OFF DUTY: Jerome LeBlanc a.k.a California Tom Cruise
With Oscars season upon us, there has been a lot of excitement in the news about the film Top Gun: Maverick being nominated for six awards! We were excited to have a surprise visit to the Cockpit USA headquarters! Who was it you ask? It was none other than the extremely talented Jerome LeBlanc or, as we like to call him, @CaliforniaTomCruise.
Jerome called us up to inform our team that he would be in town for a project at the Kelly Ripa & Ryan Seacrest “After Oscar show”. He stopped by our NY showroom to check out our new styles and talk about what it takes to be an impersonator of one of the big screen’s most renowned fighter pilots, Maverick!
Read what Jerome had to share below:
Cockpit USA: How did you become California Tom Cruise?
Jerome LeBlanc: Becoming a Top Gun Maverick impersonator first started off as a way to make ends meet while I was on a school visa. I was then noticed by several entertainment agencies – and after doing many events, I created a company called: “California Tom Cruise”.Cockpit USA : Who was the first person to tell you that you looked like Tom Cruise?
Jerome LeBlanc: When I moved from Montreal to Los Angeles, many people started telling me I looked like Tom Cruise. So, I put on the flight suit uniform from Top Gun, and tried street performing. To my surprise, I did so unbelievably well – I made more than I did while bartending.
Cockpit USA: How often are you mistaken for Tom Cruise?
Jerome LeBlanc: With the age difference of about 30 years … I’m not necessarily mistaken for Tom Cruise. But I do notice a lot of double takes and a lot of strangers approaching me to share that they think I look so much like the actor.
Cockpit USA: Tell me something about yourself that others would not guess about you?
Jerome LeBlanc: A lot of people would think I’m extremely out going to be able to do this kind of work, but I’m actually an introvert, and performing as Maverick has gotten me out of my comfort zone and helped me with my social skills.
Cockpit USA: What has been your most challenging experience as an entertainer?
Jerome LeBlanc: The most challenging experience as an entertainer would probably be the amount of travel I do. I have two small ones and a wife at home. Leaving them behind is tough. But my wife and I run this company together. We both are very dedicated to keeping our work a “family business” and building towards the future we both want.
Cockpit USA: What has been your most rewarding experience as an entertainer?
Jerome LeBlanc: I think what is rewarding - and the biggest accomplishment I’m most proud of with being an entertainer; is that it took years before it became a constant form of income that my family and I could depend on. But we never doubted that it would work, so we struggled and sacrificed in ways that makes us appreciate everything that much more now that we run a successful entertainment business.
Cockpit USA: How did you come across Cockpit USA?
Jerome LeBlanc : I was contacted by the Cockpit USA team through Instagram, and they’ve been such a fantastic company to work with. I love how authentic the merchandise is. The craftsmanship is unbelievable, and they take a lot of pride in creating their pieces. It’s stylish and patriotic!
Cockpit USA : What can we look forward to seeing from you in the near future?
Jerome LeBlanc: I believe, in the near future - I’ll be able to have even more unique opportunities to express myself artistically. Which I’m very much looking forward to, since I’ve always been an artist before a performer. Visit LeBlanc Fine Art here.
Cockpit USA : Lastly, is there a celebrity that you would like to meet?
Jerome LeBlanc: I don’t really have an interest in meeting a specific celebrity. Sometimes, with public figure it’s better to leave them to the imagination. Because, like myself, I’m more than what I post. And either that can be appreciated or disappointing.
Featured above is American Media Personality Ryan Secreast wearing our signature Cockpit USA "Movie Hero" Top Gun G-1 Jacket with Jerome LeBlanc!
It has been an incredible year since the film Maverick premiered and resurrected the epic tale of Top Gun. We visited the Kips Bay theater in New York to watch the movie together as a team and we collectively agreed that the film was “Fantastic! A great reason to return to the movie theater.” Since that time we have been busy fulfilling Cockpit USA “Movie Hero” jacket orders and sharing in the exhilaration that is the Top Gun community!
When we first met California Tom Cruise, we had no idea what to expect. Since that time his palpable energy has been recognized by all that surround him. We love the joy that he brings to the Top Gun community and our brand. We appreciate all that you do, Jerome! We’re looking forward to seeing what you do next!
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