Maybe it's not a shock, but it's certainly a development: Tom Cruise finally looks his age.
After decades of defying the aging process and looking like a finer version of his younger self, the sex icon superstar is finally looking like the handsome and debonair almost-60-year-old he is.
Tom Cruise Finally Joins the Rest of the World in Aging
Celebrities have an unfair advantage when it comes to the aging process. Not only do they have access to the best healthcare, food, and anti-aging skincare in the world, but they're also almost expected to get cosmetic surgery to stay youthful.
Out here in the real world, most people knocking on 60 - cruise is 59 - look like they've been through a few years of life. Cruise, however, up until very recently, has looked pretty much exactly as he always has, with just a hint of the creep of middle age.
Seeing Cruise embrace the aging process has a cascade of effects for his biggest fans. Those who have been with him since the beginning can see themselves a little better in the aging star and feel a comradery.
In addition, it's a reminder that Cruise has been a superstar through an extraordinary time in Hollywood. One after one, we watched icons fall to the #MeToo movement - their power-tripping secrets laid bare by a fed up industry. Cruise also experienced a bit of a stumble in his career in the early '00's after revelations about his involvement in the controversial Church of Scientology. In addition, many of his contemporaries and peers have since faded: Mel Gibson, Bruce WIllis, just to name a few. Although they're still acting, they don't have that sex appeal star power Cruise still effortlessly brings.
So how did Cruise not only survive a turbulent time in Hollywood but outlast his contemporaries? NDTV speculates, "Cruise managed to recover and thrive by presenting himself as something like a real-life superhero.
'Part of the mystique is that he does his own stunts -- flies jets, jumps off buildings -- it's hard not to watch him without thinking: is there anything this guy can't do?' said Paul Dergarabedian, of media analysts Comscore."
But it's more than just his debonair good looks - aging or otherwise - and his rock star devotion to being a Rennaissance man.
The "it" factor for Tom Cruise is the whole package. Cruise lives, breathes, and exudes the movie star lifestyle - and now he's doing it with a few more wrinkles and some serious grace.
Tom Cruises into Cannes
Recently, Cruise was spotted on the red carpet at Cannes for an extraordinary occasion most fans thought they'd never live to see: another Top Gun movie.
It's been almost 40 years since the last Top Gun installment, and Top Gun: Maverick has hit the floor running with critic raves all around.
During an interview at Cannes, he charmed fans with an honest Q&A that shows he hasn't missed a step in the intervening 36 years. When asked if he ever thought about giving in to pressure to take his new movie straight to SVOD and skip theaters, the traditionalist barked, "THAT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN" to cheers from onlookers.
And despite knocking on 60, the star is still happy to be the one putting in the blood, sweat and teers to make action scenes look extraordinary.
The Guardian writes, "... [French journalist and Cruise superfan Didier] Allouch became serious and asked him about doing all his own super-dangerous stunts. 'You are a family man with children! Why do it?' Tom was ready for this one: 'Would you ASK GENE KELLY WHY HE DOES ALL HIS OWN DANCING?'”
Gone may be the days of leaping on Oprah's couch and declaring his love, but Cruise's enthusiasm hasn't dimmed over the years. And if he looks a little grayer, a little more wrinkled - well, fine wine takes time too.
It's great seeing Cruise so vibrant, happy, and ready to take on the world, all in a face that walks the line between still breathtakingly beautiful - and gracefully aging.