The single best thing in all of Tropic Thunder was quite simply Les Grossman. The involvement of Tom Cruise was pretty much a secret back in 2008, until some footage leaked out on YouTube showing the character. Fans could not believe it. The balding, chubby, ham-handed monster was an epic comic creation and Tom Cruise nailed it.
Accounts vary as to how the character was created. Some say he is based on Stuart Cornfeld who was an American film producer, and actor, who was a business partners of Ben Stiller at Red Hour Productions. Others say he was based on Scott Rudin, a producer famous for his volcanic temper and poor treatment of others, who was eventually undone in Hollywood after complaints.
Ben Stiller is on record as saying Grossman is all Cruise’s creation. They had spoken about a producer character and Cruise just ran with it, insisting on baldness and fat hands. Stiller says:
“Someone handed him a Diet Coke and then he just started moving.”
Well, for fans of shouty performances underlined by Cruise’s trademark intensity, to the point where you are not actually sure how much he is acting under there, there is good news. The dance-happy studio executive could be coming back.
Cruise wants to play him again and is actively working with long-time writing partner Christopher McQuarrie on a project. It is not clear if the movie will be centred around Grossman, or if the character will be appear in other projects.
Grossman as the new boss of the Impossible Mission Force? Make it so!
There was a rumored movie in development back in 2010 that was top have documented where Grossman’s deep seated anger came from.