CANY – Tom Cruise’s mania descended on Wednesday in Cannes, where the actor appeared at the French Film Festival to show the film “Top Gun: Maverick”, to rise on the big screen and give a rare interview.

The cruise caused a stir on the Croisette, where crowds gathered around the Palace of Festivals to see the 59-year-old star. Cruz has not been at the festival for three decades. But with a lot of media outbursts that challenged the theatrical experience, Cannes and Cruz infused the atmosphere of old friends. “He is devoted to cinema,” said artistic director Thierry Fremo. Cruz’s enthusiastic greeting was somewhat reminiscent of a militant hero sent to save the situation.

“I’m making films for the big screen,” Cruz said in a standing ovation in an interview on the stage of the Cannes Debussy Theater.

The festival honored Cruz with a tribute consisting of a video montage covering his career, after which Cruz spoke about his commitment to filmmaking in an interview that kept away from any personal questions. Instead, he replied that the interviewer Didier Aluc suggested why, Monsieur Cruz, you take such a risk by performing your own tricks?

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“No one asked Gene Kelly, ‘Why are you dancing?'” Cruz replied.

The Cannes stop for the movie “Top Gun: Maverick” is part of the film’s world tour before opening on the weekend of Remembrance Day. It has already landed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and its premiere took place aboard an aircraft carrier in San Diego. Paramount Pictures postponed the release for two years during the pandemic, and the move seems to be paying off with vivid reviews and box office expectations that “Top Gun: Maverick” will easily become Cruz’s biggest weekend at the opening.

Asked if he was tempted to send the film to a streaming service, Cruz answered firmly.

“No, it will never happen,” Cruz said to loud applause. “It will never happen.”

Cruz spent most of the conversation explaining his extraordinary devotion to the craft of filmmaking, as from an early age he delved into every element of filmmaking and analyzed how certain ways of acting work best on the big screen. Filming the 1981 film “Taps” with George C. Scott, he returned again and again as a formative experience.

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“Please,” Cruz said, “if I could do this for the rest of my life, I would never take it for granted.”

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Follow AP filmmaker Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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