfound celebrity. He calmly but firmly tells his interviewer he lives a “very normal life” that includes going to the movies, the gas station, and grocery shopping. He does not go to theChateau Marmont for dinner, okay?
Tom Cruise Just Laughs at Dustin Hoffman’s Shriveled Dick (1989)
In this 1989 Danish television joint interview with Dustin Hoffman, Hoffman offers up his “little shriveled peepee” for viewing as Cruise laughs hysterically and slaps his knee. An absolutely normal response to anyone, especially Rain Man, talking about erections.
Tom Cruise Just Knows the Sting of Not Working (1992)
When Jim Whaley asks Cruise in 1992, “Would you wait three years or however long it took to get the next right script?” a pleasant Cruise tells him, very normally, “you can always find something and create it and make it, you know, what you want.” Cruise, like all Americans, knows jobs are sometimes shitty and that unemployment can be "ouch."
Tom Cruise Just Enjoys Rosie O'Donnell (1998)
In the 1990s, Cruise had a perfectly normal relationship with Rosie O’Donnell, playing along with her show’s “My Tommy” charade for years. In a sweet and normal gesture of friendship and fun—now relegated to the What the fucking fuck? annals of television history—it made for some very normal viewing.
Tom Cruise Just Wants the Soup and the Salad (2013)
And in case this last year of Tom Cruise news has taught you anything, Cruise wants you to forget. So this April, he went on Jimmy Kimmel and, while being a great sport and a totally normal dude, dramatically reenacts the most normal question of them of them all: “Is there way to get the soup and the salad?
TOP IMAGE: Sam Woolley