K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door

I want 10 kids (I just hope Katie can keep up with me)

The Sun - UK
By Grant Rollings

WATCH out, BRAD and ANGELINA. TOM CRUISE is aiming to beat you – not at the box office, but with a bigger brood.

When it comes to large celebrity families, the Brangelina clan’s score of six kids is tough to beat.

Cruise, though, reveals that he would like to have TEN.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, the Hollywood superstar talks about how he loves being a father and why the 16-year age gap with his third wife Katie Holmes is not a problem.

Tom grins: “I want ten children. I love kids. I feel really fortunate to have the teenagers and a two and a half-year-old. It’s a great dynamic.”

The star adopted two children with his second wife NICOLE KIDMAN, Isabella, now 16, and 13-year-old Connor.

Tom and Katie — pictured earlier this month showing the strains of her gruelling Broadway schedule — became parents together when Suri was born in 2006. And his youngest is clearly a great joy to him.

Of Suri, he says: “She’s so charming, she’s so beautiful, she’s just great.”


The hard-working actor, 46, is often seen out with Suri and Katie. And he tries to make sure he spends as much time as possible with his kids.

It is, he admits, a reaction to being brought up without a father figure from the age of 12.

His dad — Thomas Cruise Mapother III — split from his mother Mary at that time.

Tom says: “I’m a great parent. I want to be with my kids, and they get to do all the stuff that I wanted to do when I was growing up.

“My own father wasn’t there much for me and I want to be a different dad to my kids. My family is the most important thing in my life.”

And his divorce from Nicole Kidman has not affected his relationship with their adopted children, he insists, adding: “Nic and I are very committed and successful in sharing the parenting.”

It seems the screen idol is making it third time lucky with Batman Begins star Katie, 30.

With typical Cruise enthusiasm, he pays huge compliments to her, saying: “Married life is very good, very lovely. I feel lucky to have Kate as my wife. She’s an extraordinary woman. She is funny and smart and she likes the same things that I do.

“She’s a very strong, gracious woman, and a great comedian.

“I like doing romantic things, such as bringing flowers and surprising her with things. I love candlelit evenings with nice music.”

Trim and remarkably young looking for a man in his mid-forties, Tom reckons he is more than able to keep up with his young wife.

Commenting on the age gap, he says: “If I’m worried about anything, it’s if she can keep up with me. I’m very active.”

For Tom it really was a case of love at first sight when he met Katie in 2005.

He reveals: “A couple of hours after meeting her, I thought, ‘I’m going to marry this woman.’ I just knew.” That marriage took place in November 2006 in Bracciano, Italy.

Despite being the most famous actor of his generation, and married to a famous actress, Tom claims he is able to live a “normal life” and says his family are rarely bothered by intrusive photographers.

He adds: “The paparazzi? They are trying at times but it’s rare that it happens. I try not to stay isolated because it’s not good for us and the kids. It’s important for us to get to know new people.

“I go to the children’s groups like other daddies.

“At first people look at me like, ‘My God, it’s him!’ and they treat me a little differently.

“But then they realise I’m just a father with my kids. It’s up to me to make everybody else feel okay about the fact that I’m there, and then everything just goes on.”

When he is not acting or looking after the kids, Tom has plenty of hobbies to keep him occupied.


He says: “Life is never boring because I’m meeting so many interesting people and I have so many interests.

“I love motorbikes. I’m now teaching Connor how to ride.

“And I love flying. I own my own planes. As a little kid, I always wanted to fly.

“It’s something that’s freeing and it’s like acting in many ways. I like all different kinds of sports — hockey, football, skydiving. I like horse riding, mountain climbing and scuba diving.”

The thrill-seeking streak has been with Tom since he was a child.

He reveals: “I’ve always liked excitement and enjoyed being scared. When I was younger I jumped off garages. I was climbing trees. I was falling out of trees. At four, I skydived from our roof using bed sheets.”

Tom’s latest film role sees him facing an even more terrifying type of danger — in "Valkyrie" he plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer who famously tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler during the Second World War.

Even though Stauffenberg was not successful, he is seen as a hero in Germany.

Tom says: “It’s a great responsibility to the Germans, for whom a man like Colonel von Stauffenberg means so much. And playing the role, I felt a responsibility to the man himself.

“The more I learnt about him, the greater my respect and admiration.

“The moment I read the screenplay, I knew it was an important story. It’s a true tale of heroic resistance to one of the great villains of history.”

"Valkyrie," with an impressive cast including KENNETH BRANAGH, TOM WILKINSON and BILL NIGHY, is sure to be a hit with cinemagoers.

But Tom insists that he is not motivated by financial success these days.

He says: “I’ve had lots of luck and earned much money during my career.

“Now I don’t do movies for the money. I pick the projects that I feel like doing, and lots of people earn a lot of money with me.”

There was some criticism in Germany about Tom being cast as Stauffenberg because the actor is a prominent supporter of Scientology.

Stung by negative comments about the religious movement, which has been accused of being a cult, the actor insists he no longer wishes to talk about his beliefs.

He said: “I say, ‘That’s it, no more — go to the Scientology website’.”

And he admits that in the past he has come across as being conceited when talking to some journalists.

“I think I could have handled things better,” he concedes.

“I came across as arrogant and I didn’t communicate well.”

“But I do feel good about myself at this point in my life. I live to be the best man I can.

“I make mistakes just like everybody else — but I’m out there fighting away.”

"Valkyrie" (12A) opens on January 23.