Why Tom Cruise Made John Travolta Feel Awkward

Truth rating: 10
Tom Cruise in dark suit on the red carpet, second image of John Travolta in black suit on red carpet

By Brianna Morton |

Tom Cruise in dark suit on the red carpet, second image of John Travolta in black suit on red carpet

(Getty Images)

John Travolta had an awkward experience at the 1996 premiere of Jerry Maguire starring Tom Cruise, and it all had to do with a scene featuring his wife, Kelly Preston. Travolta was astonished at what he saw, and what he heard, and that definitely caused some discomfort in the theater. That experience had to be a fun discussion on the way home.

Travolta was a guest on The Late Late Show With James Corden when the subject of spouses’ reactions to love scenes in movies came up. First, fellow guests Aaron Taylor-Johnson and his wife Sam shared their experiences, noting that Sam had actually directed a love scene with Aaron and another actress. Corden then asked Travolta, whose wife Preston is a famous actress in her own right, “Do you have any awkwardness when you see each other in love scenes?” Travolta could barely hold back his own glee as he answered.

“You don’t even know what awkward is,” Travolta exclaimed, “until you sit in the screening of Jerry Maguire and you don’t know that – that scene is coming up and your wife is with Tom Cruise in the middle of something – that was astonishing. That’s awkward!” According to Travolta, he was totally blindsided by the scene. “I had no idea. That was rough,” he told Corden.

Travolta, after some prodding from Corden, went on to explain which part caused him the most trouble. Though the entire scene was unpleasant for him, it was the part where Preston screamed out for Cruise to “never stop [expletive]-ing” her that threw the entire situation into the realm of ridiculousness. Even for a seasoned actor used to performing love scenes himself, it’s got to be jolting to see your wife in such an intimate act with another man, let alone one as handsome as Cruise.

Speaking of Cruise/Preston rumors, Gossip Cop recently busted a story from Star about the pair. The article claimed the Mission Impossible – Fallout star would not stop badgering Preston to join the cast of the Top Gun sequel. The piece went on to claim this angered Travolta, since he resented Cruise for becoming the face of Scientology. The claim made no sense as Preston was never in the original Top Gun, so this was just fake controversy spun from nothing.

It’s refreshing to know that big name stars like Travolta still feel a bit distressed seeing their loved one behaving lewdly with someone else, even if it is just pretend. The experience clearly resonated with Travolta if he could recall it so vividly nearly 25 years later. A bit of warning would have been nice.


The Late Late Show with James Corden. "Sam Taylor-Johnson Directed Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Sex Scene." YouTube, 5 Dec. 2019.

Shuster, Andrew. "Tom Cruise Begging John Travolta’s Wife To Co-Star In ‘Top Gun’ Sequel?" Gossip Cop, 7 Feb. 2018.