Tom Cruise says Ben Stiller is his inspiration.

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Tom, who has a cameo as a fat, balding studio executive in Ben’s new comedy Tropic Thunder, loved working with the comic star and has praised his achievements in Hollywood.

He said: “One can’t fully appreciate what Ben has accomplished in acting, writing, directing, producing, and starring in a film like Tropic Thunder without recognising that any single one of these functions alone is a full-time job.”

Tom, who worked with Ben on 2000 mockumentary Mission: Improbable, has also revealed he didn’t hesitate at the chance to team up with him again after Ben described the movie as his “dream project”.

The 46-year-old Top Gun star added to Men’s Vogue: “To make a long story short, I read it, I loved it, and we started working on it.”

Meanwhile, Ben has praised Tom’s comic timing in Tropic Thunder and insists he was prepared to do anything to raise a laugh.

Ben said: “He said, ‘I want really big hands playing this guy.’ I said, ‘Really? Big hands?’ He had these hands made, and then I said, ‘Well, it’d be really cool if you were bald too.’ Then we did this make-up test where he got bald.

“Then he said, ‘It’d be interesting if this guy danced.’ He started dancing. I was loving it. I asked him if he’d be up for dancing in the end credits and he said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.'”