Note: This role was originally written for a beanbag chair, but per our contract, only members of SAG can be cast in this movie. Currently, no beanbags are SAG members, but if a beanbag becomes available to fill the role, the actor will be replaced.
The actor, if not a beanbag, must have a face.
Tom Cruise does many dangerous things, none of which have any practical application, real-world consequences, or benefit to society. Fresh off a stunt in which he blows up a government plane expensive enough to break the cycle of poverty, he parachutes into your small town, where you and your paper-thin backstory are waiting.
You own an establishment; the exact nature of the establishment you own is not important, as your personality and desires have no bearing on the plot line. It’s only important that the establishment contains the necessary equipment for Tom to reprise his rendition of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” Anything, really, will do: a kitschy toy store with an FAO Schwartz floor piano, a small restaurant where Tom can ping out the notes on half-filled water glasses with a spoon, maybe even a creepy antique store with a player piano that has a mind of its own.
Tom walks into your establishment, and despite having found you in this very location many times before, his jaw drops with surprise when he sees you. For a moment, you think that perhaps he’s suffered a brain injury on his latest mission, but no, he’s just the same old selfish jerk you’ve come to love these many years.
Tom has already loved you and left you many times, but in a romantic way where you don’t wonder why the fuck you keep sleeping with him instead of getting yourself some boundaries and a healthy relationship. The way he flits in and out of your life, taking what he needs and leaving nothing behind… there’s just something irresistible about it. Tom often wears a mechanic’s jumpsuit, and you try hard not to think of how far he’ll have to unzip it to pee or how it reminds you of a toddler’s footie pajamas.
If you are a beanbag chair, you will remain as you are and allow Tom to sink into you and rest his weary plane-exploding bones while verbally barfing his problems on you. If you are a woman, you will first have to deliver several sassy lines to give the appearance of being real. A woman who we never see, presumably an employee, will yell several things to you from another room that you will answer to satisfy anyone running the Bechdel Test on the film. Check, check, check. Now let’s move on with your purpose in this movie.
You must provide Tom with comfort and support to ease his troubles without adding any of your own bullshit (feelings, expectations) to his already important but weary brain. Allow Tom to sink into your arms while his mind wanders to the important questions of the movie. For instance, why, considering how much the US spends on defense, can’t he get some up-to-date aircraft for the impossible mission? Allow yourself to be crushed below his weight as he contemplates the gravity of the task before him and unloads it on you. Take on his stress, his worries. Yes, you’re behind on the mortgage for your antique store, and the player piano is in a new location every time you arrive at the shop in the morning, but your concerns are mere frivolities. Share them with someone else.
Though you are being as beanbaggy as you can be, you see that Tom is still troubled. “Tom,” you whisper, “what is it? Tell me.” With a deep sigh, Tom tells you about the impossible mission. But wait, you think. We just reconnected. Why would you show back up in my life only to leave on an impossible mission in subpar aircraft, with no concern for the people you’re leaving behind? This is why this role is supposed to be played by a fucking beanbag, for Christ’s sake. Fix your head space and get back into character.
Suddenly, Tom turns toward you, dog tags dangling over his bare chest, and says, “I haven’t even thought of you since the last time I saw you, because, like a small child, I have no object permanence or emotional maturity, and now I want to have sex with you.” Then you have sex with Tom. The instrumental version of “Take My Breath Away” rises slowly in the background.
In the morning, when you wake up, you roll over to find Tom gone, no trace of him save his mechanic onesie on the floor. The player piano is, somehow, now in your bedroom.