Steven Spielberg praises Tom Cruise: "You saved Hollywood's ass!"

The director congratulated Tom Cruise, the star of 'Top Gun: Maverick' for the film's strong box office performance.

Steven Spielberg sung Tom Cruise's praises at the 2023 Academy Luncheon, an annual tradition hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to bring together all Oscar nominees.

Tom Cruise was the star amongst stars at the event. The Top Gun: Maverick lead was among the first to arrive in Beverly Hills. As soon as he arrived, he was surrounded by thousands of fans. However, his chat with Steven Spielberg caught all the attention. The director of The Fabelmans went straight to Cruise, and the two shared a touching moment, which the entertainment site Discussing Film shared on social media:

Tom Cruise, the star amongst stars

The conversation, partly inaudible, went around the world, as it demonstrated Spielberg's enormous admiration for Cruise. In fact, his words are true. As reported by Box Office Mojo, Top Gun: Maverick was the highest-grossing film of 2022 and the fifth-highest grossing film in U.S. history, racking up a box office total of $1.48 billion.

Spielberg wasn't the only one who stopped by to say hello to Cruise. The actor was one of the first that Guillermo del Toro greeted when he arrived at the event. With a "I have to go say hello to Tom," the director of Guillermo del Toro's Pinnochio went to hug the actor. In fact, Cruise's popularity was described by the New York Times journalist Kyle Buchanan:

Cruise had the gravitational pull of the sun and its burnt-orange countenance, too. ...  In the schmoozy hour before lunch was served, he was so mobbed by his fellow nominees that he was hardly able to move more than a few feet. I watched for a while as “Elvis” star Austin Butler drifted with slow, inexorable determination toward Cruise, who finally pulled the younger man toward him by clamping a hand on his shoulder like a stapler. For several minutes, they were locked in such a tight bro-embrace that it was impossible to discern what they were talking about.