NAMES IN THE NEWS : Reporter, 10, Gets Cruise Scoop

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

Ten-year-old Sarah Lawing went where no other journalist had gone before in obtaining an interview with Tom Cruise on the set of "Day of Thunder," his new movie about a race car driver.

When she heard that Cruise was filming the movie near her family's farm in Long Creek, N.C., the reporter for Long Creek Elementary School's News and Neighs wrote the actor seeking an interview, according to this week's People magazine.

The star of "Born on the Fourth of July," "Rain Man" and "Top Gun" had turned down previous requests but gave Sarah her first interview. Her only previous story, about "a really big snowflake," had not required an interview.

During the five-minute interview, Cruise said he first became interested in acting at age 7 and said he thought "very strongly" about living in Long Creek in southwestern North Carolina.

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