Tom Cruise on The Today Show: “I’m just here to entertain people”


A gaunt-looking Tom Cruise made his return to The Today Show with Matt Lauer. Cruise’s last appearance with Lauer in 2005 was a memorable one in which he criticized the use of antidepressants and claimed that postpartum depression could be cured with vitamins. Lauer countered that friends of his have been helped by psychiatric drugs and Cruise called him “glib.” Lauer and Cruise have since made peace with each other, with Cruise cracking some good-natured jokes at Lauer’s expense at his roast this October.

The first thing Lauer and Cruise addressed on the show this morning was the elephant in the room, but it seemed like only the audience could see it because they were pretty comfortable with each other. Cruise came across as both earnest about and embarassed by his 2005 outburst. I think he handled explaining it very well.

On the “you don’t know the history of psychiatry” scandal
Lauer: This isn’t a rematch… Without going into the subject matter I’m just curious, what was the reaction on your end to the last time we sat down?

Cruise: I went back and I looked at it… I thought about it a lot seriously. It was a subject matter that’s important and being debated in the public and that’s where it should be. After looking at it I really thought, it’s not what I had intended. In looking at it I thought ‘that came across arrogant.’ That’s one of those things you go ‘OK, I could have absolutely handled that better….’ I didn’t communicate it the way I wanted to communicate it. That’s not the person that I am.”

On the press backlash against him and how he dealt with it
Cruise: I think it was a confluence of events that happened at that time. I think it was at the end of a PR tour a lot of stuff was going on.”

Lauer: How do you deal with it emotionally?
Cruise: I learned a really good lesson… I understand the spin of it. I’ve lived 25 years of this kind of stuff. Certainly things were also twisted and misrepresented. I just take responsibility for it… good lessons. I’m here to entertain people. Certain issues and things… have a time and a place and proper environment. When I’m promoting films… that’s what I want to talk about.

On whether he wants to talk about Scientology
Lauer: It’s my understanding you decided don’t want to talk about Scientology any more.
Cruise: That’s actually not true. It’s something – I’ve been a Scientologist 25 years… I think there’s a time and a place for it. Things can get misunderstood and twisted. When people are tuning in to hear about my movie… that’s what I’m here to talk about. If I don’t talk about it, it’s like ‘why aren’t you talking about it?’ If I do talk about it, it’s like ‘you’re proselytizing.’

I’m here to entertain people.

[Transcribed from Cruise's appearance on the Today Show, air December 15, 2008]

Matt said that there were no hard feelings after the interview contrary to public belief, and then he talked about Tom’s funny speech at his roast. Tom talked about his family, calling Katie “an amazing woman,” and added “also Suri and all of our kids.” As for whether they’ll have another, he told Lauer he must know how it is and said “I think that’s a question for ‘the women.’”

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19 Responses to “Tom Cruise on The Today Show: “I’m just here to entertain people””

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  1. Kink says:

    I saw this when it aired this morning, and I’m not sure why you refer to him as “guant looking”…I didn’t hear shit he said, but I smiled the entire time he was on the screen…that’s all that matters LOL.

  2. Anon says:

    No one should forget, despite this barrage of PR from Cruise, that he is a supporter, recruiter, and shill for a very dangerous cult – Scientology. Please do not let the glow of celebrity dull your reasoning, although this is a technique the cult has counted on for years. Learn the truth yourself about the cult of Scientology that Mr. Cruise has devoted 25 years to and of which he is virtually second in command. Google Lisa McPherson, Google The Unfunny Truth About Scientology, check out whyaretheydead DOT net and exscientologykids DOT com. Scientology — its worse than you think.

    Here is the best definition of the Scientology cult that I have come across: “Scientology is a totalitarian political movement disguised as a criminal racket disguised as a cult parading as a religion hiding behind 166 front groups.”

    Go Anonymous!

  3. Holly says:

    “I’m just here to entertain people.”

    And his definition of entertain includes the word indoctrinate, right?

  4. photo jojo says:

    He’s a creep and a sociopath.

  5. margo says:

    Tom Cruise is an uneducated idiot.

    He is the poster boy for an insidious, murderous, criminal CULT. Scientology stalks it’s critics, has it’s own security who are armed, what “church” needs that much protection and why?
    go to whyaretheydead.com

    The Cult of Scientology teaches that psychologists and psychiatrists are the EVIL and are responsible for all the problems on earth–they also teach that mental illness does NOT exist and it is your fault if you get cancer or any other illness

    Screw TOM CRUISE he is an IDIOT who needs a good therapist, not a criminal organization!

  6. Lisa says:

    He comes across as a nice guy. Bottom line. What he does in his private time (religion) is no ones business. I wouldn’t mind being welcomed into their Telluride home.

  7. breederina says:

    @ Lisa, don’t hold your breath.

  8. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    Apparently he’s “just here” to totally creep me out. Really wish he’d just retire with his creepiness.

    Oh and Lisa, if you have a whole buncha money, you can BE a Scientologist!

  9. vdantev says:

    He’s being glib. He doesn’t understand the entertainment business like I do.

  10. Baholicious says:

    No Tom, if you were truly here to entertain me, you’d be at the end of an organ grinder’s leash.

  11. Zoe says:

    I don’t know. He’s def arrogant, but freedom of religion, man. As long as he’s finally learned to keep his yap shut, as he claims he has, then fine. His choice. He is a very talented actor, and he is here to entertain, so whatever.

  12. Monica says:

    I am not a Tom Cruise fan, but I have to admit he did recently entertain me in the movie Tropic Thunder.

  13. jennifurrr says:

    i think people give him a hard time, a harder time then he deserves… he’s a great actor and a really smart/ funny guy. his religion is his business and he’s not out on hollywood blvd offering free stress tests to recruit ppl to Scientology. he just believes in something and supports it and we all should be so lucky to have that kind of faith in something. isn’t that what makes this country free? being able to believe what you want?

    i say bravo to tom cruise and i hope his movie valkyrie gets the respect and viewership it deserves… it’s really a fantastic film and really well done ( i got to see a screening of the flick and was absolutely blown away by this story they are trying to tell)

  14. NotBlonde says:

    Yea…his religion is his business and as long as he keeps his pr stuff to movies, I don’t see anything wrong with him being in the public eye in that way. He is an excellent actor and makes good movies. He wants to promote his films and now understands that there is a time and a place for it, as he says.

  15. Ter says:

    I cut Tom Cruise no slack as his cult religion cut no slack for many of the unfortunates that became entwined in their web. The national dialog about his antics, his acting skills, his contracting to procure a wife and her unborn child is so much fluff compared to what his religion did to others that dared to escape their tentacles. HE is the face of Scientology, HE only gets reproof and rebuke from me.

    I didn’t find his role in Tropic Thunder all that engrossing or the popular words being used, “a great stretch”. It looked like a rip off of Al Pacino. It’s easier to play large and vindictive(explicative laden)than subtle and under-the-radar-evil.

  16. Lisa says:

    Aanastasiabea: no thanks! I’ll spend my money on other things besides scientology! lol

  17. Kelly says:

    Why didn’t Matt mention the Tom Tropic Thunder nomination? seems weird

  18. Kelly says:

    wow margo, tell us how u really feel. Can u like someone even if you dont like what they believe in?……. As long as your not married to them . haha right. That makes me think of his wife, she probably wishes he was catholic like her and her family. shit, suri gonna have to be a scientologist to then. sucks for her

  19. Kim says:

    I am still thinking of going to watch his movie when I go home for the holidays. I am looking forward to taking a break next week. I hope his movie is good.