Ansel Elgort recently surprised his fans by speaking fluent Japanese in the HBO Max series 'Tokyo Vice'. And while learning a foreign language for a role is pretty commendable, what Tom Cruise did for his 2003 Japan-centered film was far more incredible.
Before the filming of Edward Zwick's period film 'The Last Samurai', Cruise didn't speak Japanese at all, so his decision to learn the language before the shooting was perceived as one of the actor's usual antics. However, he did learn it, mastered the pronunciation, so that his lines would be absolutely convincing to the Japanese viewers, even coming from the mouth of a foreigner. But Cruise wouldn't be Cruise if he hadn't gone even further in preparation than everyone would have thought.
Cruise spent four months before filming continuing to learn Japanese as well as mastering ancient Japanese sword fighting techniques and studying the nation's medieval history in depth. Cruise mastered an incredibly intricate way of wielding swords called 'daisho' (paired swords that differ in size) and how they are used in combat.
Not surprisingly, the movie became a hit, and Cruise was once again hailed as one of the best actors of our time, unafraid to embody his characters both on physical and emotional level. And it seems like the most devoted Tom Cruise fans are from Japan – the fact that Japan declared October 6 as the official Tom Cruise Day only proves it.
The overwhelmingly positive reaction to Cruise's upcoming visit to Japan to promote his upcoming 'Top Gun: Maverick' film further reminds that despite Elgort's superb performance in 'Tokyo Vice', Japanese audience is still very much in love with language-skilled Tom Cruise.