Breaking into Acting
Cruise set a 10 year deadline for himself in which to build an acting career. He left school and moved to New York, struggling through audition after audition before landing an appearance in 1981s Endless Love, starring Brooke Shields. Around this same time, he snagged a small role in the military school drama Taps (1981), co starring Sean Penn.His role in Taps was upgraded after director Harold Becker saw Cruises potential. His performance caught the attention of a number of critics and filmmakers. In 1983, Cruise appeared in The Outsiders , directed by Francis Ford Coppola. He starred alongside Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, and Rob Lowe all prominent members of a group of young actors the entertainment press dubbed the Brat Pack. The film was not well received, but it allowed Cruise to work with an acclaimed director in a high profile project.