There is a noticeable trend among the many women who have starred alongside Tom Cruise over the past decade — they’re all much younger than him. In the upcoming spy-action movie Man From U.N.C.L.E., he’ll act share the screen with a 24-year-old, the Swedish actress Alicia Vikander.
Sadly, the work available to actresses over 40 often drops off a cliff in Hollywood, and Cruise’s filmography offers a perfect example of how the system works.
Here’s a look at the past decade-plus of Cruise’s very junior female co-stars. Note: not all of them are love interests, and there are several films where he had no equivalent. Except Lions for Lambs; in that one, the roles were reversed when he starred with Meryl Streep.
Also: he never co-starred in a movie with Katie Holmes.
3. Man From U.N.C.L.E (No release date yet): Alicia Vikander
At 24, this Swedish actress has a limited filmography, and is best known for her work on the local TV drama Andra Avenyn, though that will change soon. She played a part in last year’s Anna Karenina and will also appear in the upcoming movies The Seventh Son and The Fifth Estate, the latter of which is about Julian Assange.
4. Oblivion, 2013: Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough
Riseborough (31) and Kurylenko (33) were both love interests of Cruise’s (50) in this recently-released sci-fi film.
5. Jack Reacher, 2012: Rosamund Pike
Pike was 33 when the action movie premiered in December; Cruise was a month from his 50th birthday. She plays the district attorney who is working with Cruise’s vigilante badass character, and it’s all business (well, mostly).
The actress credited Cruise with fighting to keep her part in the film, even though she was pregnant during production. “He could not have been more supportive,” she told the Daily Mail.
6. Rock of Ages, 2012: Malin Akerman
Playing Constance, the Rolling Stone reporter and one true woman for Cruise’s rockstar Stacee Jax, Akerman had just turned 34 when the movie came out; Cruise was just about 50.
7. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, 2011: Paul Patton
As part of his doomed team stuck in Dubai, Patton was 36 when this third sequel came out; Cruise was 49.
8. Knight and Day, 2010: Cameron Diaz
At 38 and just a decade younger than Cruise when this disappointing action film was released, Diaz was one of his closest co-stars, age-wise, in a very long time.
9. Valkyrie, 2008: Carice van Houten
The Dutch actress, 32 at the time, played the then-46-year-old Cruise’s wife in the Bryan Singer film about the plot to take down Hitler from the inside.
10. Mission: Impossible III, 2006: Michelle Monaghan
Playing Ethan Hunt’s fiance, Monaghan was 32 at the time of the release, while Cruise was 44.
11. The Last Samurai, 2003: Koyuki
As a mourning widow and ultimately lover of Cruise’s Captain Nathan Algren, the Japanese star was 27 when this movie was released; Cruise was 41.