When Tom Cruise spoke about missing son Connor on ‘Last Samurai’ set

February 14, 2024
Ed Zwick mentioned in his memoir about how he helped Hollywood star Tom Cruise nail an emotional scene in 'The Last Samurai' by speaking about family.

Filmmaker Ed Zwick mentioned in his memoir about how he helped Hollywood star Tom Cruise nail an emotional scene in ‘The Last Samurai’ by speaking about family.

Cruise tapped into his emotions on ‘The Last Samurai’ by thinking about his son Connor.

In Zwick’s memoir ‘Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years’, the director recalled his observations about Cruise’s soft spots while filming the 2003 period drama.

He said he noticed Cruise was “sweet and attentive” to a young actor in an earlier scene and that he was close to his then 8-year-old son Connor, whom he shares with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, people.com.

Aiming to evoke more natural emotion from Cruise for a scene, Zwick pulled the actor aside and asked him to talk about Connor.

“‘Tell me about your son,’ I said. He looked at me, surprised. I knew Connor had just returned to L.A. and Tom wouldn’t be seeing him for a while. For a moment Tom was quiet. And then he began to talk.”

“It doesn’t matter what he said in those few short moments in the fading light. I watched as he looked inward, and a window seemed to open and his eyes softened,” wrote Zwick.

With the daylight fading, the upcoming take was on a time crunch and Cruise eventually “nailed the scene.”

On their way off set, Zwick remembers making eye contact with the actor and Cruise mouthing to him a “thank you.”

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