Tom Cruise Lauds Ben Stiller as 'Great Artist'


As Ben Stiller gears up for the Christmas Day release of his new dramedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, he was honored on Tuesday with the traditional handprint-footprint ceremony at Hollywood's famed TCL Chinese Theatre.

On hand for the ceremony was one of Stiller's biggest fans, Tom Cruise, who introduced the actor-director and praised him as a "great artist" who has demonstrated diverse filmmaking talent over the years and explained that it was Stiller who lured him to take a cameo role in the 2008 action-comedy Tropic Thunder.

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"To me that was such a gift to be able to play that character and Ben knows I love his comedies -- I see all of his films," Cruise said during his speech at the ceremony. "I know Ben, and I know what it takes to do what he does -- the commitment that he brings, the love of cinema, the love of storytelling, the love of an audience and entertaining an audience."

Stiller -- who directs The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and portrays the title character who decides to escape his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action -- also had his share of compliments for Cruise. "Tom, you are amazing. You're an amazing person and amazing actor. You literally have made most of the iconic movies in the last 25 years," he said. 

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"I've always loved the history of Hollywood and the history of the movies, it's very, very meaningful to me. And to be in any way a small part of it, is really a dream come true," Stiller added about being honored.