Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tom Cruise bowled over by Posh

Tom Cruise bowled over by Posh

Tom Cruise so loves Victoria Beckham’s British accent and turn of phrase, that he’s now asking her to give him a few lessons.

A source revealed that the actor has started mimicking words that come out of Posh’s mouth every time she says something ‘really English’.

“Tom thinks her words and phrases are brilliant. Whenever he’s round there and she says something really English he starts mimicking her,” the Daily Express quoted the source, as saying.

“She’ll say things like ‘bloody hell’ and ‘blimey’. And she’ll say ‘come on chaps’ to her sons. Tom loves hearing it all and is building up a bit of an English vocabulary himself,” the source added.

The insider also revealed that though Posh was initially very amused by the way Cruise was enthralled with the way she talks, she’s now getting used to it since Will Smith is apparently as keen on her accent.

“Victoria is amused by his enthusiasm over her everyday chatter. But she’s starting to get used to it – because another friend, Will Smith, also likes taking off her accent and phrases,” the insider said.

Suri Cruise to Front Baby Gap?

HOLLYWOOD - Suri Cruise is to become a star in her own right after she was signed as the new face of Baby Gap, according to reports.

Proud parents Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were reportedly offered a lucrative modeling contract by the clothes chain for their 16-month-old daughter to front an upcoming campaign.

Suri's first photo shoot was in October 2006 when she made the front cover of Vanity Fair with her parents. The pictures were shot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Tom Cruise

Engagingly sexy with a wall of perfect teeth and a grin to defrost the coldest of hearts, Tom Cruise exploded onto screens during the mid-1980s in a series of teen roles that made the most of his athleticism and revealed the boyishly handsome star's charisma. The actor quickly graduated to adult superstar status and by decade's end had held his own opposite both Paul Newman and Dustin Hoffman as each garnered Best Actor Oscars in his company. By the mid-90s, he was indisputably the most powerful movie star of his generation, only bested by the relatively grizzled Harrison Ford as the world box-office champ, and by the end of the millennium he had surpassed even Ford, becoming Hollywood's most bankable star with five consecutive films grossing in excess of $100 million prior to the release of the hotly anticipated "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999), Stanley Kubrick's directorial swan song....

Full Biography

Engagingly sexy with a wall of perfect teeth and a grin to defrost the coldest of hearts, Tom Cruise exploded onto screens during the mid-1980s in a series of teen roles that made the most of his athleticism and revealed the boyishly handsome star's charisma. The actor quickly graduated to adult superstar status and by decade's end had held his own opposite both Paul Newman and Dustin Hoffman as each garnered Best Actor Oscars in his company. By the mid-90s, he was indisputably the most powerful movie star of his generation, only bested by the relatively grizzled Harrison Ford as the world box-office champ, and by the end of the millennium he had surpassed even Ford, becoming Hollywood's most bankable star with five consecutive films grossing in excess of $100 million prior to the release of the hotly anticipated "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999), Stanley Kubrick's directorial swan song. Cruise had managed this feat without developing an insufferable movie star ego, perhaps his greatest accomplishment of all--and yet in 2005 his public behavior veered far from his usual genial image, even though his career was still flying high.
A peripatetic childhood saw him attend a dozen schools by age 12, and when a knee injury derailed his wrestling ambitions, Cruise turned to acting, landing the role of Nathan Detroit in his high school production of "Guys and Dolls" and dropping out in his senior year (school had long been a problem for the dyslexic Cruise) to pursue the dream full-time. By 1981, Cruise was in Los Angeles where he met Paula Wagner, then an agent at Creative Artists Agency, who would subsequently guide his film career. After making his feature debut in a small role in Franco Zeffirelli's notorious Brooke Shields-starrer "Endless Love", he gained attention in a showy supporting role as an increasingly lunatic gung-ho cadet in "Taps" (both 1981). He next landed his first starring role opposite "older woman" Shelly Long in "Losin' It" (1983), a middling teen coming-of-age comedy. Prospects brightened when he persuaded Francis Ford Coppola to cast him in a small role as a tough guy in "The Outsiders" (1983), though he failed to stand out amidst teen heartthrobs like Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, C Thomas Howell and Ralph Macchio.

