‘Tom Cruise Deepfake’ Actor Opens Up About Viral Videos
By Mikelle Leow, 22 Jul 2022
At their inception, deepfakes were just something technophiles murmured about. Then, a wave of convincing videos depicting Tom Cruise in everyday situations swept the internet; and suddenly, everyone became wary about the power and dangers of this technology.
You’ve seen the face, but what about the one behind it? Miles Fisher, the actor behind the viral social media account @DeepTomCruise, recounts in an op-ed on the Hollywood Reporter about how his life had led up to the creation of his deepfaked persona.
It was, in fact, easy to transform the actor into an alternate version of Tom Cruise because he’s a dead ringer for the A-lister—an attribute that he’d considered to be a curse his whole life.
Miles Fisher in A Christmas Arrangement. Image via IMDb
Every day, Fisher gets stopped by strangers asking him if he’s ever been told he looks like a young Tom Cruise. Some might be flattered, but Fisher, who has had to live in the shadow of the Hollywood star, says people aren’t aware of “what a strange burden and liability” it’s been for him both in his personal and professional lives. He adds that his life has been locked into a loop, as though it were in a “quasi Groundhog Day state.”
The unshakeable ties with Cruise had become such a strain, Fisher—who in college was stuck with the nickname “Tom Cruise Guy”—tried to adopt new voices and change up his appearance.
That didn’t mean he was fully repelled by the Tom Cruise effect. Decades of being known as the doppelgänger planted a seed in his head that he could make it as a movie star too. On the sidelines, Fisher started making videos on YouTube to gain recognition; it worked, and he not only amassed considerable views but also landed roles in movies and television shows.
Among Fisher’s viewers on YouTube was Belgian VFX artist Chris Umé, who noted the resemblances and felt compelled to superimpose Cruise’s face onto Fisher’s. “Tom Cruise Guy” got in touch, and the rest is history.
I've got a sweet spot!â¬ original sound - Tom - Tom
Fisher adds he’ll never make money out of his persona unless Cruise says it’s okay to. “Until then, it’s only good-natured parody,” he stresses.
More than anything, he hopes the hyperrealism of DeepTomCruise videos will raise global awareness of the potential of artificial intelligence in computer and gaming graphics, along with the ethical issues that come with it.
home again!â¬ Beggin' - Måneskin
Sparkle!â¬ original sound - Tom
[via The Hollywood Reporter, images via various sources]
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