Tom Cruise and Global Superstar Jackie Chan Are More Similar Than Fans Realize


When it comes to action movies, fans would immediately think about Tom Cruise and Jackie Chan. No other celebrities would come close to the international recognition that these two actors carry under their belts. On top of that, their unique acting craft and death-defying stunts are only the tip of the iceberg.

While fans would think they are treading different paths in Hollywood, there’s one thing common about Cruise and Chan: both came from nothing, so they strived to change the courses of their lives.

Tom Cruise And Jackie Chan Learned The Art Of Filmmaking On Their Own

In an interview with Mission: Impossible star Tom Cruise via Outstanding Screenplays, the 61-year-old actor revealed how he started his career in Hollywood with nothing to back him up. Cruise admitted to having no money to attend film school, and he only learned everything about the craft of acting by himself:

“I didn’t grow up with money. I didn’t grow up with anything. I basically did it all myself. I didn’t have money to go to acting school, so I never went to acting school. I just studied films and started making movies, and I learned on movie sets.”

Cruise’s determination to enter the glamorous and chaotic world of entertainment was enough to motivate him to get involved in all areas of filmmaking. Not only is he skilled in delivering lines and performing stunts, but Cruise is also knowledgeable about technical aspects such as lighting, camera angles, and costume designs. He continued:
“I went to every single department, and I studied every part of the movie. I went to the camera department. I studied lenses, lighting, you know. I was working with a great cinematographer, Owen Roizman. I studied what producers do, what writers do, what wardrobe does, what stunt department does, props, sound. I studied every aspect of the films, and that’s what I kept doing because I really take my time. I love making these movies.”
Like Cruise, Hong Kong action legend Jackie Chan had to learn everything about movie production. In an interview with Ogilvy Asia, the 69-year-old actor said that he had to familiarize himself with everything in order to survive the industry:


“I learnt everything. I’ve been in the film industry for 53 years. You ask me lighting, sound, camera… I’ll move the camera, I’ll use all kinds of things. All those years, I had people on the sets saying can you do that? Yes.”

Chan reiterated how “difficult survival was in the movie industry” during his early years starring in Hong Kong movies. He was the youngest stunt coordinator, and the cameraman would often ask him technical questions, so the actor had to educate himself on this matter.

Tom Cruise And Jackie Chan See Hollywood’s Academy Awards On A Different Light

While Tom Cruise and Jackie Chan share the same grit and grace towards their profession, one thing they differ in is their perception of recognition in the form of prestigious awards. The Rush Hour star finally received his first-ever honorary Academy Award at the Eighth Annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles in 2016. Chan said in his acceptance speech via ET Online:

“After 56 years in the film industry, making over 200 films, I’ve broken so many bones, finally this is mine.”

Meanwhile, Cruise does not really pay attention to these types of events. He told the Irish Examiner:

“I didn’t grow up watching the Oscars, so it’s never been a goal. I wanted to act. People have tried to get me to do a role by saying, ‘This is your Oscar.’ That means nothing to me.”

While both stars may differ in their views of how Hollywood acknowledges the hard work of people toiling in the film industry, Cruise and Chan are undoubtedly deserving of their fame and success.