Exploring the Language of the Stars

Worst Job Ever: Suri Cruise’s Doppelganger

Worst Job Ever: Suri Cruise’s Doppelganger
Credit: Sue Hasker

It was revealed this week that Suri Cruise—daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, dictator of our hearts, and heir to at least one remote island nation—has been using a body double to fool paparazzi.

A tiny little body double leading photographers away from wherever Suri wanted to be, the latest scam in a long line of scams that began with Tom Cruise’s portrayal of a heterosexual in Risky Business.

Here are the facts: Last week, Katie picked Suri up from school and stuffed her in a black minivan. The paparazzi then followed the van to a police station, where the van stopped and let out a nanny-shaped person carrying a Suri-shaped person. Meanwhile, another black minivan arrived at a ’wichcraft located nearby, Suri emerged and went inside to enjoy a frankly overrated after-school snack. I don’t want to completely hate on ’wichcraft; I kind of like the low-key casual vibe, and you order at the counter but they still bring your food out to you, so you don’t feel like a complete second-class citizen. But still, at the end of the day you’re paying a cool Hamilton for some sprouts on some extremely dry bread. There’s a limit.

But whatever, we’re not here to denigrate Suri’s taste in after-school snacks. Well, maybe a little. I didn’t spend my afternoons being whisked around in upscale minivans, eating finger sandwiches and playing Go with my doppelganger. Every day after school I walked home alone, used the key under the mat to let myself in, and then sat on the floor watching Gilligan’s Island for two hours, hoping that every noise in the house wasn’t a murderer hiding behind the shower curtain.

Some of my favorite after-school snack recipes from that era of my life:

Do-It Yourself Chocolate Mousse

  1. Fill a juice glass with Reddi-wip
  2. Douse liberally with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
  3. Stir and enjoy

Quik ’n’ EZ Salad

  1. Fill a salad bowl with Pepperidge Farm Seasoned Croutons
  2. Douse liberally with Wishbone Italian Dressing
  3. Stir and enjoy

Feel free to try those at home.

Back to the mystery at hand: What kind of parents put their kid to work as a celebrity doppelganger? How do you even get this job? Do you answer an ad in Mediabistro? Seeking a tiny female child who wants to live in the shadow of someone who wouldn’t otherwise give them the time of day. (“Honey come in here, I found the perfect job for you!”) Or is the doppelganger a student at Suri’s school, someone whose mom Katie approached at a PTA meeting? “I noticed your child is completely unfamous and roughly the same size and shape as other children her age. Can we pay you to drive in the opposite direction from ’wichcraft when Suri’s feeling peckish?”

And how do you explain this job to your child? “Honey, so many people are so disappointed in their own lives that they will buy magazines and click on articles about people they’ll never meet and could never related to in order to momentarily stave off the sadness. And guess who’s the newest participant in the attendant exploitative media circus! The paparazzi will follow you around and take your picture but you can’t ever let them see your face. If they ever find out that you are actually you, Suri and her mom and all the paparazzi and everyone on the internet will be mad at you and hate you forever. But if you do a good job, when Suri’s parents die and she inherits Hollywood, maybe she’ll remember you and give you an administrative job with health benefits.”

My elementary school-age kids come home with Bs on their report cards and I feel like I have to spend the rest of the night consoling them about the mess their lives have become, trotting out the old “There are other schools besides MIT” speech. How does a kid ever live up to the expectation of fooling everyone into thinking they are Suri Cruise?

The weirdest thing about this whole situation is that in all the pictures of both Suri and the doppelganger, they’re being carried by adults. Suri, if my math is correct, is six going on seven. If you have ever had a six-year-old, you know that they are physically impossible to carry. They are mean and hateful and independent little creatures who are also impossibly heavy and they do not want to be carried anywhere. Which makes me wonder if the tiny person in the wig in those pictures isn’t actually just Tom Cruise, trying to sneak his way back into his family’s life. Perhaps it is the greatest acting challenge of his career.