THE LAST SAMURAI superstar Tom Cruise is already excited about this year's (04) ACADEMY AWARDS - thanks to the buzz surrounding his chances of being crowned Best Actor.

The 41-year-old hopes to secure an OSCAR nomination for his performance in the epic movie, when the nominations are announced later this month (JAN04).

But, for the time being, Cruise is happy he is among the small group of male stars tipped to be included in the organisations annual shortlist.

He says, "It is good to be mentioned. I am really proud."

Cruise was previously nominated in the Best Actor category for his roles in 1990's Born on the Fourth of July and 1996's Jerry Maguire. He was also on the shortlist for Best Supporting Actor in 2000, thanks to an against-type role in black drama MAGNOLIA.

07/01/2004 17:04