Daily Mail

Why even a Top Gun fly-past couldn’t tempt Tom to the Oscars


DESPITE organising a Top Gun style fly-past by two U.S. Navy fighter jets, which roared over the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood at the start of the night, the Academy could not tempt Tom Cruise to their main event.

The planes came from the Flying Eagles squadron at a nearby military airbase, and a spokesman for the Academy later said: ‘A huge thank you to the U.S. navy for helping execute a once-in-alifetime Oscars opening.’

It likely cost them nothing, but was a massive favour nonetheles­s — not to mention the biggest plug imaginable for Top Gun: Maverick.

And yet, as the dust settles for another year, Cruise’s absence from the show, and the reasons behind it, are still being mulled.

Theories that he couldn’t stand to be in the same room as ex-wife Nicole Kidman are appealingl­y simple, but probably ‘hogwash’.

Most now believe that Cruise was disappoint­ed when, despite a nomination, it was clear that Academy members just weren’t voting for Top Gun in sufficient numbers for a win.

I also hear talk that he was wary of being embarrasse­d in public by host Jimmy Kimmel, though that seems unlikely. The comedian’s executive producer Molly McNearney said: ‘Jimmy loves Tom! Tom had just been on the show the week before, and they talked about seeing each other. Jimmy was really disappoint­ed he didn’t come.’

Cruise also heard a rumour that writer and actor Judd Apatow,

who made jokes at his expense at the DGA Awards a few days before, was helping Kimmel.

In fact, McNearney said Apatow was among the trusted group Kimmel sent the monologue to for vetting — with a brief to say, honestly, if the jokes worked.

‘We had a three-minute chunk of the monologue dedicated to Tom Cruise, honouring him and his role in reviving the movie industry,’ she insisted. ‘We were so disappoint­ed when we learned a few days before that he wouldn’t be there. Jimmy wanted to celebrate him.’

In the end, Kimmel quipped that the shirtless volleyball sequence in Top Gun 2 was ‘L. Ron Hubba Hubba’ — a joke which Scientolog­ist Cruise would certainly not have appreciate­d.

 ?? ?? Missed: Cruise in Top Gun and, inset, ex-wife Nicole Kidman
Missed: Cruise in Top Gun and, inset, ex-wife Nicole Kidman

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