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Tom Cruise opens up about the death of Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick has a filmography that almost every other director is jealous of, containing one masterpiece after another. Right until the end, Kubrick remained a filmmaker of unparalleled artistic talent as his final film – Eyes Wide Shut – is now regarded as one of the greatest artistic achievements of his career.

When the film first came out, it was dismissed by many critics but later re-evaluations have shown just how important it is for a complete understanding of Kubrick’s vision. Starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Eyes Wide Shut is a mesmerising odyssey of unabashed hedonism which is intended to be a critique of consumerism.

For the lead role, Kubrick took the initiative to cast whoever he wanted to like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Initially, he considered Alec Baldwin for Cruise’s part as the screenplay demanded an actor who was very similar to Harrison Ford and was even named Bill Harford for that very reason but Kubrick changed his mind after meeting Cruise.

After reading the script, Cruise decided to visit Kubrick immediately and landed his own helicopter on the director’s estate. The two spoke about the helicopter at length which made Cruise so happy that he remembered thinking that Kubrick was a “magical, wonderful guy”. Kubrick saw the potential of casting Cruise and went ahead with Kidman in the role of Alice Harford.

Even after all these years, Cruise’s obsession with helicopters hasn’t gone away as he recently landed his helicopter in the back yard of a family living in Warwickshire and pestered James Corden for the same. “It turned out to be an incredible day,” Alison Webb – a member of the family said while talking to BBC News. “It was surreal, I still now can’t believe it happened”.

Over the course of the production, Cruise developed a close bond with Kubrick and felt an intense connection. According to Cruise, he told Kubrick that he loved him on the last day of shooting and the director reciprocated his feelings by saying it back. However, he soon heard that Kubrick had passed away which left him completely devastated.

“My immediate reaction was one of absolute shock,” Cruise revealed. Even while going to the funeral, Cruise was worried about Kidman as well as Kubrick’s family because of this sudden tragedy as well as the impact it would have on the post-production of the film. “Somewhere still inside, [Nicole] and I thought that it’s not true,” Cruise added.

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