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|“||And we'll weep for him... in the press, set up a scholarship in his name, eventually - and I'm talkin' way, way down the road - we file an insurance claim.||„|
|~ Grossman revealing his true plan to let Speedman die|
|“||Let's face it; Speedman is a dying star. A white dwarf heading for a black hole. That's physics, it's inevitable. The universe is talking to us right now. You just gotta listen.||„|
|~ Grossman's sinister speech before breaking into a dance.|
Les Grossman is the secondary antagonist/Bigger Bad of the 2008 dark comedy film, Tropic Thunder. He is the vituperative and foul-mouthed executive of the studio who is producing the titular film.
He was portrayed by a heavily disguised Tom Cruise in a rare comedic role.
Grossman first appears in the beginning after a failed shoot of an emotional scene in the war drama. He facetimes with the rookie director Damien Cockburn, and orders a local to punch him in the face. Absolutely furious, he demands that the movie is made soon, otherwise he will shut the company down. Cockburn is incredibly intimidated, and he becomes so desperate to save the film that he takes the supposed war hero "Four Leaf"'s advice and puts the actors in an actual live jungle to get a more authentic feel for the movie.
Unbeknownst to Cockburn, however, the area has a very real threat - a group of heroin dealers known as the Flaming Dragons. Cockburn is killed by a landmine, and eventually the former world-famous action star, Speedman, is kidnapped by the terrorist group. Speedman's agent, Rick 'Pecker' Peck, is desperate to save him, so he confronts Grossman.
While Grossman initially appears to negotiate with the Flaming Dragons on the phone, he instead insults them and hangs up. Peck is shocked, and Grossman explains he's lost faith in the movie and is willing to let Speedman die so he can file an insurance claim and make more money than the movie would lose. He attempts to convince Peck to join his scheme with the promise of massive wealth and a G5 plane, but Peck ultimately travels to the heroin factory to rescue the group.
The movie ends up becoming a success (even though Four Leaf turns out to be a sham, which causes the movie to be renamed to Tropic Blunder), and Grossman dances a weird victory dance that serves as the credits scene.
- Allegedly, Tom Cruise "came up" with the character.
- Ben Stiller and the crew wanted to keep Cruise’s appearance a surprise, but the paparazzi revealed Cruise on set of the movie.
- Grossman's large hands are fake. Cruise also wore a fat suit and a bald cap.