Among the genres that Tom Cruise (Syracuse, New York, 60 years old) has touched throughout his prolific career, comedy does not exactly stand out. Over the years, the actor has become a wingbuster, an action movie hero for the general public, a sure bet for producers in search of blockbuster. Perhaps for this reason, when he was approaching his sixties, Cruise was looking for new interpretive challenges. That led him to have a meeting with film director and producer Judd Apatow, creator of recent hits in the comedy genre such as Virgin at 40 either embarrassing mess, and with Canadian actor, director and comedian Seth Rogen. It seems that no project came out of that meeting, but an attempt to recruit the Church of Scientology, of which Cruise is the most famous of its members.
This was told by Seth Rogen himself in an interview in The Howard Stern Show which dates from 2021, but whose content has now gone viral, already accumulating 839,000 views: “You say that the meeting was a bit peculiar,” Stern begins by inquiring. “Yes, let’s see, I adore Tom Cruise,” Rogen begins by saying, “I’ve seen all his movies in the theater.” Stern then frames the meeting in time: it was during the time when Tom Cruise was married to Katie Holmes, whom he would divorce in 2012. “That’s right,” Rogen replies, “we met for hours and, in At one point, the subject of Scientology came up, you know, how strange all that was seen in the press. According to the interviewer, aware of the anecdote that Rogen is about to tell, Cruise stated that the press was trying to make him look crazy because of the economic damage that he was causing to pharmaceutical companies. Scientologists believe that many illnesses are actually psychosomatic and can be cured with specific audits, sometimes using a device to measure electrical resistance on the human body. “Yeah,” Rogen replies, “and then there was a moment where he looked at me and said, ‘If you’d just let me tell you what Scientology really is. If you only gave me 20 minutes to tell you the truth, I’m sure you’d say ‘it can’t be’.
Seth Rogen says that he was speechless: “I kept thinking: ‘But is that a good thing or a bad thing?”, he confesses in the interview between laughs. “It’s as if I told him: ‘If you let me talk to you about the Jews for 20 minutes, you’ll tell me: It can’t be.’ The Canadian interpreter recounts that, after that, there was an awkward moment in which he was not sure what to answer: “I looked at Judd and thought: ‘Is he going to buy this move? Am I going to buy it? Are we strong enough to resist? Will we end up getting caught?’ I am a weak person, I am not going to deceive you, if they captured him [por Tom Cruise]What opportunities do I have? The matter was resolved when Apatow ended the conversation: “Nah, Tom, we’re good. What do you think if we talk about movies again? “I dodged that bullet,” adds Rogen.
Tom Cruise learned about Scientology in 1986 thanks to Mimi Rogers, his first wife (they were married between 1987 and 1990). His fanaticism has even led him to buy and reform the English mansion in which Ron Hubbard, founder of this religion, lived, to turn it into his home in the United Kingdom, according to what he assured The Telegraph. “Scientologists are told that Tom Cruise is saving the world, so he is considered a deity within the church. He is the second most powerful person after David Miscavige: the savior of the free world, ”explained actress Leah Remini, a former member of the church, in the third season of the series. Leah Remini and Scientology.
In the ranks of Hollywood, Scientology has detractors and defenders. Among the first, there are many who, without having expressed themselves totally against it, have admitted having abandoned this religion for different reasons. Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, did it in 2012; Paul Haggis, screenwriter One Million Dollar Baby, published a letter in 2009 in which he explained the reasons for his resignation; and the writer William Burroughs, one of the main figures of the Beat Generation, was in the organization at the beginning of the sixties and left it because he considered that it did not admit any critical discussion. Among the stars who have expressed their support for the organization are John Travolta, Juliette Lewis, Elisabeth Moss, Kelly Preston, Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, Jenna Elfman or Erika Christensen. Seth Rogen, for the moment, dodged that bullet.