Tom Cruise's Double Life Disappointed Everyone

Almost everyone knows who Tom Cruise is ... well, part of him. The Oscar-nominated actor has been a bona fide movie star for decades, and his career shows no signs of slowing down. Behind the veil cast by such a long-lived spotlight, however, is a man whose personal woes seem to stand in direct contrast to that shiny superstar image he's maintained for so many years. In fact, most people probably don't even know his full name (Thomas Christopher Mapother IV). Here's the rub on the complicated double life led by one of Tinseltown's most bankable stars.

In public, he's a fearless hero

Ever since his earliest days as a Hollywood heartthrob-turned-action star, Cruise has developed a reputation for being completely willing to go there with dangerous stuntwork and usually arrives as the capable hero of his movies. Even when he does pick up a villainous role, he's usually still likable on some level (see also: Interview with the Vampire and Magnolia). For his Mission: Impossible series, he's done a ton of death- and gravity-defying hands-on work as the unconquerable Ethan Hunt, including holding onto the side of an airplane during take-off. MI: Rogue Nation's stunt coordinator once quipped to Entertainment Weekly that "his stuntman has the least work of any stuntman in the world." In other words, he's represented as tough and dedicated.

His private life is riddled with rumors

As solid as his star status has remained, Cruise's personal affairs have been the subject of many a raised eyebrow. His three divorces (from Mimi Rogers in 1990, Nicole Kidman in 2001, and Katie Holmes in 2012) have prompted no shortage of speculation. With Kidman, for example, rumors abounded that the reason they never had biological kids (but rather adopted children Connor and Isabella) together was that Cruise was secretly gay. (Kidman later revealed that they once suffered a traumatic miscarriage, however.) Cruise has consistently denied that rumor.

What he hasn't been able to dispel, though, are the stories about his controlling behaviors in his relationships. Holmes, for example, shocked fans of their seemingly whirlwind romance by suddenly removing herself and their daughter Suri Cruise from his home and life, after reportedly feeling trapped within it. One source compared the level of control and confinement to the 1968 classic horror film Rosemary's Baby, saying, "every move she made and everything she did was controlled."

His ties to the Church of Scientology are strong

Cruise ranks among the most famous and fiercely devoted members of L. Ron Hubbarb's much-scrutinized religious sect, and he has done a number of very strange things in the name of Scientology over the years. Among the most troubling: he reportedly allowed the church to secretly tap ex-wife Nicole Kidman's phone because her father was a psychologist, viewed as an enemy of the institution, and ultimately aided him in turning their adoptive children against her by coining her a "suppressive person."

The dissolution of his marriage to Holmes, too, seems largely attributable to his co-dependency with the church. Reportedly, certain members moved into their home and Holmes feared they'd convince Suri to cut off contact with her if and when she left the church. Cruise's ties to the religious organization have also been implicated in his divorce from first wife Rogers. Cruise's relationship with Scientology leader David Miscavige, however, has remained unfettered all the while. In her tell-all book, actress Leah Remini revealed that the two share a "bromance" that includes their own special language, and Miscavige is rumored to be heavily involved in Cruise's personal affairs.

Cruise is seen as fun in public

At his birthday party in 2008 (which was thrown by Miscavige, of course), Cruise was shown enthusiastically cutting a rug and dancing to the theme music from Top Gun. In Tropic Thunder, released that same year, Cruise was willing to don a prosthetic suit that multiplied his size and create Les Grossman, a less-than-jovial Hollywood studio exec that took a hilarious poke at the movie business.

But in reality, he's very serious

Not only does he tape his own interviews, but he also has a very aggressive romantic courtship process. Modern Family star Sofia Vergara once reportedly experienced "a blizzard of phone calls, text messages, and emails" and an invitation to go on a vacation with him on a trip to Scientology's center in Clearwater, Florida just a day after meeting Cruise. She allegedly even had to go into hiding to avoid him. It's not the first time Cruise's oddball courtship rituals have been called into question, either: a Norwegian actress named Anette Iren Johansen once reported being screen-tested in an actual audition for the real-life role of Cruise's girlfriend.

His doting family man persona might also be an act

In War of the Worlds, Cruise played a sort of Superdad who'd go to the ends of the earth, almost literally, to keep his children safe and sound. According to reports, though, he hasn't seen his daughter Suri in years, reportedly due to his unfailing commitment to the Church of Scientology.

In June 2016, a source told InTouch that Tom hadn't seen his only biological child in over 1,000 days. "They used to Skype and text, but that trailed off drastically," the source reported. And while he's said to have attributed the distance to his busy work schedule, it's suspected that their strained relationship is another example of the church's "disconnection" policy in action. "Tom eats, breathes and sleep Scientology," the source said. "He's disconnected from Katie, and then de facto from Suri because of her connection to Katie. He hasn't seen her since she was 7."

Cruise does, however, maintain a close relationship with his elder two children, Connor and Bella, both of whom are members of Scientology, but as part of the aforementioned disconnection policy, they are said to have rejected Kidman since the divorce. Cruise even cut ties with his own father, who has now passed away.

He's had some public feuds, too

On-screen, Tom Cruise is usually displayed as the kind of guy whose jets are way too cool to engage in major celeb spats, but the truth is, he's been a party to his fair share. His very public objection to Brooke Shields' use of antidepressants for her postpartum disorder, for instance, made waves because he called her (and by extension, all women's) use of anything but "vitamins and exercise" to cure their various emotional ills "irresponsible."

The two resolved their differences in a face-to-face discussion, and she even attended his wedding to Holmes, but his controversial words continued on-air in a sit-down interview with Matt Lauer in 2005 when the subject of Scientology's rejection of psychiatry came up and Cruise called Lauer "glib" and claimed "there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance" to justify the use of prescription meds. (For what it's worth, Cruise later apologized for being "arrogant.")