The upcoming musical Rock of Ages is unutterably dismal but for a few performances - notably, Tom Cruise's riotous turn as Stacee Jaxx, a perpetually drunk has-been rocker whose closest companion is his pet monkey. 

Hair band icon Bret Michaels, the former lead singer of Poison, said that cruise nailed the role.

What I think Tom did was combine a combination of Bret Michaels and Axl Rose - sort of my look and stage persona and energy, and he takes Axl Rose's intense attitude and mixes them together. It was great, he told the Los Angeles Times.

Indeed, the actor certainly does seem to thrive portraying unhinged characters. What could that mean?

Cruise, of course, is still recovering from a rough patch around 2005 when he publicly, and insistently, went off the rails - highlights included attacking a reporter, jumping on Oprah's cough, and being really rude to Brooke Shields.

But once the dust settled and he was able to get work again, he earned back some respect for his self-deprecating turn as an overweight, blowhard movie executive in 2008's Tropic Thunder, a winking performance that was a nod to Hollywood politics and his own celebrity..

And though his savvy Rock of Ages performance will likely books his public again, he will never be able to erase some images from the public consciousness.  

Here's a look at some batsh*t crazy moments from our favorite megalomaniac Scientologist - on screen and off.

December 25, 1999: Cruise stars in Magnolia as Frank T.J. Mackey. The role is inspired by off-the-wall self-help author Ross Jeffries. His portray earns him critical praise and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

It's with Cruise as Frank T.J. Mackey, a slick televangelist of penis power, that the filmmaker scores his biggest success, as the actor exorcises the uptight fastidiousness of Eyes Wide Shut, concluded Entertainment Weekly. Like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, this cautiously packaged movie star is liberated by risky business.

June 19, 2005: In a prelude to Cruise's cyclone of crazy behavior, the actor has a hissy fit after being squirted with a water gun by a phony reporter. The actor grabs the perpetrators hand and calls him a jerk three times before the man is whisked away by security.  The video of the incident becomes the first of many to show Cruise in an unfavorable light. 

May 23, 2005: An appearance on Oprah to promote War of the Worlds will forever be known as the couch incident. Eager to discuss his arrangement relationship with Katie Holmes, Cruise jumps up and down on the talk show Queen's couch declaring, I'm in love! He then drags Katie Holmes from backstage as though she's his hostage. The term jumping the couch is added to the Historical Dictionary of American Slang and defined as engaging in strange or frenetic behavior.

June 24, 2005: In an interview with the Today Show, Cruise condemns psychiatry -- calling it a pseudoscience. He lashes out at Brooke Shields for taking medication to treat post-partum depression while calling Matt Lauer glib repeatedly. Time magazine later lists it as one of the Top 10 TV Feuds.  He and Shields eventually bury the hatchet.

November 16, 2005: An episode of South Park entitled Trapped in the Closet airs on Comedy Central --mocking Cruise's immersion in Scientology with a caricature of the actor refusing to come out of the closet, an obvious reference to rumors surrounding his sexuality. According to numerous reports, a repeat of the episode is pulled after Cruise threatens Viacom. The conglomerate was in the midst of promoting Cruise's film Mission Impossible 3 and therefore complied. The banning of the episode was dubbed closetgate.

August 22, 2006: Paramount Pictures announces that it is ending its 14-year relationship with the actor's company Cruise/Wager productions. The company's CEO, Sumner Redstone, tells the Wallstreet Journal that Cruise's erratic behavior sparked the decision.

January 14th, 2008: A scientology video makes its way onto the internet in which Cruise manically refers to KSW (Keeping Scientology Working).

Being a Scientologist, when you drive passed an accident it's not like anyone else, the actor declares. Once you drive past, you know you have to do something about it because you're the only one that can really help.

We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, he later says, referring to psychiatric medication. We are the authorities on the mind. We are the authorities on improving conditions...we can rehabilitate criminals. Funny or Die releases a popular spoof of the much talked about video. 

January 17, 2008: A 2004 video of Cruise receiving the IAS Freedom Medal of Valor, one of Scientology's top honors, leaks onto the internet. The footage shows the actor giving a head-scratching speech in front of a peculiar backdrop. Referring to the world at large, he asks a roaring crowd, So what do you say? Should we clean this place up? He finishes out by saluting a massive painting of L. Ron Hubbard. A German newspaper likens Cruise's behavior to that of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

August 12, 2008: Cruise takes on a scene-stealing bit part in the ensemble comedy Tropic Thunder. The actor earns raves for his turn as Les Grossman, a temperamental, foul mouthed film producer. The actor's unrecognizable appearance (he wears a fat suit and prosthetic hands) garners him a fair amount of respect.

The Future: Tom Cruise's escalating mental illness prompts the Church of Scientology to reconsider its position on anti-psychotic drugs.*

*Not really.