Cruise gained celebrity in the superior teen sex satire "Risky Business" (also 1983) as an anxious, affluent, suburban teen poised precariously on the brink of young adulthood, creating a resonant protagonist for young Reagan-era audiences. He even put on some extra pounds to emphasize the softness and vulnerability of the character who flirts with illicit capitalism. In a star-making scene, Cruise, clad in a button-down Oxford shirt, Jockey briefs, and cool shades, played air guitar and danced wildly to Bob Seger's anthem, "Old Time Rock'n'Roll." This celebrated sequence provided a key to the actor's subsequent mega-success: he was an attractive but fairly regular guy to whom audiences could easily relate. Intriguingly, the part also showcased Cruise's magnetic sexual appeal much more effectively than many subsequent screen roles.

Cruise performed well in a more naturalistic mode in "All the Right Moves" (1983), a sober high school football drama which pitted him against hot-headed coach Craig T Nelson that fared modestly at the box office. He next grew his hair long and made the wrong move donning green tights for Ridley Scott's colossal fantasy flop, "Legend" (1985). Cruise, however, solidified his star status and established his onscreen persona with one of the signature hits of the 80s, "Top Gun" (1986). Defiantly politically incorrect, with flying sequences edited to the rhythms of pop tunes, the film functioned as both Navy recruiting ad and glossy romantic adventure. No longer the engaging boy-next-door, Cruise's Maverick was a prototype for roles to come, a cocky loner who plays by his own rules, confronts a crisis, then is triumphantly transformed.

Not content to be a matinee idol, Cruise crafted his career carefully, teaming with talented directors and co-stars for "The Color of Money" (1986) and "Rain Man" (1988). The former, Martin Scorsese's sharply made, nicely textured sequel to 1961's "The Hustler", cast him as a talented but arrogant small-time pool hotshot, a younger, greener version of Paul Newman's Fast Eddie Felsen. They made an eclectic pair, Cruise's boisterous All-American boy versus Newman's seasoned con man, and though the old stud picked up the Best Actor Oscar, he was clearly passing the mantle to the new stud, and not just on the screen. The time spent talking with the politically-active Newman had a profound consciousness-raising effect on Cruise who would later choose Oliver Stone's extremely anti-war "Born on the Fourth of July" (1989) to counter his contribution to the jingoistic "Top Gun". He broadened his serious dramatic credentials in his work with director Barry Levinson on "Rain Man", playing another self-centered hotshot whose relationship with his autistic brother (Dustin Hoffman) changes his life. Hoffman shone as the idiot savant and took home Oscar, but Cruise was equally important to the Oscar-winning Best Picture equation.

For Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July,” he did not have to share the spotlight (with anybody but the man at the helm who snared the Best Director Oscar for his efforts) and earned his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for a hard-hitting portrayal of paraplegic, anti-war activist Ron Kovic. Cruise then stumbled a bit with his next two projects. Though "Days of Thunder" introduced him to love of his life Nicole Kidman and inaugurated a long-term association with screenwriter Robert Towne, it suffered from an inordinately short editing period, causing Cruise (who also received a "from story" credit) to remark: "My regret is making a movie to meet a release date like that. Big mistake. I won't do it again." Scalded by critics, it still raked in $166 million worldwide, but there was no saving "Far and Away" (1992), a goofy period romance co-starring Kidman ("The honeymoon project, that's what we call it. I loved making that movie. It's a picture I look forward to showing to our kids in a few years"). He returned to box office clover after that critical and commercial disappointment, successfully confronting an iconic Jack Nicholson in Rob Reiner's highly popular court-martial drama, "A Few Good Men" (1992).

