THE hit movie “Cocktail” that helped catapult Tom Cruise to superstardom is celebrating its 25th anniversary, as The ENQUIRER sits down with the bartender who taught Tom how to perform those eye-popping tricks while mixing drinks.
“COCKTAIL ” raked in more than $171 million and cemented Cruise as a top box office draw following his mega-hit “Top Gun” and critically acclaimed drama “The Color of Money.”
IN “COCKTAIL,” Cruise plays a New York bartender who heads off to a posh resort in Jamaica to earn enough money to open up his own place with his mentor (Bryan Brown). But complications arise when he falls in love with a beautiful American artist, played by Elisabeth Shue.
The script called for Cruise and Brown to perform bartending tricks, like spinning, twirling and juggling booze bottles. So producers brought in Bar Olympics champion John Bandy to teach the actors the tricks of the trade.
“Tom was a regular guy and we got along really well,” recalls Bandy, now 54 and living in Thousand Oaks, Calif. “He’s ambidextrous, which made him a quick learner.
“I remember Tom and Bryan had a bet to see who would break more things as we practiced. But it was hard to score because one of them would drop something and it would bounce down the bar and smash a lot of stuff.”
When the film wrapped, Bandy gave Cruise an inscribed cocktail shaker plaque and received a thank-you note in return. But his biggest reward was notoriety, as he parlayed his “15 minutes of fame” into a career as a celebrity bartender.
“After the movie, I went on a world tour, spending eight years in thirty different countries, flipping bottles,” says Bandy. “They were the best years of my life!”