1) Tom Cruise
With most of these stars, it seems you either have to point out how crazy they are, or how good they are, because one of the two is usually obvious to everyone. With Cruise, it’s obvious that he’s a wee bit nuts. It’s well documented: the Scientology angle, the couch-jumping, the condescension toward reporters asking personal questions, the self-seriousness, the creepy relationships that seem a little forced. All signs point to a little crazy, and that’s something everyone seems to just accept about Cruise.
The people he works with seem to accept it because from all accounts he’s a real pro, putting in the work needed for every project and being generally fine to work with. The rest of us accept it because he is a huge star, and not one of those manufactured stars that don’t seem to deserve the attention they get. He’s genuinely just awesome in everything he does, even the fun nonsense like Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible. Yes, even Rock of Ages. That example is especially interesting because it shows how Cruise’s craziness translates so well into comedy.
If there’s anyone who can play the part of an insane egomaniac as if everything he’s doing is perfectly normal, it’s Tom Cruise. But it also must be stated just how outstanding he has been for basically his entire career. From solid work in the early 80s, he transitioned into some truly great performances in Rain Man and especially Born on the Fourth of July, continuing into the 90s with his best performances probably coming in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. Whether it’s despite his weird personality or because of it, his acting is among the best in the business.