Tom Cruise is the latest Hollywood celebrity lending his star power to an East Tennessee charity movie premiere.
Cruise attended a screening of his new movie, "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" Monday night at the Regal Cinemas Pinnacle 18 theater in Turkey Creek.
All proceeds from the premiere will go to Regal's charity, Variety- The Children's Charity of Eastern Tennessee.
Hundreds of fans lined the red carpet as Cruise made his way down the line, stopping for pictures and posing for autographs.
The 54-year-old actor arrived at the theater early Monday afternoon, surprising fans, and then proceeded to delight them by spending more than an hour outside, talking with people, smiling for selfies, signing autographs.
Cruise said he enjoyed meeting his fans.
"I make my movies for them," he told WBIR's Beth Haynes. "It's a privilege to do what I do, and it's a joy to finally give it to them."
He talked about how he enjoyed attending movie premieres in different places, and appreciated the welcome he got in East Tennessee.
He also said it was an honor to be part of raising money for Variety. The charity helps children around the world, with chapters in 13 countries. Regal founded the East Tennessee chapter in 2001 and has since raised more than $9 million for local kids in need.
"It's a privilege. I like to help and give back," he said.
“As one of the biggest movie stars of all time, Regal is truly honored to roll out the red carpet for Tom Cruise and welcome him to East Tennessee. From his illustrious film career to his philanthropic efforts, Tom is the epitome of a true Hollywood star,” stated Greg Dunn President and Chief Operating Officer of Regal Entertainment Group. “We also extend our sincerest gratitude to our friends at Paramount Pictures and Skydance for making this screening possible and helping raise funds for Variety’s special needs children.”
A limited number of tickets went on sale to the public on Sept. 16, at Regal Cinemas Pinnacle, West Town Mall and Riviera theatres in Knoxville. Each ticket cost $50 with proceeds benefiting Variety.
In addition to being among the first to see the new film, attendees were treated to a catered reception in the theater lobby before Cruise walks the red carpet
Cruise isn't the first star to walk the red carpet for Variety in East Tennessee. Other celebrities include Hugh Jackman, Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Cuba Gooding, Jr.
“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” opens in theaters on Friday.