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Celebrity Death Match: Tom Cruise and Matt Lauer

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Tom Cruise appeared on NBC’s Today Show this morning because he was in the neighborhood and has a movie coming out and is in love and stuff. He got into it a bit with host Matt Lauer – especially heated was their exchange regarding Cruise’s recent criticism of that tall, depressive woman Brooke Shields and her use of psychiatry.

Tom and Katie

Lauer: How are you handling this? I mean every magazine, every newspaper, and every entertainment show. What’s it like for you to be living through this right now?

Cruise: I have to tell you. It’s just a great time in my life. I’m really happy. And, you know, I’m engaged. I’m going to be married. I can’t restrain myself.

Lauer: It’s like you’ve got two little cords on your mouth and you can’t stop smiling. I was thinking about it. On the one hand, it’s got to be a little hard to see yourself everywhere, splashed across the pages. Another aspect of this, though, is, how many actors 20-something years into a career can generate this kind of interest still?

Cruise: You know, I just do what I do. I love making movies. And I feel privileged to be able to do that, always. And it’s something that — I’m just living my life, you know.

…Lauer: You are being so much more open. You’ve been on this show in the past at times where you were in other relationships. And I’d kind of broach the subject of a personal life. And you would very gingerly steer it away. That was how we came to know Tom Cruise. And now, you’re saying, “You know what? I’m okay with it.” So, it does seem like a different guy.

Cruise: Yeah. But they’re still writing it. You got to understand. All that stuff, they’d still write it. They’d still talk about it. And the thing is, I still feel I will talk about what I feel, what I want to talk about.

…Lauer: So, when you hear the cynics, Mr. Cruise, and you’ve heard ‘em, who say, “This is publicity for a movie, this relationship,” or “This is Tom Cruise in his 40s trying to become or stay relevant for a younger audience, and that’s why he’s out there talking about this relationship with this lovely young lady,” who happens to be sitting right over there. How do you respond to that?

Cruise: You know what? There’s always cynics. There always has been. There always will be.

…Lauer: Katie, close your ears for a second, okay? You have said that Katie is the real thing. She is sensational, she is magnificent. Can you explain to me what she’s brought to your life that hasn’t been brought to your life in the past?

Cruise: I don’t want to compare things. I just say—

Lauer: I know—

Cruise: No, no, no. Because, you know, it — but what it is, it’s that thing where you just — in life, when it just happens, Matt. You know? It just — you meet someone. And it’s — I can’t even describe it.

War of the Worlds

Lauer: We talk about life in a second. Let’s talk about the movie, though. Okay, War of the Worlds … This is not just an alien movie. The story breaks down on a lot of different levels. And on one of the levels, your character is a father?

Cruise: When we were working on this story three years ago, Steven [Spielberg] and I came up with this idea of making it about a family. And so now, he is forced in these circumstances to rise to the occasion. Will he rise to the occasion? And I just think it’s very human.

…Lauer: Is this a scary movie in the traditional sense of Hollywood scary?

Cruise: I think it’s Spielbergian scary.

Lauer: Is that a word?

Cruise: It now is. I think, you know, I tease him. ‘Cause I say, I know your movies better than [I know] you. You know, I studied his edits so many times. I’ve studied his movies. And having worked with him, it’s not analytical. He’s just creating. And he has tremendous power because he understands the medium. And he’s just that great, great, great storyteller. I think he’s the greatest storyteller cinema has ever known.


Lauer: Katie has mentioned that she is embracing, or at least exposing herself and opening herself up to, Scientology. At this stage in your life, could you be with someone who doesn’t have an interest?

Cruise: You know, Scientology is something that you don’t understand. It’s like, you could be a Christian and be a Scientologist, okay. Scientology is something—

Lauer: So, it doesn’t replace religion.

Cruise: It is a religion. Because it’s dealing with the spirit. You as a spiritual being. It gives you tools you can use to apply to your life.

…Do you want more people to understand Scientology? Would that be a goal of yours?

Cruise: You know what? Absolutely. Of course, you know.

Lauer: How do you go about that?

Cruise: You just communicate about it. And the important thing is, like you and I talk about it, whether it’s okay, if I want to know something, I go and find out. Because I don’t talk about things that I don’t understand. I’ll say, you know what? I’m not so sure about that. I’ll go find more information about it so I can come to an opinion based on the information that I have.