Cruise's hotshot lawyer bent on toppling his corrupt bosses in "The Firm" (1993) could have been a brother to his character in "A Few Good Men.” Despite a stellar supporting cast (i.e., Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook, Holly Hunter and Wilfred Brimley, among many others), he shouldered carried the smooth adaptation of John Grisham's giant bestseller, tackling the deceptively difficult character with a vibrancy that guaranteed a successful box office for his first thriller. Director Sydney Pollack (rebounding from the disastrous "Havana" 1990) and his outstanding team of scriptwriters (Towne, David Rabe, David Rayfiel) brought a few extra plot twists and added some dramatic and ethical complexity to the attractive and entertaining tale.

Cruise then raised eyebrows—and more than a few hackles—by accepting the central role of the vampire Lestat in David Geffen's lavish production of Neil Jordan's "Interview With the Vampire" (1994). Many balked at the idea of the All-American go-getter playing the decadent, ambisexual European predator of Anne Rice's novel. Rice herself was the harshest critic as she traveled about the country trashing the casting decision while on a book tour. Sporting blond locks and blue contact lenses (his eyes are naturally green), Cruise eventually won Rice's approval and generally positive (if hardly enthusiastic) notices. The film was also notable for teaming the superstar with less familiar heartthrobs Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas. Although Cruise was only 32 at the time, there was a peculiar sense of his passing on the baton. (Ironically, Pitt was only a year younger.) In any event, the film earned mixed reviews while doing brisk business.

Cruise was all but omnipresent in the media as he aggressively promoted his feature producing debut, the post-Cold War espionage movie "Mission: Impossible" (1996). Based on the fondly remembered 60s TV show, the project had languished in various development hells before Cruise got involved. This marked the inaugural project for Cruise/Wagner Productions, the company the actor formed with his one-time agent in 1992. Rumors abounded about his clashing with director Brian De Palma over budgetary and story matters. Nonetheless, despite international location shooting, high-tech stunts, computer-generated visual effects and last-minute re-writes by a stellar assortment of writers (including his buddy Towne again), "Mission: Impossible" came in on time and under budget at approximately $67 million (Cruise deferred his $20 million actor's salary). Though many critics deemed it an extravagant but cold vanity production with a confused storyline, most admired the cinematic technique, and the mixed reviews didn't inhibit ticket buyers, proving the actor could attract crowds to a movie that didn't entirely make sense.

The sweetly offbeat romantic comedy "Jerry Maguire" (1996), in which he played the eponymous, shallow, back-stabbing sports agent, provided a sort of mid-career breakthrough for Cruise. For years he had portrayed irresistible smoothies, turning the world on with his smile while piloting fighter jets and driving race cars. Though it was a classic Cruise performance, bursting with the usual cocky charm and boyish charisma, there was an added dimension of desperation and a new maturity to his screen persona. He had played characters who had been up against the ropes before but perhaps never for so long or so convincingly. Here was a slickster whose powers had failed him, exposing a seldom seen vulnerability which made his eventual comeback that much sweeter. This time, the critics and moviegoers reached consensus, and Cruise garnered his second Best Actor Academy Award nomination. Three years would pass before he returned to the screen, though he and Wagner would produce "Without Limits" (1998), Towne's biopic about fabled long distance runner Steve Prefontaine.

Cruise took himself out of the game at the height of his career to work with Kubrick on "Eyes Wide Shut,” starring opposite Kidman for the first time since "Far and Away". Far from feeling hostage to the famous perfectionist's obsessive vision, the pair relished their brush with genius, diving in to share the adventure with eyes wide open. "For me it was no sacrifice. He became a dear friend and a mentor. Sometimes I'd look at him and think, This guy made '2001'! I'll carry the experience the rest of my life." The director gained the couple's trust as only a true friend could. When he filmed Cruise and Kidman in the nude scene that opens the film, Kubrick closed the set and operated the camera himself, intensifying the intimacy among the three of them. Sex and violence have long resonated as twin bogeymen in the rhetoric of the moral majority, but sex that is not degrading or a joke has been curiously absent from commercial cinema for some time. Though time will tell if Kubrick's swan song can revive the erotic impulse and its consequences as viable mainstream fodder, "Eyes Wide Shut" is a significant notch in Cruise's artistic belt, one well worth the tens of millions of dollars he gave up as the 18-week shoot ballooned to 52 weeks over 15 months.

