The National staff

Nearly 25 years after his role as a fighter pilot in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun sparked a lifestyle craze for Ray Ban sunglasses, air-force jackets and fast bikes worldwide – particularly in India – the Hollywood star Tom Cruise interacted with hundreds of his Indians fans and presented his latest film, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, ahead of its worldwide release on December 21.

Tom Cruise poses in Mumbai. Divyakant Solanki / EPA
Tom Cruise poses in Mumbai. Divyakant Solanki / EPA

Cruise, dressed in a blue shirt and jeans, stood on the red carpet as hundreds of fans screamed, “We want Tom!” He spent more than 90 minutes shaking hands, posing for pictures with his fans and signing autographs. Cruise’s co-stars Paula Patton and Anil Kapoor accompanied the actor and were later joined by Kapoor’s daughter Sonam on the red carpet.

“I wanted to come here my whole life,” said Cruise. “I kept saying to Anil, a great actor and an incredible host, I promise you I will come to India. Yesterday, when we were at the Taj Mahal, I told him: ‘You have to pinch me. I can’t believe I am here’.”

Cruise’s visit comes at a time when Bollywood is looking to make crossover cinema that would appeal to the West. Yash Raj Films, one of India’s biggest film studios, has opened an office in Los Angeles to produce Hollywood movies, and Bollywood’s most respected actor Amitabh Bachchan is all set to make his Hollywood debut in Baz Luhrman’s Great Gatsby based on F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

The highlight of the fourth sequel of the Mission Impossible franchise is a breathtaking stunt by Cruise atop the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The actor will attend the premiere of the film at the Dubai International Film Festival tomorrow night. More info