Brooke and Psychiatry

Cruise: I’ve never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry. And when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn’t believe in psychology.

And as far as the Brooke Shields thing, look, you got to understand, I really care about Brooke Shields. I think, here’s a wonderful and talented woman. And I want to see her do well. And I know that psychiatry is a pseudo science.

Lauer: But Tom, if she said that this particular thing helped her feel better, whether it was the antidepressants or going to a counselor or psychiatrist, isn’t that enough?

Cruise: Matt, you have to understand this. Here we are today, where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric shocking people, okay, against their will, of drugging children with them not knowing the effects of these drugs. Do you know what Aderol is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that?

Lauer: The difference is —

Cruise: No, no, Matt.

Lauer: This wasn’t against her will, though.

Cruise: Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt —

Lauer: But this wasn’t against her will.

Cruise: Matt, I’m asking you a question.

Lauer: I understand there’s abuse of all of these things.

Cruise: No, you see. Here’s the problem. You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do.

Lauer: Aren’t there examples, and might not Brooke Shields be an example, of someone who benefited from one of those drugs?

Cruise: All it does is mask the problem, Matt. And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. That’s what it does. That’s all it does. You’re not getting to the reason why. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.

Lauer: So, postpartum depression to you is kind of a little psychological gobbledygook —

Cruise: No. I did not say that.

Lauer: I’m just asking what you, what would you call it?

Cruise: No. No. Abso— Matt, now you’re talking about two different things.

Lauer: But that’s what she went on the antidepressant for.

Cruise: But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There’s ways, [with] vitamins and through exercise and various things… I’m not saying that that isn’t real. That’s not what I’m saying. That’s an alteration of what I’m saying. I’m saying that drugs aren’t the answer, these drugs are very dangerous. They’re mind-altering, antipsychotic drugs. And there are ways of doing it without that so that we don’t end up in a brave new world. The thing that I’m saying about Brooke is that there’s misinformation, okay. And she doesn’t understand the history of psychiatry. She doesn’t understand in the same way that you don’t understand it, Matt.

Lauer: But a little bit of what you’re saying Tom is, you say you want people to do well. But you want them do to well by taking the road that you approve of, as opposed to a road that may work for them.

Cruise: No, no, I’m not.

Lauer: Well, if antidepressants work for Brooke Shields, why isn’t that okay?

Cruise: I disagree with it. And I think that there’s a higher and better quality of life.

…Lauer: I’m not prescribing Ritalin, Tom. And I’m not asking anyone else to do it. I’m simply saying, I know some people who seem to have been helped by it.

Cruise: But you’re saying this is a very important issue.

Lauer: I couldn’t agree more.

Cruise: It’s very — and you know what? You’re here on the “Today” show.

Lauer: Right.

Cruise: And to talk about it in a way of saying, “Well, isn’t it okay,” and being reasonable about it when you don’t know and I do, I think that you should be a little bit more responsible in knowing what it is.

Lauer: But —

Cruise: Because you communicate to people.

Lauer: But you’re now telling me that your experiences with the people I know, which are zero, are more important than my experiences.

Cruise: What do you mean by that?

Lauer: You’re telling me what’s worked for people I know or hasn’t worked for people I know. I’m telling you, I’ve lived with these people and they’re better.

Cruise: So, you’re advocating it.

Lauer: I am not. I’m telling you in their case, in their individual case, it worked. I am not gonna go out and say, “Get your kids on Ritalin. It’s the cure-all and the end-all.”

Cruise: Matt, but here’s the point. What is the ideal scene for life? Okay. The ideal scene is someone not having to take antipsychotic drugs.

Lauer: I would agree.

Cruise: Okay. So, now you look at a departure from that ideal scene, is someone taking drugs, okay. And then you go, okay. What is the theory and the science behind that, that justifies that?

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About Eric Olsen

  • Mickey

    Ha ! Now why do I get the feeling that the two men dont like each other too much…and Cruise claims to have ‘studied’ psychiatry ? Right. And my granny studied cardiology.

  • Silas Kain

    Psychiatry = accepting your sexuality and moving on.

    Scientology = getting those thetas out of your body that make you queer.

    Tom Cruise = a soon to be has been movie idol selling Amway products in Brentwood.

    Katie Holmes = a unwitting victim.

