Filed in Tropic Thunder

Ben Stiller: Tom Cruise ‘Has Moves’ in Tropic Thunder

Ben Stiller and Tom Cruise
It’s been 25 years since he shimmied in his skivvies in Risky Business, but Tom Cruise can still shake it like a pro, according to his Tropic Thunder director Ben Stiller.

“The guy has moves,” says Stiller, who also co-wrote and stars in the military-themed action-comedy.

Cruise, 46, is winning raves for his role as a vulgar, venom-spewing studio executive in the movie, in which he’s nearly unrecognizable beneath a fat suit, a bald cap and a beard.

The dancing was Cruise’s idea, says his director.

“It wasn’t in the script,” Stiller said during a press day for the film. “He was like, ‘You know, I really feel like I want this guy to dance.’ ”

Some of the physical transformation was Cruise’s brainchild too. “He said, ‘I really want to have some big, hairy hands,’ ” says Stiller. “I actually didn’t have to sell him on anything.”

Cruise isn’t the only Thunder actor who took on a controversial, image-twisting role: Robert Downey Jr. has drawn praise for his portrayal of an African-American actor in the movie.

Tropic Thunder hits theaters Aug. 13. (People, August 07, 2008)

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