Cruise vows autographs for all at latest premiere
Cruise, who is becoming notorious for his mammoth red carpet walkabouts, said ahead of the UK premiere of The Last Samurai: "Hey, if anyone shows up and wants my autograph, they can have it. I love coming to London and meeting the fans."
In the film, he plays Captain Nathan Algren, a disillusioned American Civil War veteran hired to train Japan's first modern conscript army in the late 19th century. However, he is captured by Samurai and soon becomes involved in their way of life, finally joining them in a dramatic last stand against the Emperor's forces.
The star has also revealed that he came close to death during shooting for the action epic when a stunt went wrong.
He and co-star Hiroyuki Sanada were approaching one another on mechanical horses. Sanada's horse was meant to stop a split second before he swung his sword at Cruise's head, but the mechanism failed and the horse carried on towards Cruise.
Cruise attributes Sanada's martial arts skill with saving his life.
The actor's last film was sci-fi thriller Minority Report two years ago. He trained for eight months for his role in The Last Samurai and spent a further four months researching the part. He has been nominated for a Golden Globe for the film and is strongly tipped for Oscar success this year.
"I learned Kendo, swordsmanship, Japanese martial arts, and all manner of weapons handling. I not only had to ride a horse, but I had to effectively fight while riding," he said.
"I studied Japanese. As far as training goes, you name it, I've done it."
The Last Samurai also stars Billy Connolly as Algren's friend, Irishman Zebulon Gant, and Auf Wiedersehen Pet star Timothy Spall as interpreter Simon Graham.