Reaching for the stars

Hollywood superstar: Tom Cruise, above, brings Lee Child's Jack Reacher character to the big screen for the  first time; Child, right, says Sheffield inspired his writing
Hollywood superstar: Tom Cruise, above, brings Lee Child's Jack Reacher character to the big screen for the first time; Child, right, says Sheffield inspired his writing
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THE trouble, perhaps, with creating a character as well-loved as Jack Reacher is that fans can get rather protective over him.

And there was almost universal horror among so-called Reacher Creatures when it was announced the 6’5, 17-stone former military detective would be played by 5’7, 12-stone Tom Cruise.

Few believed the little fellow could capture Reacher’s sheer physical presence.

“A lot of people didn’t like the decision,” says Child. “But I think Tom is great.

“For a start there are no mega star actors - and a mega star was needed - who fit Reacher’s dimensions. But Tom is so talented he can portray that presence by other means.

“He’s also utterly professional. He doesn’t want you to walk out the theatre thinking Tom Cruise was good in that. He wants you to walk out thinking Jack Reacher is cool. We’ve been to dinner a couple of times. I like him.

“It’s flattering people care so much to have this debate but I say to them ‘See the movie and then make your mind up’.”