Last year, there was some commotion on the internet when people truly believed that Tom Cruise had joined the Gen Z oasis that is TikTok. Of course, it wasn’t really him, just someone who looked a lot like him, and suddenly, the concept of Tom Cruise doing mundane things like eating a lollipop and discovering that there was bubblegum inside became the app’s best account.
The account, of course, is run by a Cruise lookalike who is also an aspiring actor named Miles Fisher (of course when you have those looks you must be on the screen) and suddenly Fisher became what everyone wants Tom Cruise to be: funny!
“I had never made a number get that big that fast,” Fisher explained in a first-person essay in The Hollywood Reporter. Fisher downloaded the app on 2021 after receiving comments about his eerie similarities to the Top Gun icon. Using Deepfake technology, he was able to trick millions of viewers into thinking it was actually Cruise creating these quick videos.
“From zero to 4 million views in less than two days,” Fisher adds. “Tens of thousands of comments, virtually all of them convinced this was actually Tom Cruise just sharing his life on the internet. People weren’t comparing me to him; they insisted I was him.”
Fisher then became instantly famous for his Cruise videos that looked so realistic they were constantly shocking viewers and celebrities like Justin Bieber. Even Fisher was a little scared at first. As he explained:
Unlike YouTube or Instagram, TikTok took some getting used to. It’s the ultimate selfie platform. With my past impressions of Tom, I was used to going big — that loud laugh, intense jutting of the arms, megawatt confidence, etc. But with the camera now so close to my face, and with the deepfake technology layering on the subtlest microexpressions, it came off as overacting. I needed to dial it back, become more nuanced, more quotidian. And it needed a touch of something we almost never see from Tom Cruise: silliness.
I began making a series of videos according to a few simple rules. No cheap shots at Tom — nothing personal about him, his family or his religion. Not only is that none of my business, but I knew it would be a creative trap. Rather, every sketch was rooted in the simple joy of everyday experiences. Like discovering someone put gum inside a lollipop!
Fisher’s account exploded after leaning into what the people really wanted: mundane short impersonation of their favorite prolific actor wandering around Harvard’s campus for the first time, calling it a place for nerds, or actually going on a date with the real Pairs Hilton for some reason. But still, the comments on his videos are always a collection of confused fans not knowing if it’s really Tom or not. And that’s the beauty of the internet!