Following the arduous shoot with Kubrick and the mixed critical and box office reaction to "Eyes Wide Shut", Cruise took on a pivotal role in Paul Thomas Anderson's ensemble drama "Magnolia" (1999). Playing a cocky sex guru who runs seminars designed to empower men, the actor offered a charismatic turn that was alternately chilling and humorous. Having taken a role in an ensemble piece, Cruise reminded audiences and reviewers alike of his capabilities as a dramatic actor and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. He segued back to leading parts in more high profile mainstream work reprising his role as Ethan Hunt in the big-budget, special effects laden "M:I-2" ("Mission: Impossible 2" 2000), directed by John Woo. For a variety of reasons, the film's shooting schedule fell behind forcing the release date to be moved back several months and for Cruise to postpone his long-awaited teaming with director Steven Spielberg on the futuristic thriller "Minority Report."

Before tackling that film, Cruise reunited with his "Jerry Maguire" helmer Cameron Crowe for an American remake of the perception-bending 1997 Spanish film "Abre los ojos" aka "Open Your Eyes." During the making of that film, titled "Vanilla Sky" Cruise endured a very public and acrimonious split from his Kidman, and while the reasons were never revealed he clearly laid the blame at her door, even as he entered into a relationship with his "Vanilla Sky" co-star Penelope Cruz (Cruise and Kidman later amicably worked out their divorce battles for their children's sake in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001). "Vanilla Sky" (2001) opened to mixed reviews, seen as a competent and often compelling puzzle with a somewhat unsatisfying endgame, and Cruise's performance as David Aames, a successful publisher finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident with a obsessive lover, was seen as appropriately intense but perhaps a little over-the-top in his efforts to subvert his pretty boy looks with Hollywood-made scars. The actor was finally given the opportunity to work with Spielberg on "Minority Report" (2002), a crackerjack collaboration filled with skillful action sequences and a thought-provoking expansion of sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick's premise of a future where police use precognitives to prevent murders before they happen. Playing Detective John Anderton, the head of the special unit who finds himself the subject of a manhunt after the psychics predict that he will commit a murder, Cruise is in top heroic form on the run from his own officers.

Up next Cruise turned in one of his more nuanced performances for director Ed Zwick in "The Last Samurai" (2003), playing Capt. Nathan Algren, an alcoholic veteran of Custer's battles with Native Americans who travels to Japan to help Westernize the Imperial army, only to be captured by a rebellious samurai leader (Ken Watanabe) and embrace the ways of the bushido code, finding his lost honor along the way. Although the film follows the slightly patronizing white-man-embraces-and-improves-indigenous culture template of movies such as "Dances With Wolves," Cruise's initial anguish and his subsequent reclaiming of his own soul were skillfully and subtlety conveyed by the actor, earning him a Golden Globe nomination. The actor's hot streak continued unabated with another of his best roles, the cold-hearted assassin Vincent who high-jacks a good-hearted L.A. cabbie (Jamie Foxx) to drive him on his deadly rounds in director Michael Mann's "Collateral" (2004). Wearing a gray wig and beard stubble, Cruise used his trademark intensity to his advantage in a rare villainous role, while his inherent charm also gave the character a compelling quality.

