The 2023 Oscars ceremony was a smashing success, putting up the highest viewership numbers of any awards show in the past three years. But, as ever, the Academy Awards didn't go off without at least a little bit of drama. This time, it's Tom Cruise who's set the internet abuzz.
The four-time Oscar nominee was noticeably absent from Sunday night's Oscars ceremony, despite Top Gun: Maverick's whopping six nominations. In addition to his starring role, Cruise also served as an executive producer on the sequel to his 1986 classic, meaning he would've accepted the award for Best Picture if Maverick had won the top prize -- which ended up going to Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Since Cruise's absence was first noted during the red carpet pre-shows, rumors have swirled about why the movie star skipped out on a chance to bask in the jet-fuel-scented glory of Top Gun: Maverick, the highest-grossing domestic movie of 2022 and the film that, according to Steven Spielberg, "saved Hollywood" from pandemic-era box office woes.
One report suggested that Cruise stayed away from the show to avoid a "run-in" with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, who attended the ceremony with her husband Keith Urban. Still others speculated that Cruise was boycotting the awards after missing out on a Best Actor nomination for his return to the iconic role of Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.
As it happens, the reason for Cruise's absence is much more mundane. A representative for the actor told People on Sunday that Cruise wouldn't be attending the ceremony due to a scheduling conflict.
The action star is currently overseas filming Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part Two, the buzzy eighth installment in the franchise that's been in the works since July 2022. Dead Reckoning Part One is slated to premiere in theaters this summer.
While the phrase "scheduling conflict" feels like a cop-out, in the case of Tom Cruise, it's valid. We're talking about a guy who goes into the office to perform the most dangerous stunts in film history -- huge undertakings that require months of precise preparation and scheduling for teams of stunt coordinators and safety advisors.
So, no, this isn't about Nicole Kidman. If Cruise decides to skip awards shows to perform record-breaking motorcycle cliff jumps, well, that's his prerogative.
READ MORE: Nicole Kidman Brought an Unexpected Guest to the Oscars
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