5 Times Tom Cruise Just Wasn't Himself on Screen

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise feels the need for speed almost every time he's on the big screen.

The 55-year-old superstar is best when he's playing Tom Cruise, the cocky alpha male ready to save the day. That's how we know him from movies like "Top Gun," "Mission: Impossible" and the new "American Made."

Yes, the latter is based on true events. It still has that Cruise vibe down to the core.

It isn't always this way. Cruise actually portrays a character in "American Made." And, in the following five movies he strays far from his standard screen persona. One time, in particular, he was darn near unrecognizable. It reminds us there's a fine actor lurking beneath the toothy grin.

"Tropic Thunder"

A bald, heavyset Tom Cruise? Yes, that's Cruise cast as Les Grossman, the obnoxious studio head prone to crazed dance moves.

Cruise's career had hit the skids, by his lofty standards, and he reinvented himself (partially) by tackling the unconventional role. He worked hard to make the role his own partly by ensuring we couldn't see the real Tom Cruise beneath the body hair and fat suit.