LOS ANGELES — Actor and producer Tom Cruise has issued a press release announcing plans to change his name to “McCruise” in the new year.
“It’s not a new year’s resolution or anything like that,” said Cruise’s publicist, Baul Ploch.
Tom Cruise first rose to public attention in 1983 when he played the lead role in the teen coming-of-age film Risky Business. Success and fame followed with roles in Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and the Mission: Impossible films.
During an interview with Variety, the leading Hollywood trade publication, Ploch said the name change was part of an exercise in branding: “We want to take Tom to the next level. It’s not enough for him to be an A-list actor. We want him to be a brand in and of himself.
“Being an entity known by a single name is to be more than famous. You are an icon. This is more common in the music business, for example, Cher, Bette and Björk. But we can’t use Tom’s first name, because it’s too common. Also, during our research, we discovered that 42% of the public in America’s Midwest would assume that any use of the name ‘Tom’ was a reference to Tom Arnold, sometime actor and ex-husband to Roseanne Barr. Tom Arnold has starred in such direct-to-video hits as Carpool and The Stupids.
“We considered at length the option of referring to Tom solely as ‘Cruise.’ But problems again surface that the name can be confused with that of Penélope Cruz. It’s infuriating. Damn homophones. So we went back and forth and brainstormed, and we came up with ‘McCruise.'”
Ploch said that the difficult process of selecting a new name for Cruise took many months. “We played around with a lot of names. But ‘basilmarceau.com’ was taken. ‘BigAssActor’ seemed too egocentric. So we went with ‘McCruise.’
“In the future, when Tom appears in a film, the credit will go to ‘McCruise.’ And before all interviews, the journalist must agree to only refer to Tom as ‘McCruise.’ We look forward to McCruise’s continued success as ‘McCruise,’ as well as many cross-brand promotional opportunities with a Scottish restaurant of some distinction.”