Cruise's personal life overshadowed his professional career in 2005 when, after just a few weeks of dating, he and actress Katie Holmes—who was at 26 was 16 years younger than Cruise—announced their romance to the world just weeks before both of them had major summer movies heading to theaters (Cruise, the Steven Spielberg-directed "War of the Worlds"; Holmes, the franchise re-starting "Batman Begins"). The media instantly speculated that the romance was a massive publicity stunt, and the couple's often unconvincing interaction and their relentless media onslaught added fuel to the fire: within just a few weeks of the announcement, Cruise made a bizarre fist-pumping appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show to proclaim his love for Holmes, jumping on the host's set furniture and dragging a seemingly reluctant Holmes before the cameras; Holmes presented Cruise with a career achievement award on the MTV Movie Awards; Holmes, who had been quoted years earlier that as a girl she dreamed of marrying Cruise, denied even thinking about their age (or height) difference; and both appeared separately before David Letterman to further spin their love story.

Cruise had long been a proponent of the often mysterious, Hollywood-centered Church of Scientology founded by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (he credited his studies there with "curing" him of the dyslexia that plagued him since his youth, among other benefits; rumors abounded that his faith contributed to his split with Nicole Kidman) and the actor took an active role in promoting the religion around the globe. At the onset of the Holmes romance, he also was reportedly instrumental in opening up the very secretive church and inviting journalists to sample its practices (Holmes also began taking Scientology courses, and dumped her Hollywood handlers in favor of his). The couple's apparent happy ending came just days later, when they announced their engagement in Paris (Cruise proposed atop the Eiffel Tower). However, he also launched into a uncharacteristic war of words with his former "Endless Love" co-star Brooke Shields after she described taking antidepressants to relieve her post-partum depression in her book Down Came the Rain, with Cruise criticizing Shields for being "irresponsible," claiming her career was over and suggesting that vitamins would have been a better alternative treatment. Also, rumors ran rampant that Paramount was waffling over proceeding with "Mission Impossible 3" due to concerns about Cruise, but the studio ultimately moved forward on the film. And there were more curious on-camera incidents, including a sharply worded exchange with "Today Show" co-host Matt Lauer in which Cruise aggressively derided psychiatry as a "pseudo-science," provoking a formal rebuke from the American Psychiatric Association. Nearly lost in all of Cruise's public appearances was his film "War of the Worlds" itself, which was another mostly masterful exercise in cinematic suspense and terror, buoyed by a strong performance by Cruise as Ray Ferrier, a working class deadbeat dad who must suddenly protect his two children during a horrific alien invasion.

Meanwhile, the tabloid fun continued when Cruise announced in October 2005 that Holmes was pregnant with his child. Then in November 2005, Cruise fired publicist Lee Anne DeVette—also his sister—who some considered responsible for his bizarre behavior on Oprah and insane ramblings against psychology and pharmaceuticals. He then hired Paul Bloch, a veteran publicist known for protecting the public images of Eddie Murphy and John Travolta, and for a spell Cruise’s outlandishness seemed quelled. He spent the winter months relatively subdued until an episode of the subversive animated series, “South Park” (Comedy Central, 1997- ), depicted Scientology in a negative light and made not-so-veiled jokes that questioned his sexuality — a persistent rumor that dogged him ever since he successfully sued a tabloid that published a story about a gay porn star claiming to have had an affair with the actor. Cruise retaliated against “South Park” in public by reaffirming his faith in scientology. Comedy Central subsequently yanked the episode after its only airing, leading some to speculate that Cruise exerted his star power behind the scenes—an assertion that was publicly denied.

After months of fawning and speculation—and a spattering of ridicule — Cruise and Homes — dubbed “TomKat” by a smug media — had a 7 pound, 7 ounce baby girl named Suri in an undisclosed location in Los Angeles. It was announced prior to having the baby that Holmes would follow Scientology’s tenets of silent birth, a procedure that dictates everyone in the delivery room be silent as to not cause stress for the mother and child.

