Former child star Jonathan Lipnicki almost missed out on his big break in Jerry Maguire - he was only cast as Tom Cruise's stepson when another young actor dropped out of the project.

Lipnicki went on to land the lead in the Stuart Little franchise and he's now planning a major return to acting after reconnecting with his mentor Cruise - and he owes his success to the fact another child star didn't work out as Ray Boyd.

He explains, "They cast another kid and actually shot two weeks with a different kid and it just wasn't working out; the chemistry wasn't there, the kid wasn't happy.

"They went back to recast it but they wouldn't even see me because I was on a list of people who'd already auditioned, but I auditioned for an associate and not the actual casting director... and then she said, 'How would you like to fly today to Arizona to read with Tom Cruise and (director) Cameron Crowe?'"

And that simple decision led to a big break and the chance to always have Cruise as a mentor.

The 22 year old admits he has recently reconnected with Cruise as he plots a return to the movies as a grown-up.

He explains, "He's amazing... I cold called his office... and I got a response pretty quickly... and within a few months we found a date, I met up with him and I realised it was the perfect time... I needed some guidance... and there's so much I took from that conversation."