Often, watching Tom Cruise reminds me of Matt Austin, the blond Tom Cruise. Although he’s multi-talented in many respects and comfortable in an incredibly wide array of positions, I always think of Matt Austin as an actor (no matter what success he has in other fields, such as directing and producing and more).  Many people …
" /> Jason Holborn | Cybercarnet/Weblog - Matt Austin: On the way to save the day!

Matt Austin: On the way to save the day!

Often, watching Tom Cruise reminds me of Matt Austin, the blond Tom Cruise.

Although he’s multi-talented in many respects and comfortable in an incredibly wide array of positions, I always think of Matt Austin as an actor (no matter what success he has in other fields, such as directing and producing and more).  Many people think Tom Cruise is a flake or etc; I think Tom Cruise really delivers, and always pours himself into being the best he can be at his job.  Matt Austin really identifies with Tom Cruise and in some ways or aspects, he models himself after Tom Cruise; he made a synergistic choice that works. Tom Cruise is always a bold go-getter and risk-taker and winner, pulling off things that ordinary humans around him can’t.  He’s a multi-purpose James Bond: in any profession or location or position, Tom Cruise will launch himself into a fistfight or car chase or daunting challenge or uphill battle with everything he has in him, and that’s Matt Austin, too.  I watched Minority Report last night; the best thing about it is Tom Cruise, and, as so often happens, watching him recalled to me Matt.

I don’t know Matt that well and it’s been quite a long time since I even saw him (I guess since shooting Credit Role); still, I know a bit about him.  Before he looked to Tom Cruise, he looked to Superman as a role model: what more do you need to know about a fellow than that?  It’s hip to say that Superman is “lame”, and that Batman is “edgy” and “real”.  Like the (kinda silly) Star Wars vs Star Trek squabble, like the (kinda silly) “Marvel vs DC” debate, or Kirk vs Picard arguments, this one is a no-brainer: both Superman and Batman are cool.  It’s fashionable to acknowledge how, “the problem with Superman is that he can do anything”, although, as many climactic movies and comics show, he can’t.  What’s cool, and wonderful and beautiful about Superman, is that he’s a blessed demi-god from a working Kansas farm, with down-home values about being friendly to people, treating everyone equally, having optimism and hope and faith, and making the best of everything and of the world, and being happy, even in the big city, even if you’re a total alien.  No one who digs Superman as much as Matt Austin, even when it’s uncool to dig Superman, can be a bad guy.

I figure I think of Matt as an actor regardless of his other accomplishments because of his personality, his presence, his je-ne-sais-quoi.  He’s simply watchable; sure, he’s handsome, yet many people are handsome.  It’s more than that.  It’s a little something inside him that makes you like him and root for him and believe in him; he brings a Tom Cruise energy to his performances.  It’s hard to imagine him playing a broken drunk — unless it’s a broken drunk you’re ready to watch pull himself out of the gutter and into a better situation.  And he’s like that in real life, too.  Watching Tom Cruise driven to shock and grief and then shock over his son Shawn in Minority Report made me realize what a cool father Matt Austin must be; he’s a devoted and committed energy that inspires optimism. I really envy and admire this cat’s people skills.

Some of my favorite thoughts about making it in life or in film come from Matt Austin: I read once that he’d compared the idea of “knocking on every door” to “putting your fist through the door and unlocking it from the inside with your bloodied fingers”; that was a real eye- and brain-catcher for me.

He’s multi-talented and wears more hats than Queen Elizabeth, however, if you need an actor that can deliver a Tom Cruise-sized performance and energy on an under-Hollywood-sized budget, if you need a Superman to fly in and rescue a project with an infectiously warm energy that fosters team spirit and team belief, look no further than Matt Austin for a can-do learner who will deliver and pour himself into giving the best he can.