Tom Cruise Brings Back Les Grossman During Conan O'Brien Comic-Con Show

San Diego Comic-Con Day 1 brought some pretty big surprises, and chief among them was the surprise appearance by none other than Tom Cruise! The Mission: Impossible star returned to SDCC to promote the trailer for Maverick, the long-awaited sequel to Top Gun.

Conan O'Brien was the moderator who introduced Tom Cruise to the Hall H stage; when Cruise appeared on a special edition of Conan later that evening, we got a very special treat. Take a look at the video above to see the return of Tom Cruise's Les Grossman!

Cruise gave Tropic Thunder fans a nice little taste of that Les Grossman fury again, but the conversation between the actor and Conan actually got deeper and more interesting, regarding the character. It's been easy to dismiss Grossman as a mere caricature of a Hollywood power player like Harvey Weinstein, but Cruise actually gets super deep in his explanation of the character!

Check out what Cruise says about the origin of Les Grossman, and why he ultimately chose go take on the character:

"I take classes all the time to learn things. I want to prove a skill, whether it's singing, music, whatever subject I'm studying. So I took dance classes and I took hip-hop classes. And what I'll find is I'll find a character to put that with. So Ben [Stiller] is a good buddy of mine, and he called me up, and I said 'Look, I'd love to play this character, but I want to fat hands, and I want to dance."

Conan, like most people, thought it seemed like an "absurd" request on Cruise's part, but the actor was clear in his vision for who Les Grossman had to be:

"Look I don't know what to say; sometimes with a character you just get an instinct for what you want to do. And I said 'No, I really want fat hands, and I'm going to dance."

Ben Stiller was understandably confused and kept trying to change Cruise's mind for months on end, but the actor persisted. Eventually, the makeup test was done, and from there, Cruise just got weird with it:

"So he created the makeup and we did the makeup test, and I just started showing him... I just started moving. And there was no music, he was just looking at me like, 'What's happening?', and I was kind of moving and crushing Pepsi cans and Coke cans, and then he calls me the next day, and he cut to that piece of music... and he just says 'I get it, I get it, I get it, I get it, It's hilarious.'"

The funny part about that story is the piece of music Cruise is referencing is Ludacris' 2004 song "Get Back", which came with a music video featuring the rapper getting into some mayhem while wearing some (wait for it) giant prosthetic hands! See for yourself:


So was Tom Cruise unconsciously influenced by Ludacris when creating Les Grossman, or did the look Cruise picked inspire the musical connection for Ben Stiller? Either way, that werid creative synergy gave movie fans something great from Tom Cruise.

Stay Tuned to our SDCC 2019 page for all the latest!