In 2004, the Hollywood star made an infamous television appearance on the Today show in which he angrily sounded off about the “pseudoscience” of psychiatry and described host Matt Lauer as “glib”. The encounter prompted 10,000 viewer emails to the network.
Four years on, Cruise returned to the programme to cleared the air.
He said of the original interview: “I went back and looked at it and it was interesting… you know, it’s not what I had intended. Looking at myself, I thought, ‘Man, that came across as arrogant.’ It was one of those things where you go, ‘Ok, I could have absolutely handled that better.’ I didn’t communicated it the way that I wanted to communicate it. That’s not who I am, that’s not the person I am, coming across that way.”
On his controversial support for Scientology, the 46-year-old actor said he wouldn’t be talking about during movie interviews: “I’ve been a Scientologist for 25 years [but] I think there’s a time and a place for it because things can get misunderstood and twisted.”
The actor is promoting his latest film, Valkyrie, the true story of a German plot to assassinate Hitler.
VANCOUVER – Tom Cruise is clear on one thing: He is an entertainer.
The mercurial A-list actor admitted as much Monday morning on NBC’s Today Show, the scene of his infamous meltdown on live television. Well, one of his infamous meltdowns.
During a dark and aggressive rant about actor Brooke Shields’s use of anti-depressants three years ago when she was diagnosed with postpartum depression, Cruise turned on Today host Matt Lauer, castigating him for his ignorance of the evils of psychiatry and declaring him “glib.”
Lauer said Monday that Today normally receives a few hundred e-mails after a celebrity interview, but about 10,000 people wrote in about the Cruise conniption.
Cruise returned for Round Two on Monday and was more contrite than crazy, at least during the interview. But if he was trying to present a more sane version of himself while promoting his new film Valkyrie, he probably shouldn’t have wandered on to Today’s live set before his interview to hijack the news segment of the program.
Cruise stood beside co-hosts Lauer and Meredith Vieira and began reading from the teleprompter as both Lauer and Vieira mentioned on-air that his behaviour was “bizarre.”
The world’s news services are surprisingly sympathetic to Cruise. Asked how people responded to his savage antics during his 2005 appearance on Today, Cruise launched into a rambling, sweaty response that would have induced squirming in a brass monkey.
Reuters reported it thusly: “After looking at it, I really thought it’s not what I intended. I thought in looking at myself that I came across as arrogant,” Cruise said. “I absolutely could have handled that better.”
The actual quote went more like this: “You know, I mean it was, I went back and I looked at and I thought you know . . . it was interesting. And I think that, I thought at first you kinda go how and why and I thought about it a lot, obviously, and I was, it was, a subject matter that’s important and now it’s being debated by the public and that’s where it should be. But actually after looking at it I really thought you know it’s not what I had intended, in looking at myself, that I thought that came across arrogant. That’s one of those things where you go, ‘I could have handled that better.'”
That in answer to the one question he knew he would face before going on the air. In rambling so, Cruise leaves the impression that he knows what he thinks, but doesn’t know how to hide it very well, an odd failing for an actor.
Cruise fared better on a visit with Jay Leno last week, but Leno didn’t mention Scientology, psychiatric meds or Brooke Shields.
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