Tom Cruise is literally at the height of his career. The actor sent social media ablaze last night with a torrent of comment about his height when he was seen curiously taller than ever alongside Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in London at the premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Cruise, who stands at 5-foot-7, was nearly eye-to-eye on the red carpet with 5-foot-9 Middleton in Prada’s suede cutout pumps set on 3-inch stiletto heels — boosting Middleton’s height to 6 feet tall. What a fete for the action star.
So, how did Cruise appear to catapult nearly 4 to 5 inches higher? Dressed in patent leather shoes that incorporated a stacked heel, it looked like it added close to 1.5-2 inches to his frame. According to some observers, the remaining 3 inches needed to reach Middleton’s height could be owed to elevating insoles, which typically support around 1.5 to nearly 3 additional inches, though they need to coordinate with the footwear’s silhouette for a secure fit.
With or without them, Cruise has walked tall for years alongside actresses clad in soaring stiletto heels by embracing astute styling tricks for grand height illusion. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with embracing one’s true height, but Cruise has a history of purposefully looking taller — he likely believes it’s a flattering silhouette that puts confidence in his steps.
Indeed. He has mastered this height hack through subtle, carefully coordinated poses along with the right clothes and shoes.
Cruise’s ex-wife Nicole Kidman, who measures 5-foot-10, was perhaps the most challenging of his red carpet partners, but together, they masterfully erected him throughout their marriage.
Just look to their arrival at the Herb Ritts exhibition opening on Oct. 22, 1992. The couple posed with their heads close together, with Kidman’s head leaning lower into him to deflect from the obvious height difference. Meanwhile, Kidman chose a modest kitten heel compared to Cruise’s taller Cuban heel. Nailed it.
But mistakes can be made. Months earlier on Jan. 18 at the Golden Globe Awards, Kidman, with an arched back and positioned with a mile-long space between their faces with her chest at his side made the contrast obvious — even in her kitten heels — as Cruise’s length diminished.
During his marriage to Katie Holmes, who is 5-foot-9, there were plenty of red carpet challenges despite the “Dawson’s Creek” star coming in 1-inch shorter than Kidman. But unlike Kidman, Holmes didn’t embrace kitten heels often — she preferred stilettos around 4 inches. But, by leaving some space between their bodies and Cruise leading ahead of her as they walked hand-in-hand at the Bambi Awards in 2007 in Duesseldorf, Germany, the height differences were minimized as much as possible.
The simplest trick Cruise employs is drawing attention upward through pattern and color. Alongside his 5-foot-9 co-star Cameron Diaz at their “Knight and Day” premiere on July 23, 2010 in Bordeaux, France, Cruise chose a striped ice blue top with dark-wash jeans and dress shoes that had stacked heels. His pose — a slant while partially positioning himself forward next to her — elongated the body as she leaned in and placed one foot behind her.
At the “Knight and Day” premiere in Seville, Spain, on June 16, 2010 he literally took things up a notch in heeled boots that added around 2 extra inches. They looked nearly even while she stood in 4-inch heels.
It’s not often Cruise gets the chance to look taller than his leading ladies, but he did so next to his “Top Gun: Maverick” co-star Jennifer Connelly, who is on equal footing with him matching at 5-foot-7. Even with Connelly in heels, he managed to gain a fairly generous boost above her while at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18. As seen in his pose, Cruise diminishes the appearance of his width by standing to his side and positioning his body at an angle as she stood vertically and straight ahead. The stacked heels helped too.