How does 5′ 7″ Tom Cruise stand tall next to Kate Middleton?

As royal fans gushed about Tom Cruise’s gallantry in taking Kate Middleton’s hand to help her navigate a set of stairs at “Top Gun: Maverick’s” London premiere Thursday, other observers noticed something curious about the movie star.

The 5-foot-7-inch Cruise stood remarkably tall next to the 5-foot-9-inch Duchess of Cambridge, who was walking the red carpet in a pair of black stiletto heels that elevated her height to 6 feet or more, the Daily Mail said. The duchess gained even more of an illusion of height in her black, full-length Roland Mouret column gown.

And yet, Cruise managed to only look about an inch shorter than Kate, the Daily Mail said. This was especially true when Cruise joined Kate, her husband her, Prince William, and Cruise’s co-stars Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly in front of a fighter jet parked in London’s Leicester Square for the premiere.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 19: (LR) Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Jerry Bruckheimer and Tom Cruise attend the UK Premiere and Royal Film Performance of “Top Gun: Maverick” at Leicester Square on May 19, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

The Daily Mail said it appears that Cruise, dressed in a black tuxedo, boosted his height with a pair of black shoes with a stacked heel. If Cruise on Thursday resorted to such tricks to enhance his appearance of height, it wouldn’t be the first time in the 59-year-old actor’s history.

There has long been talk about Cruise’s ever-changing height and how he manages to measure up to his taller female co-stars on camera. There’s also been speculation about how he perhaps uses lifts in his shoes or other tricks to look as tall as possible when he appears alongside those women at public events.

Early in his career in the 1980s, Cruise reportedly listed himself as 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9. When he appeared in promotional photos with Kelly McGillis, his her love interest her in the original 1986 “Top Gun” movie, the 5-foot-10-inch actress visibly bent her knees and rested her head on the actor ‘s shoulder so as to not tower over him.

Cruise’s famously tall ex-wife Nicole Kidman, who is 5 feet 11 inches, admitted that she she had to ditch heels when they first worked together in the 1990 film, “Days of Thunder.”

“They had me in really flat shoes, but you could still see I was taller than him,” Kidman said in an interview that took place when they were still married. “I’d prefer to be smaller, but I don’t mind.”

Kidman insisted that Cruise also didn’t mind that she was taller than him.

“I like the fact that he’s one of the most famous actors in the world and can work with anybody,” she said.

It’s true that Cruise sometimes didn’t look as though he cared if Kidman stood taller than him at public events, such as at the Academy Awards in 1997 when she was wearing shoes with two- or three-inch heels.

Nominee for Best Actor Tom Cruise, accompanied by his wife Nicole Kidman, waves to fans as he arrives at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, 24 March, for the 69th Academy Awards ceremony.  Cruise is nominated for his role, his in "Jerry Maguire." AFP PHOTO/Vince BUCCI (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP/GettyImages)
Nominee for Best Actor Tom Cruise, accompanied by his wife Nicole Kidman, waves to fans as he arrives at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, 24 March, for the 69th Academy Awards ceremony. Cruise is nominated for his role in “Jerry Maguire.” AFP PHOTO/Vince BUCCI (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP/GettyImages)

Kidman sounded less conciliatory about Cruise’s height issues after he reportedly blindsided her by asking for a divorce in 2001, after 11 years of marriage. On “The David Letterman Show,” Kidman famously joked“I can wear heels now!”

Cruise’s next wife, Katie Holmes, is 5 feet 9 inches and was reported to have celebrated the same post-divorce perk after she blindsided him in 2012 by asking for a divorce. People talked about her “pulling a Nicole Kidman” when reports surfaced that she splashed out thousands of dollars to buy 15 pairs of Christian Louboutin heels and lingerie at Barneys ‘New York, according to Marie Claire.

If nothing else, the actor’s attempt to not appear so short next to the Duchess of Cambridge reminded Cruise watchers of his 2010 red carpet appearances with Cameron Diaz to promote their movie “Knight and Day.” In particular, photos of the co-stars posing at the film’s London premiere, also in Leicester Square, got people talking.

US actress Cameron Diaz (L) and US actor Tom Cruise jokes as they pose for photographers at the UK premiere of the film "Knight and Day" at the Odeon cinema, Leicester Square in central London on July 22, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)
US actress Cameron Diaz (L) and US actor Tom Cruise jokes as they pose for photographers at the UK premiere of the film “Knight and Day” at the Odeon cinema, Leicester Square in central London on July 22, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

“How is he so tall?” asked a HuffPo headline. When Cruise and Diaz, in four- or five-inch heels, stood for photos together, he looked shorter but not “the five inches he theoretically should be, even with Diaz slightly slouching.”

Cruise’s boots appeared to have a 1-inch heel on the outside, HuffPo said. But oddly, his knees his were about the same height as Diaz’s. “How’d he do it?” HuffPo asked “Inside lifts?”

The Daily Mail reported that people can use “inserts,” which are insoles that are placed inside a shoe to lift the wear’s heel up, giving the person some extra height. A more extreme alternative, the so-called “elevator shoe,” sees the lift made an integral part of the footwear, allowing the wearer to boost his height by as many as four inches.

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