[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 11:31 GMT
Cruise launches Last Samurai epic
Tome Cruise signs autograph's for fans
Cruise worked the crowd from the red carpet
Tom Cruise thrilled hundreds of fans at the première of his epic new movie The Last Samurai in Los Angeles on Monday.

In the movie, which has been tipped as an Oscar contender, Cruise plays an American Civil War veteran who is hired to train the Imperial Japanese Army.

But he is captured by the Samurai and eventually joins them in a last stand against the westernising of Japan.

The film, directed by Edward Zwick, opens in North America on 5 December and the UK premiere is in January.

Cruise, at the première with girlfriend Penelope Cruz, was on the red carpet for two and a half hours, talking to the media and signing autographs for fans.

Actress Koyuki
Actress Koyuki plays the widow of a Samurai warrior
Among the celebrities joining Cruise were actor Will Smith and anti-war activist Ron Kovic, whose life story Cruise reprised in the film Born on the Fourth of July.

For the film, Cruise applied his famous focus and work ethic to learn complicated sword work, fight scenes and even Japanese for some scenes.

For his co-star Hiroyuki Sanada, a veteran of more than 50 Samurai movies in Japan, wielding the huge swords was not a problem.

But he said the scene where he almost beheaded Cruise's character was very nerve-wracking for the crew.

"Very easy for me but for the crew they were very scared, when I hit him I stop my sword an inch from his neck that's no problem for me but everybody screamed 'aagh!'"

Cruise said the Samurai code of ethics, the Bashido, resonated strongly with his own belief in Scientology.

"In terms of taking responsibility for what you do, it's just very simple tools of how to improve your life and live a better, happier life," he said.

Cruise croons with Japan's PM
28 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Cruise hit by tax demand
06 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Cruise film hits Maori row
13 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
Cruise wins 'gay' claims legal battle
16 Jan 03  |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific