Published On: May 19, 2022 12:30 PM NPT By: Associated Press

Tom Cruise and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ touch down in Cannes

Tom Cruise and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ touch down in Cannes


Tom Cruise mania descended Wednesday in Cannes where the actor made a whirlwind appearance at the film festival, walking the red carpet, receiving a surprise Palme d’Or and watching a squadron of French fighter jets fly over the European premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Cannes pulled out all the stops to fete the 59-year-old star, paying tribute to Cruise with not just a rare interview on stage and a red-carpet premiere featuring a flyby of jets trailing colored smoke, but with the unexpected presentation of an honorary Palme d’Or. Festival president Pierre Lescure announced the award — about 15 honorary Palmes have been given before — on stage just before the screening was to begin. Cruise clutched Cannes’ top prize while the audience gave the actor a standing ovation.

Cruise brought a palpable buzz to the Croisette, where throngs gathered around the Palais des Festivals shouting “Tom!” to try to get a glimpse of the 59-year-old star. “Great Balls of Fire” blared on the carpet.

Cruise hadn’t been to the festival in three decades. But with plenty of media disruption challenging the theatrical experience, Cannes and Cruise exuded the vibe of long-last pals. “He is devoted to cinema,” declared artistic director Thierry Fremaux. Cruise’s enthusiastic welcome smacked in some ways of an action hero’s reception, here to save the day.

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