Details unveiled Tom Cruise this morning as the cover boy of its annual Power Issue. Sadly, Cruise only makes No. 7 — a position shared last year by Kevin Federline and Larry Birkhead. But perhaps it's the thought that counts: Previous Power Issues have ranked the "most influential men under 45," but the magazine has expanded its age range in 2008 to include "the most influential men under 47," thus barely qualifying the 46 year-old star in time for his Valkyrie promo tour. Excerpts of his acceptance speech follow the jump.Cruise doesn't spill much new information in his brief interview, though he does unveil a few of the careful calculations behind choosing both his pro-dance Tropic Thunder cameo and the role of an eyepatch-clad Nazi:
"When you make people reconsider something that they're so certain of ... I found it very compelling. It's the reason I'm doing it," Cruise says. "When I was a kid, we'd play war, you know, and it was always 'Kill the Nazis.' I wanted to kill Hitler." Cruise laughs. [...] If he's in the mood to mock Hollywood, he can take an unbilled cameo as a balding, ball-busting studio exec in Tropic Thunder. "When I was working with Ben Stiller, I said, 'I want to play this character, but I've got to dance,'" says Cruise. "I haven't danced that much since Risky Business!"
But it wasn't enough to overtake the surprising stars above him in the always-baffling Power 40, including Barack Obama's Secret Service Agent at No. 1, "The Palin Bunch" at No. 5 and "The Bipolar Broker" at No. 6. Details didn't list any runners-up trailing pregnant 40th-placer Thomas Beatie, but we have a hunch that entities as far-flung as CNN's John King and The Banker on Deal or No Deal are fuming over their exclusion.