May 25th, 2010
01:48 PM ET
Ever since he was a kid, Tom Cruise has known that he wanted to be a father.
“I always loved kids, but it was more than that,” the actor said in the June/July issue of Esquire magazine. “It was this thought: What would it be like, being a father? Being the kind of guy who takes care of things?”
Because, you see, Cruise is big on being the fixer. After his parents separated – his father was an electrical engineer who didn’t support the family “financially or spiritually” after the split, leaving Cruise to live “with the effects of that chaos” – a younger Tom sought ways to help out his mother, who would at times have three jobs.
What he does recall of his relationship with his father are the little things, he said, like “The time he told you he’d take you to a ball game and we didn’t go.” As a result, the 47-year-old found himself promising his first child, Bella (whom he adopted while married to Nicole Kidman), that he'd never “say I’m gonna do something and then not do it.”
The same goes for his son Connor (also adopted while he was married to Kidman), and his daughter with Katie Holmes, Suri. “If I say I’m gonna take your call anytime you need me, and I’m in the middle of something on set, my world is gonna stop for you. I made that promise to all of my kids…I know I’ve accomplished that. When I think of my successes, it’s right up there.”
When it comes to his success as an actor, Cruise has taken a few hits for the past few years, with some of the rumors sparked by that couch-jumping incident on “Oprah.”
“What happened, happened…I’ll take responsibility for my actions,” he said. “The thing is, it got spun out. Afterward, wild things were being said about me, and once they’re in the ether, there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s like being the new kid on the schoolyard again and all the kids are whispering and whispering about you and suddenly you hear what they’re saying, and you think, ‘what? That didn’t happen.’ ”
How does one rebound from that? Well, there’s always the option to be cynical and dwell on what didn’t work, or you can figure out how to fix it, Cruise said. Which, he added, “is what being a parent is all about. You know, I’m married to such a special woman. Every night before we go to sleep, Kate and I look at each other like, ‘How’d we do today?’ You hope you were more right than you were wrong. But you just want to feel like you gave it your all.”
In order to move forward, “You just get back to work,” Cruise said. "That’s what I did. And here we are today. ‘Mission Impossible IV.’ ”
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