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Ranking Tom Cruise’s Character Names By Awesomeness

From a high school linebacker to a fighter pilot, the star has had some interesting aliases.



Photos: Warner Brothers/Everett Collection, Warner Bros. Pictures, Paramount/Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

Devoid of All Awesomeness - Stefen Djordjevic, All the Right Moves

All the Right Moves is a story of a football player from a steel mill town fighting for his chance to escape said town by going to college on a scholarship. It’s an all-American story, starring an all-American actor whose character goes by the name of...Stefen Djordjevic? If it wasn’t for the internet, we wouldn’t be able to spell this. But to be fair, if it wasn’t for the internet, we wouldn’t be able to spell anything.

Not at all Awesome - Stacee Jaxx, Rock of Ages

There’s nothing less rock 'n roll than someone who is trying to be rock 'n roll, and someone named “Stacee Jaxx” fits that profile as snugly as the leather pants he’s wearing. Now, we’ve never seen Rock of Ages (because we aren’t masochists), but we’d guess that the oft-shirtless Jaxx lives up to the cheesiness quotient of his name by this photo alone.

Below Desired Awesomeness - Cole Trickle, Days of Thunder

This sounds a bit more like a STD symptom than a guy who drives like he was shot out of a gun. Not that race car drivers have a history of rad names (although there is a guy named Scott Speed), but if you could literally make up any awesome name in the universe for your character, why would you go with Dick Trickle? Even Tim Richmond, upon who Cole Trickle was loosely based, would have been a better, if somewhat boring, alternative. 

Pretty Awesome - Lestat de Lioncourt, Interview with the Vampire


Before the tween vampire takeover, there was the housewife-ization of the bloodsuckers brought about by Anne Rice. However, she did treat the content a little more respectfully than Twi-hards do (no shimmering!), and while LeStat de Lioncourt is about 300 miles away from the gritty vampires we are so fond of, his name will go hand-in-hand with hunky hellions for a long time (maybe eternity?). At least we can thank her and the movie for the rise of this.

Truthful and Sufficient Awesomeness - Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, Valkyrie


Just because Cruise’s character was based on a real person doesn’t disqualify him from the running. In fact, that he was such a badass made this decision way easier. Stauffenberg was recognized by a left eyepatch, his missing right hand, oh, and his almost-successful attempt to murder Adolf Hitler. That’s right; this guy was the original Wolfenstein-er. However, despite all of that, his qualification for this list would be in jeopardy if he’d gone by his given middle name: Maria.

Face-Meltingly Awesome - Maverick, Top Gun


Technically, Cruise’s character’s name is Pete Mitchell, but there is a reason that he’s only credited at “Maverick” on IMDB, and that reason is that it’s the coolest. When you played fighter pilots in the schoolyard, Johnny Cool (or whoever had parents rich enough to buy him a flight jacket) always got to be Maverick; Goose was a close second (he gets the sentimental vote); and whoever was the biggest dope was stuck with Merlin. Poor, dopey Merlin.

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