Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tapped into his TV and film comedian roots when meeting with American acting celebrity Tom Cruise in his presidential headquarters in Kiev on Monday night.
As Mission Impossible star Cruise walked in, Zelensky exclaimed:
“You’re good-looking! Like in a movie,” according to video excerpts released Tuesday by his office.
Cruise, 57, responded to the gushing welcome by laughing and quipping:
“It pays the rent.”
Zelenskiy also pointed out that a recently passed law on subsidies for foreign film-makers in Ukraine is meant to attract investment in the country’s economy.
On his Facebook page Zelensky posted a photo with a smiling Cruise, writing:
“I am happy that Ukraine is starting to attract world-class stars."
Cruise, who arrived in Kyiv at Zelenskiy's invitation, was said to be interested in filming one of his new movies in the country.
Netizens took to twitter displaying a mixed reaction to the meeting, with some finding the moment more than a bit “cringeworthy.”
This it a bit cringeworthy. Ukraine’s star struck president tells the visiting Tom Cruise he’s good looking. pic.twitter.com/nlujRWnXRH— Jonah Fisher (@JonahFisherBBC) October 1, 2019
I always wanted Tom Cruise to do a film in Ukraine, but not like this 🙄— Sergey Ivaschuck (@ivaschuck) October 1, 2019
"Look American famous person, just like I want to be." 🤩 His inner desperate actor is showing not a good look for Ukraine.— Theresa Kolisnyk (@KolisnykTheresa) October 1, 2019
This is getting stranger by the moment...— JBLHComms (@JBLHComms) October 1, 2019
Did Trump have anything to do w/ arranging/promising this? Or is this for a new movie? Why now???#cruiseinukraine #Tomcruise #cruisemeetszelensky#Scientology #Zelensky#Impeachment@yashar @jaketapper @brianstelter https://t.co/5biczAWUHs
Others were more interested in the project that led the Hollywood actor to Ukraine.
@TomCruise is in Kyiv at the invitation of @ZelenskyyUA . Cruise is interested in Ukrainian locations for shooting. The Ukrainian Parliament passed a law on compensation for foreign filmmakers that will promote the film industry & give a boost to international co-production. pic.twitter.com/HyJow7iFHf— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) October 1, 2019
Tom Cruise is there to promote Scientology as well.— Philip Davids (@MRPDGR) October 1, 2019
Scientology seems to have a new calling, why elese would Tom Cruise be meeting with Zelensky?— Maud Gonne (@AnnaEngelbrech5) October 1, 2019
Many launched into a social media debate regarding the height of the two men:
Is he shorter than Tom Cruise?!— Tobias Schneider (@tobiaschneider) October 1, 2019
Yes, although Tom Cruise always wears those weird lift shoes, as does Robert Downey Jr, oh, and Vlad.— The Third Man (@ThirdMan__) October 1, 2019
yeah, I thought Tom Cruise was supposed to be quite short. Zelensky is like 170cm, which is on the short side, but not extremely. The shoe lifts make sense. VVP does the weird thing of posing for pictures at angles where he looks taller than most people around him.— rachel atwood (@racatiwood) October 1, 2019
Of course, there was also a caption competition:
Gosh, your plastic surgeon is good!— Carole PAQUIS (@CarolePaquis) October 1, 2019
Eyes wide shut.— The Third Man (@ThirdMan__) October 1, 2019
The Color of Money— The Third Man (@ThirdMan__) October 1, 2019
Cruise for president 2024— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) October 1, 2019