January 19, 2004 09:55 AM

Ever ready to please fans, Tom Cruise took the unusual step of proposing on Portuguese television — although not to Penelope Cruz.

The star reportedly asked a factory worker named Sonia to marry her cameraman boyfriend, Joao Martins, at the Spanish premiere of Cruise’s “The Last Samurai” as the movie opening was being broadcast on TV, according to the BBC, which quotes a report from Tal e Qual newspaper.

Martins was a cameraman covering the premiere. Looking at the camera, Cruise said, “Sonia, you have to marry Joao. Please marry Joao. He is crying behind the camera.” The TV clip was later shown on state channel RTP.

And who could refuse a marriage proposal from Tom Cruise? Sonia didn’t, according to the newspaper.

Cruise, 41, reportedly also joked that couple — who will now wed later this year — should name their children after him.

For his part, Martins says he was amazed when Cruise agreed to his request to deliver the proposal. “All my girlfriend asked for was that I get his autograph,” he said.

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