Tom Cruise Praised by JJ Abrams: He’s “Generous,” “Passionate” and “Encouraging”

In the May 2013 issue of Playboy, JJ Abrams praises Tom Cruise, whom he directed in 2006's Mission Impossible III. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Tom Cruise may be one of the biggest movie stars in the world, but he's managed to keep his ego in check. According to JJ Abrams, who directed the 50-year-old actor in 2006's Mission Impossible III, the single star epitomizes professionalism in moviemaking.

"Before I started, I called Cameron Crowe, and asked him his advice, since he'd made two movies with Tom [Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky]. He just said, 'Brother, you are going to be spoiled.' I now know he was right. Tom is the hardest-working, most focused, generous, passionate-about-the-form collaborator I could imagine," Abrams tells the May issue of Playboy. "I was a first-time feature director, and before we started shooting Tom said, 'I'm your actor; you're the director.' There was not a day on that movie when Tom was not supportive, encouraging, collaborative, excited. He never mandated anything. He never insisted on things going a certain way."

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Abrams continues, "There was nothing I ever asked him to do that he wouldn't do. There were things I asked him not to do because he was so willing to put himself physically in danger. I would be like, 'There's not a f-cking chance you're going through that window. If you get cut. . .'  But he was always about the better idea."

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The Star Trek Into Darkness director was recently tapped to reboot the Star Wars franchise. The attention put extra attention on Abrams, who prefers to let his movies and TV shows speak for themselves.

"I look at people I know, certainly actors like Tom, who literally cannot go anywhere. That's a miserable thing," the 46-year-old tells Playboy. "I go out all the time, and people don't recognize me at all."

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Because he can go unnoticed, women aren't exactly throwing themselves at Abrams. That's fine by him, given that he has three children with wife of 17 years Katie McGrath. "What I usually get isn't a sexual thing. It's usually some dude with hair too long in the back giving me a Vulcan salute or, more recently, saying, 'May the force be with you,'" he says. "I haven't gotten a lot of the more appealing versions you're referring to."

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