Click Here to see a picture of Tom Cruise at the “Kaieto Cafe”.
The 95 children at Urenui School made Tom Cruise’s day last week, when they sent three giant cards thanking him for his help in raising money for a much-needed playground shelter.
Cruise immediately expressed his delight by writing back to the school, said principal Joel Webby.
“He thanked the school for allowing him the opportunity to help us and he signed the card warmly with his cheque enclosed. It’s (the card and cheque) buried safely at the bottom of the safe,” said Mr Webby.
Last week Cruise called a trio of radio DJs to pledge $7000 for the school, if the radio station matched the donation. Many of the children had invited the superstar along to the school in their messages on the cards, said Mr Webby.
“He’s already done enough, but obviously we’d love to see him. It was a scramble last week with all the television and radio here.” Now the scramble had waned, it was hoped Mr Cruise would make an impromptu appearance.
THE WARNER BROS. LOT GETS A STUNNING MAKEOVER FOR TOM CRUISE’S ”LAST SAMURAI”
For years, a chunk of real estate in the heart of the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank has served as a (cheap) double for New York City in various movies and TV shows. But last fall, this versatile performer tackled one of its most challenging roles yet: Tokyo, 1876. In ”The Last Samurai,” Tom Cruise plays a U.S. cavalry officer who is assigned to help Japan modernize its army, but finds himself drawn to the ways of the ancient samurai. ”Like all the best historical drama,” says director Edward Zwick (”Glory”), ”it’s about a society in transition, and it was very appealing to put a Western character in that context.”
While many of ”Samurai”’s scenes were shot in Japan, ”very little of that period is left there.” Hence, Warner Bros.’ ”New York” streets — 62,200 square feet worth — were transformed with astonishing precision into 19th-century Tokyo, a process that took three months and a team of 150 laborers. Meticulous re-creations of the period architecture — accessorized with antique lanterns and faux-vintage tile — were grafted onto the street’s urban facade. A 40-foot-high replica of the city’s famed gates towered over the set. Not far away, a quaint, Shinto-inspired house was built on a part of the lot that was once the site of ”The Waltons”’ pond.
Alas, like the time itself, the sets are no more; the street is once again a stand-in Gotham, and Zwick and Cruise are in New Zealand shooting cast-of-hundreds samurai battle sequences. The Akira Kurosawa within Zwick is champing at the bit: ”Being a big fan of ‘Ran’ and ‘Kagemusha,’ you can imagine the 12-year-old glee with which I approach this.” (Dec. 5)
This is from Empire Online
Miffed Maori: Not the first name you’d expect to see on a film’s payroll, but Mount Taranaki in New Zealand might well be receiving ‘wages’ for its appearance in Tom Cruise’s latest film, The Last Samurai. Local Maori down under have demanded gifts as recognition of their mountain’s role in the film – in which it will be transformed into Mount Fuji – because of their ‘special relationship’ with the peak, commenting that some gesture, “not necessarily cash,” should be made. Well, you can’t blame them for trying.
And, one more article about Tom helping a local school in NZ:
Tom Cruise aids New Zealand schoolGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Tom Cruise has come to the aid of a small rural school in New Zealand.
Local radio station the “Edge” in New Plymouth offered to pay $2,745 to anyone who could persuade Cruise, who’s been filming in the area, to call in live on the air, local media reported Wednesday.
The 40-year-actor called Tuesday after a night of shooting for “The Last Samurai,” saying he wanted “to do a little negotiating” over the amount. “(I called) to see if I can get you up to $3,600,” said Cruise, adding that he’d match that amount.
He wants the funds to go to local Urenui junior school. “They’ve been trying to raise money for a shelter to go outside,” he said.
Cruise said he had heard about the school by keeping his “ear to the ground” in the community where he’s been on location for four months.
“The Last Samurai,” directed by Edward Zwick, is set in 18th-century Japan. A Japanese village set has been built in the countryside near New Plymouth, a regional city 200 miles from the capital, Wellington
Thanks to Chantal
Click Here to watch a video of Tom’s Last Samurai press conference which took place on January 11, 2003 in New Zealand.
Rules of Attraction
Tom Cruise & Penélope Cruz
Duration: A year and a half
Attraction: “Tom,” Cruz has said, “is one of the most generous people I know.”
Favorite Watering Holes: The pair follow seasonal patterns that lead them everywhere from the Ritz in Paris to Cruise’s homes in Telluride, Colo., and New Zealand.
Distinguishing Characteristics: The outdoorsy couple can be spotted hiking, surfing and golfing. Pilot Cruise also exhibits flying ability.
Offspring: Cruz spends time with Cruise’s two children from his 10-year marriage to Nicole Kidman: Isabella, 10, and Connor, 8.
Hunting and Gathering: Forget baubles and Bentleys; this pair favors natural beauty. In ’01 they rented out all 18 rooms at the Wakaya resort in Fiji ($1,600 and up a night).
here is the cover: