Cruise, “Everything Everywhere” honored at the producer awards

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Tom Cruise was honored for his nearly three decades of work as a producer, and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” cemented its status as the front-runner for the best picture Oscar by taking home the top prize on Saturday. Producers Guild of America Awards of the night.

“We love you! We love you!” another Oscar rose as one of the film’s stars, Ke Huy Quan, cheered from the stage as Jonathan Wang and the other producers of the multifaceted drama accepted the award for best theatrical motion picture.

The award is probably the best indicator of what the top honor will be at the Oscars, with four of the past five and 11 of the past 14 PGA winners advancing to the best picture to win.

Last year’s PGA win was with “CODA” and 2021’s “Nomadland” knocked them off each other as front-runners before winning best picture.

“Everything Everywhere” could be the movie to beat at the March 12 Academy Awards because of the strong possibility of a big night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

Cruise caused the actor to stir both inside and outside with his presence at the show at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, but his production career that began in 1996 with “Mission: Impossible” won the David O. Selznick Award at the PGAs, a lifetime achievement honor presented to Steven Spielberg, Kevin Feige, Mary Parent and Brian Grazer.

“I’ve wanted to make movies my whole life,” Cruise said, wearing a tuxedo with his hair grown out to the length he wore in “Mission: Impossible 2.” “I wanted to travel around the world, and have adventure.”

Cruise talked about making his first film in 1981’s “Taps” at the age of 18 and how producer Stanley Jaffe let him in on every part of the process.

“I was sure this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” he said.

Cruise thanked Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of the original 1986 “Top Gun” and his producing partner on last year’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was also nominated for a top PGA award and is up for the best picture Oscar.

“You opened the door for me,” Cruise told Bruckheimer. “You made me feel welcome and I will be forever grateful.”

Since the first “Mission: Impossible,” Cruise has been a regular producer on the films he’s starred in, including “Vanilla Sky,” “The Last Samurai,” “Jack Reacher” and the other five films in the “Mission : Impossible” franchise.

He honored many other mentors and associates including Spielberg and former Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing, who presented the award.

“You enabled me to live the adventurous life I wanted,” he said.

Cruise gave a final shout-out to “all the audiences, who I work with primarily, thank you for letting me entertain you.”

Other films honored by the PGA included “Navalny,” which won for best documentary feature, “Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro,” which took best animated feature, and “Till,” which won the Stanley Kramer Award in honor of a production or producer that illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues.

In the PGA television categories, “The Bear” won for best comedy, “The White Lotus” won for best drama, “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” won for best reality or competition series, “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” won non-fiction series, “The Dropout” won best limited series and “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” won best TV movie.

Mindy Kaling received the Norman Lear Achievement in Television Award for her work producing shows including “The Mindy Project,” “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” “Never Have I Ever,” “Velma” and “The Office.”

“I’m a child of immigrants and I unexpectedly became my secret weapon,” Kaling said.

BJ Novak, her former “Office” co-writer and co-star, presented Kaling with the award, telling her that she “cared for characters that other people didn’t care much about to put on TV, and they brought attention to things that others were talking about them on television. The TV didn’t care about it.”


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