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CASTING CORNER
 
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
How Tom Went Bad

It's the killer role that could just earn Oscar gold for Tom Cruise. In his new movie, "Collateral," the three-time Academy Award nominee transforms himself into a cold-blooded, grey-haired killer -- but not without some serious training.

Jamie Foxx and Jada Pinkett Smith co-star in the action thriller, which was directed by three-time Oscar nominee Michael Mann. And Tom told us that training to be an assassin had him packing serious heat.

"It was a great idea of Michael's to have me train with live ammunition," Cruise revealed. "He was a great instructor, and he helped me to find my own style."

But it's not just the guns and grey hair that's turned Cruise into a killer; he endured heavy workouts of close-quarter combat.

The film was shot entirely in Los Angeles, and Tom told us, "You're going to see LA like you've never seen it before. I mean Jamie and I would be sitting in the car and going, ‘How did he find this place? Where are we right now?'"

Foxx added, "He'd take us to places where even I was like, ‘Lock the doors, man.'"

"Extra" has learned that, though they play archenemies in the film, off screen, Cruise and Foxx became fast friends. "Jamie Foxx... is just stunning," Cruise insisted. And Foxx told us Tom's, "still got his mojo and is ready to work it and do his thing."

Even Jada calls Tom her long-lost adopted brother, and she calls Foxx, who attended college on a piano scholarship, a genius. "Even though he's incredibly funny, he's incredibly intelligent," Smith insisted.

Check out "Collateral" for yourself when it crashes into theaters August 6th.

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