  • Paulie

    Cruise has not only lost it, but I suspect that he has also lost many fans. I hope the American Psychiatric Association disputes the lies he is propagating on national TV. I also hope that people taking medication do not listen to a man who doesn’t even have a high school education.

  • Eric Berlin

    I’ve been meaning to count how many times Cruise says “Matt” during the interview.

    And how many times he heatedly claims to know about something that Lauer does not.

    Could make for a great drinking game.

  • Silas Kain

    HOLLYWEIRD (A&P) – Talk show guru Dr. Phyl announced today that Tom Crews and Katie Homes will appear in an NBC special on Scientology and the Making of a Film Star during November sweeps. “This will give my audience an opportunity to see how religion can bring a man and woman together,” Dr. Phyl slurred in his Texan drawl. “We been relying on psychiatry and behavior modifying drugs for too long and we wanna show that the love of a good woman can cure everything,” Dr. Phyl added.

    In a related announcement, BRAVO announced the creation of a new show called Queer Eye for the Middle Aged Crisis Guy which will debut during November sweeps. First up, former Hollyweird box office idol, Tom Crews. In the episode, the queer guys take Crews to a Beverly Hills men’s spa for a full body wax, anal probe and makeover.

  • Ghoesty

    Hey peops.

    You ever wander deep, deep into a mental hospital to the room where they electrocute your personality deep fried? There is a little brochure, and some flowers arranged like as for a funeral.

    I’m in favor of meds, but not authoritative violence that passes as a Mental Health Act.

  • axlerama

    How Tom Cruise became a specialist on Psychiatry is beyond me.. Matt Lauer=journalist-Tom Cruise-movie star. No where do I see the title Dr.
    Tom Cruise has lost it and looks like a fool. Enough already! i’ve lost all respect.

  • Dori

    I couldn’t help but notice that Tom Cruise kept misusing the word antipsychotic drugs when he
    meant psychotropic drugs. Antipsychotic medication is prescribed for people suffering from schizophrenia and other psychosis, which are defined as: “any severe mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted,” NOT for depression. Time for Tom to go back to the L. Ron Hubbard Medical University for Celebritries and take a refresher course!

  • Natalie Davis

    Bow to the will of Cruise… bow to the will of Cruise. He knows better than you. Bow to the will of Cruise.

  • Eric Olsen

    funny but also good point, Nat: I think he has accomplished what he has by force of will, which is swell for a career but hell on those around him in life

  • marty

    If you are going to match wits with educated people you need more than one half wit. Cruise lost his years ago.

  • Eric Olsen

    and it wasn’t that Lauer was giving him all that hard a time, he was letting him rant but simply making the point that if it helps some people it can’t be all bad

  • Ghoesty

    Please people as you step by my comment about the forced electrocution of patients in the “ward” of the health ministry (department) try to observe the most basic rules of grammar.

    Now who would like a lesson about a real place in Canada called Woodlands where patients were tortured and killed in the 60’s and 70’s? Or how about a lesson on how the guilty parties were re-employed and are active today in the Canadian medical system? (One of whom, a nurse, I met! It was painful after she stabbed me in the head with an ear thermometer, and when I complained to my doctor this nurse made it clear just who was boss. This nurse was boss and I better stay quiet.)

  • axlerama

    with all do respect. what does that have to do with Tom Cruise being a moron?

  • Wawawi

    Cruise and Holmes have both lost their minds. They deserved each other.

  • miron

    Across the world, in an island country in deep political and economic turmoil, where the president of the republic is in trouble over wiretapped conversations and an allegedly corrupt and possibly incorrigible family, millions sit in front of their TVs and think: “Wow…Tom Cruise has lost it.”

  • susieQ

    Open letter to the press:

    Did Tom Cruise’s latest tête-à-tête with Matt Lauer do anything to convince you that:

    a – he is completely insane, and
    b – something really needs to be done about crazy famous people

    Bottom line – someone needs to do something about Cruise and his contemporaries. When did we let these freaks take over Hollywood?

    Hollywood used to be about cool, glamorous people – not religious, zealot freaks with outrageous egos and serious “god” complexes. Did the brat pack ever lecture us on the indiscriminate use of vodka?

    Okay – so here is my fantasy – never thought I’d have a fantasy involving Cruise, but here it is…

    Tom Cruise, Mr. “there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance” locked in a room with a schizophrenic.

