is dealing with a new – and very unexpected – reality.
Based in London since mid-August, where he is deep in pre-production for the sci-fi action film All You Need Is Kill
, the 50-year-old actor has been unable to see his 6-year-old daughter for nearly two months. (The pair were last together on Aug. 5, following a Walt Disney World vacation
"I've got to see her," an emotional Cruise told a friend recently. "I miss her."
Several sources tell PEOPLE in this week's cover story that the actor's rigorous film commitments – which he made well before his ex, Katie Holmes
, filed for divorce and sole custody
on June 29 – have presented an exceptional challenge in terms of seeing Suri.
With Suri now based full time in New York City, where Holmes enrolled her in Manhattan's private Avenues school
, she has far less flexibility to visit him on set than under her previous home-school arrangement. Several sources say that a planned visit to London in mid-September was called off.
Still, the newly minted first-grader is a fixture in her father's life, speaking with him several times a day.
"I can tell you that I haven't had a meeting with Tom that was not interrupted by a phone call with his daughter," says his friend, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie.