CANNES, France (AP) — Tom Cruise mania descended Wednesday in Cannes the place the actor made a whirlwind look on the movie competition, strolling the crimson carpet, receiving a shock Palme d’Or and watching a squadron of French fighter jets fly over the European premiere of “High Gun: Maverick.”

Cannes pulled out all of the stops to fete the 59-year-old star, paying tribute to Cruise with not only a uncommon interview on stage and a red-carpet premiere that includes a flyby of jets trailing coloured smoke, however with the surprising presentation of an honorary Palme d’Or. Pageant president Pierre Lescure introduced the award — about 15 honorary Palmes have been given earlier than — on stage simply earlier than the screening was to start. Cruise clutched Cannes’ high prize whereas the viewers gave the actor a standing ovation.

Cruise introduced a palpable buzz to the Croisette, the place throngs gathered across the Palais des Festivals shouting “Tom!” to attempt to get a glimpse of the 59-year-old star. “Nice Balls of Fireplace” blared on the carpet.

Cruise hadn’t been to the competition in three a long time. However with loads of media disruption difficult the theatrical expertise, Cannes and Cruise exuded the vibe of long-last friends. “He’s dedicated to cinema,” declared inventive director Thierry Fremaux. Cruise’s enthusiastic welcome smacked in some methods of an motion hero’s reception, right here to avoid wasting the day.

“I make motion pictures for the large display screen,” Cruise stated to applause in an interview on stage at Cannes’ Debussy Theatre.

The European premiere of “High Gun: Maverick,” directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, introduced out what’s more likely to be among the many most star-studded crimson carpets of the Cannes Movie Pageant, which opened Tuesday and runs by Might 28. Amongst these in attendance have been Viola Davis, Dakota Fanning, Omar Sy and Eva Longoria — together with “High Gun: Maverick” stars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Glen Powell.

Whereas Cruise arrived by helicopter on the movie’s San Diego premiere aboard an plane provider, he got here to the Cannes premiere extra historically, with the movie’s forged and filmmakers in a cavalcade of automobiles. Cruise paused for a number of minutes to signal autographs and take photos with followers lined up throughout the road from the crimson carpet.

Earlier than that, the competition honored Cruise with a tribute that consisted of a career-spanning video montage, after which Cruise spoke about his dedication to filmmaking in an interview that stayed away from any private questions. As a substitute, he responded to prodding from interviewer Didier Allouc about why, Monsieur Cruise, do you’re taking such dangers doing your individual stunts?

“Nobody requested Gene Kelly ‘Why do you dance?’” answered Cruise.

The Cannes stopover for “High Gun: Maverick” is a part of a worldwide tour for the movie forward of its Might twenty seventh launch in theaters. It has already touched down at CinemaCon in Las Vegas and premiered in San Diego. Paramount Photos delayed its launch two years through the pandemic, a transfer that seems to be paying off with glowing critiques and box-office expectations that “High Gun: Maverick” will simply mark Cruise’s largest opening weekend ever.

Requested if he was ever tempted to steer the movie to a streaming service, Cruise replied emphatically.

“No, that’s not going to occur ever,” responded Cruise to loud applause. “That was by no means going to occur.”

Cruise spent the vast majority of the dialog explaining his excessive dedication to the craft of moviemaking, how from an early age he dug into each aspect of movie productions and analyzed how specific modes of performing labored finest on the large display screen. Capturing the 1981 movie “Faucets,” with George C. Scott, he returned to it repeatedly as a formative expertise.

“Please,” Cruise stated he thought on the time, “if I might simply do that for the remainder of my life, I’ll by no means take it with no consideration.”