Tom Cruise isn't afraid to make fun of his celebrity status, and he wants you to know it.

The Hollywood leading man, who has suffered his fair share of criticism since his maniacal couch-jumping antics on Oprah, has tried to boost his image with recent comedic roles like movie producer Les Grossman in 2008's Tropic Thunder. In this same vein, Cruise made an appearance at the 38th Annual Annie Awards alongside Brad Bird, the director of the upcoming Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, who was accepting a lifetime achievement award.

Bird, who has received acclaim for directing animated features like The Incredibles and Ratatouille, accepted his award via satellite, but admitted that he was leaving animation behind for "bigger and, let's face it, better things." After "dabbling in cartoons," Bird proudly stated that he has "always secretly wanted to be" making live action movies like Mission: Impossible and that he is "a lot happier for it."

After Bird defends big Hollywood actors as being "friendly and cooperative and not the least bit insecure," the camera pans out to show him tied to a chair, held at gunpoint by Mission: Impossible stars Cruise and Simon Pegg, who appear to be closely following everything Bird says to make sure he doesn't slip up. When they notice that the frame has panned out to reveal their presence, they turn their guns on the cameraman, and Cruise demands that he "push in on cartoon boy, motherf***er," while Pegg says "You do what he says! He's Tom f***ing Cruise!"


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At the end of his "acceptance" speech, Bird triggers his kidnappers' wrath when he slips a final "please help me" into his closing statements. —KIMBERLY STEELE

Watch the speech here:

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