'Mission: Impossible' Co-star 'Highly Recommends' Kissing Cruise

April 27, 2006 — -- As if Tom Cruise needed another testament to his manhood, his "Mission: Impossible III" leading lady says she told Katie Holmes, "I understand why you keep him around."

Michelle Monaghan -- Cruise's leading lady in the new spy film -- says it was quite an experience sharing an on-screen kiss with the controversial star, who is currently America's most famous new dad.

"It was like the best day at the office. ... It's the jackpot," Monaghan told reporters on the red carpet at the film's London premiere. The $150 million action film hits North American theaters May 5.

"I've been a fan of his work for such a long time and you know if you're going to work with him, you're going to be in good hands."

Cruise on Tour: 'Let's Do It!'

Cruise, 43, was with Holmes last Tuesday when she gave birth to a baby girl named Suri. It was the 27-year-old actress's first child. He and former wife Nicole Kidman have two adopted children.

While Cruise spent much of the promotional tour this week talking about the joys of fatherhood, he says he nearly canceled the trip and only changed his mind because Holmes urged him not to disappoint his fans.

Cruise chatted on the red carpet for nearly two-and-a-half hours before introducing the film. He says he's been speaking with his fiancée daily and has taken time out to shop for baby clothes.

"I realize that there are people that would be disappointed that I wasn't going to come, the fans, and I just talked it over and said, 'Let's do it,'" he told reporters.

While Cruise has starred in many blockbusters, the highly anticipated return of his superspy character Ethan Hunt carried a $150 million budget, the biggest ever for a Cruise film.

Cruise earned $75 million for "Mission: Impossible II" by turning down an upfront salary in lieu of a back-end deal for 30 percent of the film's gross.

The new film plays up the spy's personal life, with a bigger romantic subplot.

Earlier in the week, Cruise had skipped a news conference in Paris. In his absence, director J.J. Abrams asked Monaghan what it was like to kiss the star.

"Just in general, to kiss Tom Cruise is, you know ... an experience of a lifetime," she said jokingly. "I highly recommend it."