‘Jerry Maguire’ Star Jonathan Lipnicki Is 25 Now and Still Counts Tom Cruise as a Mentor
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Lipnicki said the road to adult roles has been difficult because many directors and producers still think of him as little Ray, but he’s been working in mostly indie films and has kept in great shape as a skilled mixed martial arts fighter.
Lipnicki remembers his time on the Jerry Maguire set “less and less,” but he did love working with Cruise and Renée Zellweger, and has kept in touch with Cruise, who he calls his role model.
The young actor said the mega movie star has always been willing to give him career advice. “If I have a question he’s been very open if I need advice. He’s always said if you have any questions the door’s always open and he’s always been really responsive and helpful.”
Lipnicki explained, “It’s not even so much what he said, but modeling myself on how hard that guy works. If I could work half as hard as that guy works, I’ll be doing really well. I mean the professionalism and work ethic of that guy is insane. He’s someone I’ve always really looked up to. I always will look up to him, he’s always gonna be a role model because nobody I have ever met or worked with has had quite that energy where they are just… that laser focus is fascinating.’
Lipnicki said the last time they corresponded was about a year ago, via email. “That was the last thing, I had a new car — I had a 67 Mustang for a while — and [Cruise] wanted to see it so I sent him a picture of that. He’s a dude!”