Tom Cruise David Letterman Interview American Psycho

Summary: In an infamous 2005 interview on The Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Cruise discusses his role in the controversial film American Psycho. The interview has become known for Cruise’s intense behavior and strange antics.

1. Introduction to the Interview

In 2000, Tom Cruise starred in the film American Psycho, based on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. The film received mixed reviews and was criticized for its graphic violence and portrayal of the main character’s psychopathic behavior. Five years later, Cruise appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote his latest film, War of the Worlds, but the interview quickly turned to the topic of American Psycho.

Cruise had not previously discussed American Psycho in public, and Letterman brought up the film by asking him what it was about. Cruise’s demeanor immediately shifted, and he became defensive and confrontational.

The interview has become infamous for Cruise’s bizarre behavior, including jumping on the couch, insulting Letterman, and shouting at the audience. Many viewers speculated that Cruise was under the influence of drugs or had experienced a mental break.

2. The Significance of American Psycho

American Psycho is a significant film in the history of American cinema for a few reasons. Firstly, it delves into the world of psychopathy and violence in a way that had not been seen before, sparking controversy and debate. Secondly, it marked a change in Tom Cruise’s career path as an actor. Prior to this film, Cruise had mostly played heroic leading men, but American Psycho showed an entirely different side to his acting abilities.

Furthermore, the film has become a cult classic and has influenced a new generation of filmmakers who are drawn to its unique style and themes. It has also been studied by academics for its commentary on consumer culture and masculinity.

While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, to discredit American Psycho as merely a violent film is to miss the subversive messages it contains and its impact on the industry.

3. Tom Cruise’s Performance in American Psycho

Cruise plays the character of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy investment banker who leads a double life as a serial killer. The role is a departure from Cruise’s previous work and required him to display a range of emotions and behaviors to convey Bateman’s psychopathic nature.

Despite the controversy surrounding the film, critics praised Cruise’s performance. Roger Ebert wrote that “Cruise seems to have found a role that fits him like a glove, using his clean-cut good looks and intense energy to create a character that is demonic and yet plausible.”

Cruise has stated in interviews that he was drawn to the complexity of the character and relished the opportunity to portray someone so different from himself.

4. David Letterman’s Handling of the Interview

David Letterman is no stranger to awkward and uncomfortable interviews, but his interaction with Tom Cruise on this particular episode stands out as one of the most infamous.

After asking Cruise about American Psycho, Letterman attempts to steer the conversation back to War of the Worlds, but Cruise refuses to let go of the subject, insisting that people need to see the film for themselves to make their own judgments.

Letterman attempts to lighten the mood by joking about Cruise’s height and mock fighting, but Cruise becomes increasingly agitated and demands an apology from Letterman for making negative comments about the film. The interview ends on a sour note, with Cruise storming offstage as the audience applauds.

5. The Legacy of the Interview

The Tom Cruise David Letterman interview has become a cultural touchstone and is often cited as an example of a celebrity interview gone wrong. It has been parodied in movies and television shows and continues to be discussed and analyzed by fans and critics alike.

The interview also sheds light on society’s fascination with celebrity culture and the expectations placed on actors to promote their work in a certain way. It highlights the power dynamic between the media and those in the public eye, and how quickly a narrative can spin out of control.

In conclusion, the Tom Cruise David Letterman interview remains a fascinating and unsettling moment in the history of talk show television. Whether you view it as a trainwreck or a cultural milestone, it is impossible to deny its lasting impact on popular culture.


The Tom Cruise David Letterman interview is infamous for the actor’s strange behavior and erratic antics, but it also sheds light on larger issues surrounding celebrity culture and popular entertainment. While the interview itself is uncomfortable to watch, it is a significant moment in the history of American cinema and remains a topic of discussion and analysis over a decade later.

Ultimately, the interview serves as a reminder of the power dynamics at play in the entertainment industry and the pressures placed on actors to conform to certain expectations. As audiences continue to dissect and analyze the interview, it will likely remain a touchstone for discussions surrounding celebrity, fame, and media saturation.

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