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Tom Cruise is an amazing mentor, says Jonathan Lipnicki. The young actor, who met Cruise while playing Renee Zellweger's little boy in the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, is thankful to have kept up in touch with the superstar all of these years.
Now 21, Lipnicki says he sought advice from the Rock of Ages star recently, and Cruise offered some practical tips about how to stay creative in Hollywood.
"We sat out on the patio to his house and talked about acting," Lipnicki told Vulture Wednesday. "He puts a lot of emphasis on being polite and manners and being on time."
In addition to being professional and generous with everyone on set -- something Cruise is known for despite his A-list status, which would afford him some room to be demanding -- Cruise also encouraged Lipnicki to stay focused.
"He said to always keep yourself busy, because then you'll always be motivated to be creative. The more you produce, the more you create, the happier you're going to be anyway," Lipnicki said.
Cruise, who turns 50 in July, understands how tough it is for a young actor trying to find his way in the business, and Lipnicki said it wasn't the first time the actor-producer had sat down to give him a pep talk.
"I have a poster of Mission: Impossible that he signed, 'You can be my wingman anytime,'" Lipnicki explains. "And it's one of those things that, whenever I feel down, it makes me believe in myself."