Tom Cruise has two strikes against him as he films his new movie Valkyrie in Germany — the country’s anti-Scientology sentiments, and the suspicion that many Germans feel about an American film icon playing a home-grown war hero.

In an attempt to clear the air — at least with regard to his latest role — the Oscar-nominated actor recently sat down with German magazine Bunte for a chat.

There has been much opposition to him playing World War II Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who led a failed attempt on Hitler’s life, even from Stauffenberg’s son. "I bear a great responsibility to the Germans and to a man like Stauffenberg, who has such a deep significance," Tom explained. "And I feel a responsibility to the man himself."

He continued, “He rejected Hitler. He came from an old military tradition and was ashamed of what had happened in Germany under Hitler. He was prepared to risk everything, including his own life. What a decision! What courage! What a love for your own country!"

The movie, directed by Bryan Singer (Usual Suspects, X-Men) is expected to come out sometime in 2008.

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