Meanwhile, Cruise began making the media rounds in anticipation of his next film, “Mission: Impossible 3” (2006), including a highly-publicized chat with celebrity interviewer, Diane Sawyer, who riddled him with tough questions and the latest rumors. She asked, for example, if he was joking about eating the placenta after birth—referring to a comment he made in a magazine article; if Holmes’ family — particularly her father — were rebelling against their daughter’s conversion to Scientology; if he and Holmes were actually splitting up after rumors she had moved to another room in their home. Cruise denied every accusation, claiming that all was well. After the birth of his first biological child (even that wasn’t immune to tabloid speculation), Cruise continued his publicity for “Mission: Impossible,” the third installment to the franchise that depicted a retired Ethan Hunt (Cruise) living a slower-paced life while training new IMF agents. But he’s called back to action to due battle with Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an international weapons dealer who may turn out to be Hunt’s toughest adversary yet.

In a move that shocked not only the industry, but much of the world, on Aug. 22, 2006, Paramount Pictures announced it was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions. Chairman of Viacom (Paramount's parent company) Sumner Redstone cited the economic damage to Tom Cruise's value as an actor and producer from his controversial public behavior and views. Cruise/Wagner Productions responded that Paramount's announcement was a face-saving move after the production company had successfully sought alternative financing from private equity firms. In the end, Cruise/Wagner reportedly secured a two-year production deal with a group led by Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder, who also owned Six Flags, Inc., which would give Cruise less than $3 million to finance staff and office expenses. In exchange, Snyder and the others would have the ability to finance movies developed by Cruise/Wagner. At the same time this unfortunate series of business setbacks occured, the public at long last got their first glimpse of baby Suri Cruise, when Vanity Fair published a much anticipated cover and 22-page spread in September, 2006. The unveiling received much fanfare, as blogs, tabloids and even hard news programs like "The CBS Evening News" detailed the contents of the magazine and the story behind the buzzed-about photos taken by famed celebrity photographer, Annie Leibovitz.

Katie Holmes

A brunette beauty from a close-knit Catholic family in Toledo, OH, Katie Holmes accomplished what aspiring actors only dream of at the onset of their careers – she landed her first two professional auditions, resulting in her feature debut in the acclaimed "The Ice Storm" (1997) and a regular series role on the popular teen drama "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003). While such an accomplishment could easily have been written off as amazing luck, those who witnessed her work were not likely to discount her formidable talent and ease on camera....

Full Biography

A brunette beauty from a close-knit Catholic family in Toledo, OH, Katie Holmes accomplished what aspiring actors only dream of at the onset of their careers – she landed her first two professional auditions, resulting in her feature debut in the acclaimed "The Ice Storm" (1997) and a regular series role on the popular teen drama "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003). While such an accomplishment could easily have been written off as amazing luck, those who witnessed her work were not likely to discount her formidable talent and ease on camera.
With a promising turn as Libbets Casey, Tobey Maguire's love interest in Ang Lee's swinging 1970s set "The Ice Storm," Holmes made the most of her supporting role, proving a compelling screen performer. While this big screen debut won the actress acclaim, television would soon make Katie Holmes a household name. Interestingly, the young actress' refreshing grounding in homespun values almost caused her to miss her auspicious small screen debut. Asked to audition for Kevin Williamson's smart teen drama "Dawson's Creek" on the same day she was to debut as Lola in her high school production of "Damn Yankees," Holmes politely declined, citing that her commitment to fellow castmates and friends was more important. Casting agents wisely rescheduled, and Holmes won the role on the new series.

As Joey Potter, Dawson's proverbial girl-next-door, she played the injured innocent, sweet, but with an edge, the product of a background far removed from the Holmes' own traditional and happy home. Faced with an imprisoned father, dead mother, and an overworked sister who is not only Joey's guardian, but has a new baby of her own, the character's everyday traumas were handled with grace by the actress. Holmes weekly gave a standout performance on the popular series, even among a cast of palpably gifted and more experienced young actors.

