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Tom Cruise has been in the film business for a long, long time.

The star of classics such as Top Gun, Jerry Maguire, Mission: Impossible and Magnolia has to date appeared in 43 different movies.

His career dates back to Endless Love in 1981 and stretches all the way up to his most recent effort, American Made. Yet there is a persistent problem in all of Cruise's films.

This problem lies in the casting of his female co-stars and more often than not, lovers. Now they are not bad actresses by any stretch of the imagination.

The issue is their age and how Hollywood fails to cast talented actresses after they pass a certain age in their life.

Cruise, now aged 55, is consistently cast alongside much younger women. For instance, Sarah Wright, who plays his wife in American Made is 34, making her 22 years his junior.

To get a better scope of this, Film School Rejects analysed every love interest from a Cruise movie and found some interesting stats.

According to their research, in only nine of Cruise's 43 movies does he not have a discernible partner or female interest. These surprisingly include big hits like War of the Worlds and Interview with a Vampire.

This leaves 34 films to dissect, and in only three of those is he linked to someone older than him.

These movies all occurred during the early years of his career; and include Losin' It, Top Gun and Born on the Fourth of July.

Film School Rejects have placed all their research in to a very handy Google spreadsheet where you can really begin to crunch the numbers.

The significant gaps between Cruise and his female co-stars only began to occur around the turn of the century, when he was placed alongside Thandie Newton in Mission: Impossible II (2000), an actress ten years his junior.

Since then it has only dipped below double figures once, which was with Lara Clarke in Minority Report, who is just six years younger than Cruise.

His last five films have widened the gap, with each female co-star being at least 20 years, or more, younger.

Cruise has only twice been romantically cast with a woman who is the same age as him. Firstly with Demi Moore in A Few Good Men and then Jeanne Tripplehorn in The Firm.

This isn't Cruise's fault, obviously, it displays a bigger problem with Hollywood in general - where women are usually deemed no longer romantic material after they pass their mid-30s.

Further evidence from Timehas shown how men often get more roles and dialogue as they grow older, while opportunities decrease for women in front of the camera.

Using Cruise and his love interests is a great way to show the magnitude of this gender issue, but it remains to seen whether it will ever actually be fixed.

To quote a Tom Cruise movie: Hollywood "You can't handle the truth."

HT UK Business Insider

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