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Tom Cruise under fire for comparing acting to serving in Afghanistan

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Tom Cruise compared the rigors of his acting responsibilities to a soldier fighting for his life in Afghanistan, according to legal documents quoted by TMZ on Friday.

Cruise is suing Life and Style magazine for $50 million for reporting that he abandoned his daughter, Suri, while filming, according to the New York Daily News. Call it “movie neglect.”

According to TMZ:

“Tom says his location shoots are like serving a tour in Afghanistan, “That’s what it feels like. And certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal.” As for physical training, Tom said: “There is difficult physical stamina and preparation. Sometimes I’ve spent months, a year, and sometimes two years preparing for a single film.” But the kicker, he adds, “A sprinter for the Olympics, they only have to run two races a day. When I’m shooting, I could potentially have to run 30, 40 races day after day, after day.”

It’s hard to believe anyone, especially a judge, would swallow the assertion that a man can’t be a father while preparing for a movie role. But Cruise had another great point to make: He doesn’t need to spend quality time with his daughter the way others would. TMZ reported:

“And there’s this. Tom says the skills he’s picked up along the way have provided shortcuts in his relationship with Suri. For example, he says it’s not always necessary for him to be physically around Suri, because he can tell her vivid stories on the phone that come to life. “I tell wonderful stories and they like hearing it.”

We do, too, Tom. We do, too.

UPDATE 11/10:  Journalist Jake Tapper followed up with Cruise on TMZ’s controversial story and wrote the following in a post to clarify what was actually said by the actor.

The comments come in a section of the deposition where Cruise is being asked about time he has spent away from daughter Suri, either because of film or other commitments.

“Now your counsel has publicly equated your absence from Suri for these extended periods of time as being analogous to someone fighting in Afghanistan,” opposing counsel asks him. “Are you aware of that?”

“I didn’t hear the Afghanistan,” Cruise replies. “That’s what it feels like and certainly on this last movie it was brutal. it was brutal.”

“Do you believe that the situations are the same?” Cruise is asked.

“Oh come on,” Cruise says, “you know, we’re making a movie.”

Cruise’s attorney, Bert Fields, tells CNN in a statement, “Headlines stating he equated his job with those in the military are demonstrably false. They are a distortion of what is provable and on the record.”

Read more from The Lead with Jake Tapper.
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