The real reason Tom Cruise skipped the Oscars: He was helping Michael Caine blow out 90 candles

Tom Cruise missed the 95th Academy Awards this week – despite the latest Top Gun film he starred in being nominated for the top award.

Top Gun: Maverick was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Everything Everywhere All At Once.

However, Top Gun: Maverick  did score an award for best sound.

Following the Oscars, there were rumours swirling why Cruise did not attend.

There were reports that he was busy filming the next instalment of Mission Impossible, while the Daily Mail theorised he was a no-show for fear of running into ex-wife Nicole Kidman.

However, it appears Cruise missed the Oscars to attend legendary actor Michael Caine’s 90th birthday.

Cruise was pictured alongside Caine, celebrating his birthday at The River Cafe in Hammersmith, West London, according to CNN.

Cruise and Caine, old mates

The two worked together in the early 2000s, on Austin Powers in Goldmember.

In the movie, Caine plays Nigel Powers, while Cruise cameos as himself playing Austin Powers in Austinpussy, the film’s parody of the film, in the film.

However, it appears the two met decades before.

In a picture from 1983, Caine, along with his wife Shakira is seen with Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay at the screening of Educating Rita at the Screen Director’s Guild Theatre.

Actor Michael Caine and his wife Shakira, with actors Rebecca De Mornay and Tom Cruise, attending a screening of the film 'Educating Rita' at the Screen Director's Guild Theater, September 12th 1983.

Tom Cruise and Michael Caine have known each other since at least the 1980s. Photo: Getty

In photos shared by comedian and author David Walliams, Cruise and Caine are seen sitting next to each other and embracing.

It appeared to be a rather intimate affair, where people laughed and celebrated Caine.

Caine’s ribald joke

In one clip of Denise Welch giving a speech, the table laughs along with her joke about Caine and “Olympic condoms”, which Cruise seemed to really enjoy.

In the video, Welch said that just a few days ago Caine’s wife, Shakira Caine, heard a scream from downstairs.

“It was Michael shouting, ‘Shakira look, there’s a parcel, my Olympic condoms have come’,” Welch says.

“He said, ‘I’m going to wear the gold ones tonight’, and she said, ‘Why not wear the silver and come f—ing second for a change’.”

When sharing the clip on Instagram, Welch said it was an “honour” to be asked by Caine’s wife to share a few words.

He loves a dirty joke and so does @tomcruise it appears!!!!” she wrote. “Great night and amazing company.” 

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