    Okay – let’s see, everyone needs some sort of implement – just like in video games. So we’ll give Mr. Cruise a book on Scientology so he can heal Mr. Schizophrenic. and hmm…. we’ll give Mr. Schizophrenic something he can use… maybe an ax or a hatchet. no meds though! He’ll be going off his meds, and Mr. Cruise will be there to help solve Mr. Schizophrenic’s little mental problems because Cruise KNOWS the history of psychiatry. He has exposed the wizardry and is here to tell us all about it, and settle all questions we might have about psychiatric meds once and for all! Thank goodness for that. Of course, silly, ignorant me – student of neurochemistry, would think that once Mr. schizophrenic is off his meds, he might do some creative things to Mr. Cruise with his hatchet. Things that even the amazing Mr. Spielberg might find hard to put up on the screen.

    Schlepping through the news is my job, and I’ve noticed that whether it’s Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, Michael Jackson or any of the other overblown, egotistical freaks out there, the press is even more star struck than the fans….unless of course, it’s a young starlet. Then you guys seem to have no problem humiliating, denigrating and press raping (yes, I just made that up) them to the hilt. Note the Fox News writer admonishing the British press for squirting cruise with a water gun hidden in a mic. Now if Paris Hilton or Ashlee Simpson had gotten a “squirt” in the face (now now, I’m still talking water here!) that’d get you folks all warm and squishy. That would be considered HILARIOUS!!! But god forbid we should throw stones at Tom or Mel or Russell – why they can barely defend themselves!

    My point – it’s all crap, it’s ENTERTAINMENT – or at least it’s supposed to be. And people like Cruise, Gibson and Crowe are destined to become Jacksons if we don’t HELP THEM get some perspective on who they are and where they fit into our society. They need to be taught not to take themselves so seriously, and when they do – they need to be put in line – or rather brought back down to earth. THAT’S YOUR JOB AS THE PRESS – you know, to report the facts and dispute the falsehoods, question stuff that seems not quite right? Otherwise, they get the impression, and rightly so – that they can kill their wives or others (OJ, Blake, Specter), molest children (Jackson), dictate religion/history/politics (Gibson, Penn, Schwarzenegger), and now – Mr. Cruise fancies himself a doctor. What’s next? Move over Mr. President, Quentin Tarantino thinks he can do a better job. (hey, maybe he can – but that’s not the direction he chose, so too bad!)

    It doesn’t take a journalist to kiss ass and drool all over a star, we are all capable of that. We look to “journalists” to help us get to the facts and sort through the B.S. – no matter who is concerned, no matter how famous they are – so hey guys, and gals, STEP UP! And kudos to Matt Lauer for at least trying to get a word in edgewise… MATT, MATT, MATT!!! but MATT!!!!!

    Tom, tom, tom, tom, TOM! – shut up already, no one cares that you scored a young hot chick later in life – we know you think it’s a revelation!!! I’m 39, if a hot 25 year old was throwing themselves at me, I’d be having epiphanies all over the place too – it just wouldn’t be (embarrassingly) major news.

  • Brandon Edwards

    “Tom bashing” that’s funny…it seems your missing the POINT…Mr. Cruise is arguing that taking ANY type of prescription drug is NOT natural. True.
    And he is advocating that we should all strive to be “natural, as in not taking “drugs”. Also true. That’s it…you people who want to “hate” on a guy because he knows what is the TRUEST sense of being “happy” are just sad. And anyone who wants to just use a communication forum to bash someone because they are secretly envious is just PATHETIC..and before you even THINK abut criticizing me…go ahead…because I know you will… because you are “weak” sad wimps behind a computer screen. Me? I’m an American soldier in Iraq who just had to comment on what I am seeing here…what the hell have you done to call yourself an American? You haters make me sick…what are we fighting for? Mr. CRUISE SPEAK ON…LAST I HEARD IT WAS STILL FREE…and your right there will always be “critics” because they have NOTHING better to do!

  • Bake2

    HA! Tom is an idoit! Or as we have started to call him around here:

    Rooster Lollipop (YOU figure it out)

    Never watching a Tom Cruise movie again. He has NO business talking about PPD, first as a MAN, and second as a MAN who has NEVER had a wife that suffered from PPD.

    His so called religion is nuts and now he’s spread the insanity to others