I’m sure you know Tom Cruise, the actor/nice guy. He’s been running and dancing and saving the world in movies longer than I have been alive. (He has also been doing other things, too.) But have you met my favorite supporting actor, Tom Cruise’s bangs? Upon the release of Mission: Impossible — Fallout, it feels important to herald the return of bangs that have brought so much joy to so many lives. They enhance every Tom Cruise performance. Bring it? The bangs brought! This hair is bouncy, feathery, and holy. Hallelujah! They are risen. (And by “risen” I mean doing the important work of flatly covering his Tom Cruise’s forehead, jumping or swaying at just the right moment, leaving your heart aflutter.)
Remember Tom Cruise’s ’90s bangs? They were so freaking hot. Lots of actors had long hair in the ’90s, but Cruise grew these thick, luscious bangs. Here they are in Eyes Wide Shut, giving one of their better performances: slowly falling into his eyes as he interrogates Nicole Kidman about their sex life. These bangs were the accessory of uptown white-male ennui, and they really sold it. These bangs were boyishly sexy.
For a while, they got not-hot. The bangs got too big, too fast. The fame went to their heads, so they conjured up a twin. (This did not work.)
Without warning, the bangs left us. They made a quick appearance at the end of Knight and Day, but mostly they stayed home, tucked behind an ear or hidden under a hat. After years of casting calls, Rock of Ages threw the bangs a little work.
Cruise did his own hair work in the movie, giving the bangs a little time onscreen. (“Tom only had a little hairpiece in there!” director Adam Shankman told Vulture at the time. “He grew his hair out for the movie.”) Unfortunately the bandanna also booked for the Stacee Jaxx role, which interfered with the bangs’ screen time substantially.
See, look — the bangs have been cruelly snatched away from us. They’re gone in Jack Reacher!
I happen to carry so much love in my heart for Tom Cruise’s bangs. (They fuck!) I realize that I might be alone in this, but I don’t think I am. Where did they go? Why did they leave us? Look at them, nonexistent in Oblivion, probably brushed up and snipped away:
Ditto Edge of Tomorrow. Lots of Tom Cruise looking sad, but not one single bang. Not even a little bit of hair in the face.
Hosanna! In the words of Chance the Rapper, we back and we back and we back and we … back! Sure, they overdo it a little in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, but wouldn’t you also overcompensate when you’ve returned to the saddle after a great and long absence?
Somewhere along American Made’s Wolf of Wall Street–meets–Top Gun bacchanalia, I felt a pang of recognition. It’s like running into an old neighbor at the supermarket, or getting a friendly email from that professor you almost certainly did a terrible job of hiding your crush on.
I know, I know — Henry Cavill’s M:I mustache gets all the attention. But Tom Cruise’s magnificent bangs didn’t come here to make friends — they came here to be the most important supporting actor of our time! I want these bangs on Billions, I want them in Big Little Lies season two, I want them in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — I want these bangs everywhere Tom Cruise is, and maybe even on Zac Efron, too.