Katie Holmes’ interview in W magazine has set off a firestorm. Reading it can only be even be more worrisome for her parents as they see the steady hold Tom Cruise and Scientology have taken of their beloved daughter.
There is no way to minimize the frightening aspect of the interview. Holmes, who previously was a sweet, thoughtful, articulate young woman, now comes across like a zombie.
She’s accompanied on the interview by Jessica Feshbach Rodriguez, her Scientology minder.
You remember I told you about Feshbach some weeks ago. Her family is the primary financial donor to Scientology.
Feshbach, whom Holmes calls her “best friend” in the interview after six weeks of knowing her, is a high level Scientologist.
According to the various Web sites that monitor the L. Ron Hubbard-founded religion, Feshbach completed courses called “Security Checker Internship,” “False Purpose Rundown Auditorship” and “Clear Certainty.”
According to those who accompanied Holmes through her various publicity trips this spring, Feshbach has never left her side. Neither have other “monitors” who followed Holmes everywhere she went, according to sources, constantly whispering in walkie talkie-like devices (those things that are strapped to wrists, connected to ear pieces) even when she was going to the bathroom.
In the meantime: yesterday, the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column reported a story that was sent out by an anti-Scientology watcher on Friday.
It’s the news that Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s 12-year-old daughter Isabella Cruise has been listed in the Scientology bulletin for completing the basic course. She’s under the name “Bella Cruise.” This can only be heartbreaking for Kidman, who — like Holmes previously — is a devout Catholic from an observant family.
This column reported exclusively a couple of weeks ago that the Cruise-Kidman kids are educated at Tom’s home in Beverly Hills by his two sisters, with an emphasis on the teachings of Scientology.
This raises the question of who has custody of their children. The answer seems to be Cruise, because the kids must be in his home every day for their schooling.
As for Holmes, the W interview — conducted by Rob Haskell — features comments from the omnipresent Feshbach (who goes by her second husband’s name, Rodriguez).
When Holmes is asked to describe her feelings for Cruise, Feshbach interrupts and says, “You adore him.” During the interview, Holmes — in a very choreographed stunt — receives an expensive “surprise” gift from Cruise.
If the whole point of the Cruise-Holmes “romance” though was to sell “War of the Worlds,” then it’s time to take a look at the results.
“War” had a tough weekend, finishing second to “Fantastic Four” and taking in $31 million. That puts its domestic box office at $165 million.
The movie, however, cost $182 million. So how does that break down?
First, take $40 million off the top for Cruise and director Steven Spielberg. Then split the remainder in half, because the record 3,900 screens on which the movie is playing get 50 percent of the take. That leaves us with $67.5 million with which the studio can now pay bills.
But the bottom line is $120 million away. That would have been alright if “War” had had a bigger first weekend and more momentum now. But “Fantastic Four” has put one nail in its coffin.
Come Friday, both “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Wedding Crashers” will come like steamrollers over “War.” The result is going to be bloody, with “War” likely to do less than $15 million and finish fourth.
For Cruise, it doesn’t matter. He’s rich, and he’s isolated. If “Mission: Impossible 3” starts, he’ll spend even more. Oprah will continue to bow to him, although to her credit even Rosie O’Donnell has publicly disowned him in the Brooke Shields deal.
For Spielberg, “War” is behind him. He’s already making his next film, which — if he’s on target — will wipe out all the bad feelings about “War.” The real loser in all of this? Why, Katie Holmes.
In the last few weeks, her agent and manager were dismissed, and a really great, much coveted film role — that of Edie Sedgwick — has been taken from her.
As well, the producers of “Batman Begins” already say she won’t be back for the sequel. But she’s still got her new best friend and the watch from Tom.