Tom Cruise Learnt His Lesson From Acting Legend Paul Newman In $52M Martin Scorsese Movie


The basics of professional acting can be acquired from a theater school but for Tom Cruise, who never had a formal education, everything he knows about filmmaking is all from experiences. The Mission: Impossible star learned a valuable lesson the hard way during one of his early movies.

Cruise starred in Martin Scorsese’s 1986 sports film The Color of Money, the sequel to The Hustler, alongside veteran actor Paul Newman. The then-24-year-old actor was only at the beginning of his career, and he still had a lot of things to learn, especially from his co-star.

Paul Newman Taught Tom Cruise A Very Important Filmmaking Lesson

In an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Edge of Tomorrow actor Tom Cruise shared the wisdom he learned from the fully minted Hollywood star Paul Newman while they were filming The Color of Money. Who would have thought that foreseeing the weather in Chicago in January would teach the actor a lesson that he would still carry today? Cruise said:

“I was like, ‘I’m gonna have a leather jacket and t-shirt. I’m gonna have my hair blown back. It’s guaranteed up to 90 miles an hour. And there I am in January, and I’m shooting this scene. And I remember in the script, it was like outside. I didn’t think about it. Wardrobe’s like, ‘Yeah it looks great.’ And I am doing this scene, and I mean, I’m telling you, it’s so cold I can’t even speak.”

Cruise did not expect the coldness of January will cause such discomfort while filming. Newman, on the other hand, was ready and feeling warm, thanks to his coat and heater. Cruise continued:

“I’m in between takes, and [Newman] is in a car, and I’m running to this area. They’re trying to thaw [me]. Newman’s like, ‘Where’s the kid? Where’s the kid?’ So finally, I have this scene where he’s in the car, and I’m next to him. I look in, and I’m like, ‘What?’ He had the warm coat. He had the heater in there. It was an electric heater, OK?”


Newman clearly foresaw the weather and got all the essential stuff to keep him warm and cozy even amid the brutal coldness of the month. Cruise, upon realizing his lack of awareness, learned something that day from The Verdict star. He further added:

“He looked at me, and he’s like, ‘T-shirt? You tried your wardrobe on in the summer, didn’t you?’ I was like, ‘Yes, sir. I did.’ He’s like, ‘Watch and learn, kid. Watch and learn.’ I never forgot it. I literally never forgot it.” It might seem like a trivial thing, but being prepared and thinking ahead of time, especially in the movie industry, goes a long way. Tom Cruise might have only imagined how cool and handsome he would look in a leather jacket and blown-back hair, but his charming looks won’t melt the cold weather.

Tom Cruise Shares First Meeting With Paul Newman

Tom Cruise once admitted that he has always wanted to meet and work with Paul Newman. As a budding young star, he felt the need to prove himself and to other actors who had been in the industry for a long time. Cruise shared his experience meeting Newman via Independent:

“I auditioned for Harry & Son mostly because I wanted to meet Paul. I was nervous. Starting out as a young actor, you want people to like you, people to like your work; you want to be accepted.”

Cruise walked into the room, and Newman warmly greeted him. The Jack Reacher star noted how excited yet relaxed his idol was upon seeing him. Unfortunately, he did not snag the coveted role in the 1984 drama, but he eventually got to work with Newman in The Color of Money.