Tom Cruise's first Golden Globe was undoubtedly a cherished milestone in his life, but it wasn't just a milestone for Cruise. The film for which he won the award was Born on the Fourth of July, in which he portrayed Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, who was right next to Cruise in the press room after the show.
The film was based on Kovic's autobiography, which details the harsh reality of the aftermath of the Vietnam War on its veterans. Although his tumultuous experience almost led to his demise, Kovic wrote his book and witnessed a film on his life receive tremendous acclaim.
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"You can change your life; you can lose a great deal; you can be beaten down; you can feel defeated, but you don't have to be defeated in life; you can have a wonderful life," Kovic says of what can be learned from his story. "Even if you're disabled, if you're in a wheelchair for the rest of your life, you can stand proud and you can have an important life and a purposeful meaning in you life."
The film won three other awards on the night--Best Screenplay, Best Director (Oliver Stone), and the highly coveted Best Motion Picture--which furthered cemented the true story of Ron Kovic's life.
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"Everybody worked so hard on the movie, and I just care so much about Ron Kovic," Cruise says. "It was a very important time in our history in America, and for it to get the acclaim that it has is a huge acknowledgement to all of us."