Tom Cruise in Knoxville for Jack Reacher screening

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Regal Cinemas’ Pinnacle Theater rolled out the red carpet for Tom Cruise. The A-List celebrity visited Knoxville for a movie benefit even, with one thousand fans getting to meet him up close and then see his new movie, “Jack Reacher Never Go Back” before it hits theaters.

Cruise appeared for a screening of his new film to benefit Variety Children’s Charity of East Tennessee Monday evening.

“I’ve wanted to make movies since I was four years old,” Cruise said. “Things that I wanted to do I wanted to make films and travel the world and I had that opportunity through cinema. And the reason I started producing films is just my interest in movies, my love of movies. So I have a very privileged life. I’m able to do something that I absolutely love.”

The East Tennessee chapter has raised over $9 million for children who are underprivileged, at risk or with special needs. Those donations go to numerous organizations who serve at risk children including the Emerald Youth Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank Back Pack Kids Program and Imagination Library.

“We raised a record amount of money for the charity by bringing him to town, so it’s been really exciting,” Carol Fusco, Executive Director for Variety of Eastern Tennessee, said.

One of the children benefiting from the fundraiser is Adrianna Urquhart, who received a customized bike that she can ride, despite her mobility challenges.

“It’s amazing to see,” Marissa Vertullo, Adrianna’s mother, said. “It gives her a sense of normalcy to be able to get out there and play with other children and be able to keep up with them.”

There were a limited number of tickets available for the benefit screening. Tickets were $50.

Previous story: Tom Cruise to attend benefit movie screening in Knoxville

This undated publicity photo released by Paramount Pictures shows Tom Cruise, right, as Reacher and Jai Courtney as Charlie in the film, "Jack Reacher." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Karen Ballard)
This undated publicity photo released by Paramount Pictures shows Tom Cruise, right, as Reacher and Jai Courtney as Charlie in the film, “Jack Reacher.” (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Karen Ballard)

“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.”

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” opens nationwide on October 21. The film is based on Lee Child’s 2005 Novel One Shot. The film stars Cruise as the title character, with Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Richard Jenkins, Jai Courtney, Werner Herzog and Robert Duvall also starring.

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