In the upcoming movie, Cruise plays an American hired in the late 1800s to help Japanese warriors in western war tactics.
And the heart-throb TOP GUN star admits his role was a difficult departure from the characters he has played in the past.
He says, "I trained for eight months prior to shooting the film. I put on 20 pounds (nine kilograms) for the character but also for the muscle to carry the swords and wear the armour."
Co-star Ken Watanabe, who has played many samurai roles, admits Cruise was a quick learner. He adds, "I feel like we have been through a battle together."
The film, directed by Edward Zwick, is due out in the US and Japan in December (03) and in January (04) elsewhere.28/08/2003 21:31