Revisited: More celebs to rewrite history

Film actor Tom Cruise revealed last week that he had a childhood dream of killing Adolph Hitler. While on a world tour promoting his new movie “Valkyrie,” Cruise told reporters he regretted that time travel was not available for him to show up in 1930’s Europe and personally take out the Nazi leader responsible for the deaths of millions.

“I always wanted to kill Hitler, I hated him,” Cruise, 46, said. “As a child studying history and looking at documents, I wondered, ‘why didn’t someone stand up and try to stop it?’”

News of the Hollywood star’s desire to transcend the laws of time and space in an effort to preemptively remove the brutal German tyrant represented a new high-water mark among celebrity do-gooders. No longer content to adopt Third World children and raise funds to fight disease, today’s idols won’t limit themselves to what’s physically possible as they aspire to help humankind and promote their vanity projects.

Here’s a look at what other kinds of murderous retro-vengeance are on the minds and lips of the stars:

Kirsten Dunst: “When I was a very young girl, probably not more than two or three years old, I harbored a desire to kill (Hall of Fame Detroit Tiger) Ty Cobb. He was a very racist, very mean man. He may have held the all-time base-stealing record for decades, but he did it with a cleats-up style that injured many a second baseman. I really, really hated him.”

Bruce Willis: “I’ve always had a very strong distaste for the Chinese Cultural Revolution that led to the deaths of uncounted thousands. I’m not saying I’d want to kill (then-Chinese leader) Mao Tse-Tung because he did some good things to fight the Japanese during World War II. I’d just like to have been on hand to advise him against some of the more heavy-handed aspects of his efforts to overhaul his society.”

Marg Helgenberger: “Given half the chance, I’d put fifteenth president James Buchanan on my hit list. He did virtually nothing to head off what everyone could tell was going to become all-out civil war, plus he was our only bachelor president. He was a real bungler, and we’d all be better off today if his sorry ass had been eliminated before his 1856 election.”

Carson Daly: “For me, it kind of depends on how far back in time I could go. If there was no limit, I’d want to kill Alexander the Great. His reputation, as the nickname implies, is that he was an enormous political and military talent. Though he did bring Western culture as far east as India, he was very pushy about it, killing many tens of thousands of innocent people. If, however, I’m limited to just the last century or so, I’d kill (Russian tyrant) Josef Stalin.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman: “Rather than bring physical harm to flawed-but-human creatures, I’d go back to 1935 to prevent so much devastation from the Labor Day hurricane that ravaged the Florida Keys. I’m not naïve enough to think I could’ve prevented formation of the storm, but I do think I could use my histrionic acting style to warn many hundreds of residents to move to higher ground.”

Meryl Streep: “I’d kill Vlad the Impaler and I’d do it with my bare hands. Even though he was the basis for the great dramatic character of Dracula, that whole impaling thing just rubs me the wrong way.”

Roger Moore: “I’d kill Ivan the Terrible. He was just terrible – what more can you say?”

Rene Russo: “I’m not sure I’d go so far as to kill him (Oliver Cromwell), but I’d definitely do something to seriously hamper his more vicious tendencies. While I sympathize with his anti-royalist tendencies, there were more constructive ways to achieve the ascent of the Parliamentarians without all the fighting and executions.”

Dennis Quaid: “I’d kill either (Roman emperors) Caligula or Nero, I’m not sure which. Caligula was mad, so I guess you could say he had something of a medical excuse for his virtual ruin of Rome. Nero, though, you know he fiddled while Rome burned. That’s very un-cool.”

Orlando Bloom: “There’s not one individual I could name, because I was never very good at history, but I’d definitely want to do something to prevent the Spanish Inquisition. I’m a big believer in freedom of religion, so you can imagine how I feel about the idea of Catholics burning alleged heretics alive. By the way, watch for the upcoming release of my film ‘Elizabethtown,’ coming to DVD on January 31.”

John Mayer: “I know Tom Cruise is already taking care of Hitler, so I’d say I’d want to kill (Italian fascist) Benito Mussolini. He would’ve been as bad as Hitler if he had the skills, but things just didn’t quite work out for him.”

Osama bin Laden: “I’d go back in time to kill the mother and father of Mike Meyers. That ‘Love Guru’ movie absolutely sucked.”

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