Tom Cruise Claims He Never Takes A Day Off From Work (& That's Probably True)

Since his early days of Hollywood stardom, Tom Cruise has become somewhat synonymous with his legendary work ethic. While working on "Top Gun: Maverick" — the highly-anticipated sequel to the 1986 classic — co-star Miles Teller was blown away by Cruise's dedication to the craft. "[H]e's doing so much heavy lifting and he's literally just nonstop and his attention to detail is just ridiculous. It will never be matched," Teller told Cinema Blend in October 2022. Teller added that Cruise had already put a lot of work into the project before his co-stars had even arrived on set.

The "Top Gun" sequel was a box office smash hit, and one of the first films to take off at the theater following the COVID-19 pandemic. That success earned Cruise high praise within the industry. In true Tom Cruise fashion, he jumped out of a plane to thank fans for the box office success. "You saved Hollywood's a** and you might have saved theatrical distribution," Steven Spielberg said in a video in February, via AV Club. In addition to commercial success, the film garnered six Academy Award nominations, including for best picture. Cruise elected to skip the Oscars so he could work on "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part II" which was filming in the United Kingdom.

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel was disappointed that cinema's "savior" did not attend the star-studded event. "We had about a three minute chunk of the monologue dedicated to Tom Cruise," Molly McNearney, a producer for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" (and Kimmel's wife) told Variety on March 13. Missing the awards show was surprising, but seeing Cruise take time off would have been shocking. 

What Tom Cruise does to relax

While making the media rounds to promote "Top Gun: Maverick," Tom Cruise was asked what he does during his off-time. "This is a day off for me, because I am not shooting!" he told Bella magazine in May 2022, via Contact Music. "I don't have days off," Cruise added. According to the "Risky Business" star, doing interviews and traveling to promote a film was his idea of not working. Apparently, every day is a holiday when you are Tom Cruise. "So this is not work — I'm living the dream," he told the publication.

In 2018, Cruise was asked a similar question, and opened up about what he did to let off steam and unwind. "I'm not the guy to go and sit and get a tan at the beach," the "Jerry Maguire" actor told ExtraTV. To him, a vacation was similar to his on-camera stunt work. "I'm the guy that's like, 'Let's go scuba diving. Let's see if we can go from high altitude into the scuba diving,'" Cruise said.

Even on his birthday, Cruise has refused to stop working. Director Doug Liman recalled working on "American Made," and how the actor would not take time off for his own birthday, which fell on the July 4 holiday weekend. "Yes, that's what I want for my birthday. I want to be making a movie," Liman recalled Cruise telling him, per a Deadline piece published May 2022. Throughout his career, Cruise has gone to extreme lengths to avoid taking breaks of any kind.

Tom Cruise's intense bathroom breaks

Tom Cruise's relentless work ethic was evident from early on in his career. In 1992, after working on "A Few Good Men," Cruise expressed his frustration with those who did not share his passion for movie-making. "When I hear about people showing up late — wow, I just can't believe it," he told Rolling Stone at the time. Brian Grazer, a producer on the film, shared an anecdote that gave insight into just how obsessed the actor was with being efficient. "If Tom had to go to the bathroom while we were shooting, he'd RUN to go take a pee. Not walk. Run. Sprint!" Grazer told the outlet. The film's director, Rob Reiner, echoed those sentiments about Cruise's inner motor. "He worked his a** off in rehearsals.," Reiner told Deadline in 2022 when he reflected on their time together in the '90s. "Never had I seen a young actor with a work ethic like this guy."

The tireless film star was forced to the sidelines while filming "Mission: Impossible — Fallout" when he broke his ankle. But that did not translate into him taking any time off work. "First of all, I was pissed," Cruise told Entertainment Tonight in 2018 when discussing the injury. "I worked 10 hours a day on rehab, seven days a week," he said. That enabled Cruise to recover in a matter of weeks instead of months, and resume shooting. With all these stories, it is no wonder that "keep going" is one of Cruise's personal mottos.