A Twitter user has done the world a great public service in freeze-framing this moment from Tom Cruise’s 2008 WWII thriller Valkyrie, in which his booty suddenly appears pillowy and engorged and, quite frankly, unreal. I’m ashamed I didn’t catch this myself, seeing as I watched practically all of Valkyrie on mute many years ago.
Other Twitter users immediately piled on with their own fake butt speculation, the most popular theory being that it’s a stunt-double bum, generously padded for action. However, if you watch the full clip of the scene (pause four minutes and forty-nine seconds in), you will see that Cruise is getting up after being flung to the ground by distant bomb impact, not ducking or rolling or…anything.
Could it be Cruise’s real butt (no)? CGI? Historically accurate in some way I don’t understand? Is it the extraterrestrial within exuberantly ballooning forth for one brief, uncanny moment? I am genuinely curious and open to all conspiracy theories.