Ben Stiller's 2008 action-comedy film Tropic Thunder set in the Vietnamese jungles (but shot in Kauai) was a smart satire of Hollywood's war movies and spoiled actors. But it was Tom Cruise's cameo that made it memorable via his lampooning of greedy Hollywood execs. Cruise transformed (thanks to a fat suit that included fat hands and a gigantic gold Panerai that costs as much as out of state yearly college tuition to a crappy state school) into the crass, middle aged caricature of a studio executive/producer fond of affecting hip hop culture for cred and screaming "Playaaaa" when he wasn't telling people to f**k their own faces. But even better, Cruise transformed from the couch-jumping Scientologist, overly-serious control freak into a good sport and an actor willing to turn himself into a grotesque character in the name of fun. Okay, fun and profit.
At last night's MTV Movie Awards, Les showed up for the first time since Tropic Thunder to shake it with J.Lo to Ludacris' "Get Back", Les Grossman's official theme song. And by the way, Les Grossman would be a fine match for the Met, if and when Peter Gelb decides to leave -- that's how you make opera cool. Imagine a meeting between GM Grossman and Angela Gheorghiu or Roberto Alagna! Playa! Playa!
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