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Indian newspaper claims extras were paid to pose as Tom Cruise fans

Indian newspaper claims extras were paid to pose as Tom Cruise fans (photo)

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This is easily the strangest story of the week. Strangest, but not impossible, apparently.

Indian newspaper Firstpost published a story Sunday called “Tom Kaun? Junior artists paid Rs 150 to play screaming fans of Tom Cruise at airport!” The gist? That the 200 people who showed up at Mumbai Airport to greet Tom Cruise as he arrived to promote his new movie, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” weren’t actually Cruise fans, but rather extras who’d been given the mission — which they chose to accept, naturally — to throng up and cheer like crazy for the superstar at the rate of roughly $3 a head. This is a quote from one of the alleged extras:

“Tom Kaun? I don’t know who he is or what he does. We were told to come here by 1pm today and wait for a foreign VIP to come out of the airport gate and scream and shout when he came. None of us know who Tom is. There was a buffet lunch also for us and we were paid Rs 150 for this job today. We do this for television shows and other such events where crowds are required,”

Paramount has already dismissed the story, telling The Huffington Post in a statement that “Tom Cruise is a massive star and attracts huge throngs of fans as he travels the world… the only people paid were performers who danced outside the venue. The idea that fans were paid to cheer is completely ludicrous and entirely false.”

Okay, so there either were or were not people paid to scream at Tom Cruise. It’s “RashoTom!” Maybe this is what the Ghost Protocol in this new “Mission:Impossible” is all about: it’s some kind of IMF plan to secretly pay people to go nuts when you show up somewhere as a diversionary tactic. And then this story could be an ingenious viral marketing plant by the studio! No, I haven’t been drinking. Not in the last hour or so anyway, why?

By the way, I love the idea of hiring people to cheer for you when you show up somewhere, whether it’s true in this case or not. At the rate of three bucks a pop, I would totally plunk down some change to get mobbed at an airport. My ego could totally use the boost.

Who do you believe? Firstpost or Paramount? Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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