Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Tom Cruise (Photo by Barry King/WireImage) Tom Cruise (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)

throwback thursday

Did You Know That Tom Cruise Used to Look Like This?

The new Tom Cruise film Oblivion takes place far into the future, but on this hashtagged holiday we call Throwback Thursday, let's venture into Cruise's past. The well-preserved 50-year-old has spent most of his life being photographed, and yet even we were surprised to stumble upon these amazing, obscure pictures from the mid-eighties, a time when the typically square Cruise grew his hair out for the movie Legend and briefly reached a level of unexpected, unusual, whatever-the-fuck-ever cool that Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp should be forced to pay royalties on. For real!

I mean, can we start by talking about that picture up above, where Cruise looks like an if-they-mated experiment forced upon Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl in 1992 by an inebriated Courtney Love playing mad doctor? Who knew that Tom Cruise was ever capable of that level of grunge cool?

But there's more:

Though Maverick would go on to reach some incredible altitudes in 1986's Top Gun, it's safe to say that the year before, while squiring his Risky Business co-star Rebecca De Mornay, Tom Cruise was much, much higher.

Little-known fact: Johnny Depp actually was not the first A-lister to don a fedora and an enigmatic smile, looking for all the world like a sexy L Word featured extra. Cruise did it first!

Never forget that, for one brief, shining moment, Tom Cruise actually ignored someone holding a camera, instead brushing on by, tugging his oversize sweater sleeves past his hands, and repairing to his friend Spider's couch to pass out until the next day at 2 p.m. (waking only once to giggle to himself and say out loud, "You know what would be cool? If birds had mustaches").

Photos: Barry King/Getty; Barry King/Getty; Barry King/Getty; Barry King/Getty