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Hollywood Flashback: Tom Cruise Reveals How He Landed His First Hollywood Agent at 19 in New Book Excerpt

Tom Cruise, Actor

[Sean] Penn goes, “Come out to L.A. and stay with me,” so I stayed in his guest house for a couple of weeks. He said, “You’ve got to check out CAA,” because I wasn’t signed with any agent. I remember calling Paula and sitting down with her. She wanted to very much take me to lunch, and I just remember how warm, intelligent and beautiful she was.

Paula Wagner, Former CAA agent

I brought him up to the office, had him meet everybody, sold my heart out, and everybody was like, “OK, take a shot, let’s see what happens.” This was a new thing, signing these new, young actors. Tom was 19 when I signed him.

Cruise

I wanted to sit down with their filmmakers and study their movies, and CAA had all of those connections. I didn’t go to acting class. I didn’t go to film school. Film school was every single day that I was making a movie.