Her skillful performance in the disappointing thriller "Disturbing Behavior" (1998) could not elevate that film above its uninspired predictability, and while Williamson's "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" (1999) showcased Holmes' glowing presence and unmatched watch-ability, it became apparent that it was high time she moved past the tired teen scream genre. A move in that direction came with her turn as a supermarket checkout girl caught up in a drug-related hostage situation in Doug Lyman’s indeed ensemble film "Go" (1999). She was reunited with Tobey Maguire in "Wonder Boys" (2000), the Curtis Hanson-directed adaptation of Michael Chabot’s novel which chronicled a middle-aged author (Michael Douglas) plagued by writer's block.

With "Go" and "Wonder Boys," in which she played a student pursuing her much-older professor, Holmes smartly chose feature film roles that played against her well-established "Dawson's Creek" girl-next-door persona, a challenge she continued to meet as more films came her way. In Sam Ramie’s thriller "The Gift" (2000) she played a bitchy, man-eating Southern beauty who is brutally murdered, essaying a grown-up nude scene designed more to put the character of sweet-faced Joey behind her than to titillate. She took the lead in screenwriter-turned-director Stephen Gagman’s woman-in-jeopardy outing "Abandon" (2002), her first turn at carrying a picture in a mature leading role, and also joined the cast of director Joel Schumacher's 2003 action fest "The Phone Booth."

Further honing her post-TV craft as her series entered its last season, Holmes took the lead in the indeed gem, "Pieces of April" (2003) playing a headstrong young woman trying to reconcile with her dying mother – a role than earned her much critical acclaim – and appeared in a supporting role in "The Singing Detective" (2003), an adaptation of the Dennis Potter book starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey, Jr. After that it was on to a role she had probably outgrown but sparkled in nonetheless, "First Daughter" (2004), in which she was cast as an independent-minded Presidential offspring off to college who falls for the Secret Service agent assigned to protect her by posing as a dorm advisor.

Holmes got her introductory shot at a big-screen action blockbuster when she was cast opposite Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne's childhood friend and love interest, Rachel Dawes, an incorruptible Gotham City district attorney – and a character created especially for the screen – in "Batman Begins" (2005). This effective re-launch of the popular film franchise focused on the character's shadowy origins, but minus the over-the-top gothic camp of the original Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films. Just weeks before the film's debut, Holmes' private life was catapulted into the public eye when she and actor Tom Cruise announced that they were dating, an announcement met with some skepticism from the media and the public, given that word came prior to both having major summer movies poised to debut. Speculation that the relationship was a publicity stunt ran rampant, especially after some ill-advised public appearances – including their bizarre, love-professing visit to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (Syndicated, 1986- ), in which Cruise jumped unashamedly on the couch with fist-pumping exuberance. Holmes also adopted Cruise's management team and began taking courses in Scientology, which the superstar had long championed and began touting much more vocally during his many press interviews while promoting his blockbuster, "War of the Worlds" (2005).

After only three months, Cruise announced his intention to marry his new girlfriend while doing a press junket in Paris in June, 2005. By October, she announced that she was pregnant with their first child, prompting her to drop out of her co-starring role in the drama "Shame on You" (lensed, 2005). The paparazzi kept a close eye on her ever-bulging belly until Holmes finally gave birth – presumably, a "silent birth" sanctioned by Scientology rules – to daughter, Suri, in April, 2006. Because the couple had been so forthcoming with all other details of their life together, the press and public were surprised when no photos were released of their baby daughter for months. This only served to fuel the media's fire, all of whom – be it bloggers or tabloid writers – imagined a variety of humorous, sometimes far-fetched scenarios as to why this was. Finally, Cruise, Holmes and their 4-month-old daughter posed for photographer Annie Leibovitz for a 22-page spread in Vanity Fair, receiving much publicity for that first peek in September, 2006.


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