(NOTE LANGUAGE) Tom Cruise is famous for risk-taking both onscreen and in real life so that his characters can save the world, but according to movie legend Steven Spielberg, Cruise’s biggest gamble saved Hollywood itself.

The admission was revealed in a moment between the director and Mission: Impossible franchise star and producer that was uploaded to Instagram by fellow nominee Kartiki Gonsalves in a now-deleted video from Tuesday’s annual Oscar nominees luncheon.

It showed the War of the Worlds collaborators embracing warmly, before Spielberg congratulates Cruise on the “great honor” of Tom receiving the Milestone Award at the upcoming Producers Guild Awards. “You saved Hollywood’s a**!” Spielberg said referring to Top Gun: Maverick.

Cruise laughed and shook his head humbly.

Still embracing him, Spielberg can be overheard saying, “And you might have saved theatrical distribution. Seriously!”

Cruise, as the star and producer of Top Gun: Maverick, insisted the movie not be released to streaming during the pandemic, delaying it instead for theatrical release.

The gamble paid off: The film coaxed COVID-shy audiences back to theaters, resulting in a $1.48 billion take in theaters worldwide. Maverick nabbed six Oscar nominations to boot, including one for Best Picture.

The friends will meet again on March 12, when Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 95th Annual Academy Awards, which will air on ABC: Spielberg’s autobiographical The Fabelmans is up for seven trophies.

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