Friday, May 02, 2008
When Tom Cruise appeared on The Oprah Show on May 23, 2005, to discuss his new movie, War of the Worlds, neither he nor Oprah had any idea the show would make international headlines. When asked about his new relationship with actress Katie Holmes, an elated Tom praised the woman who would later become his wife. In the moment, Tom jumped on Oprah's couch. That image soon took on a life of its own as news shows broadcast the footage and parodies popped up on the Internet. For the first time since that interview, Oprah and Tom are sitting down together for an interview—this time on Tom's sofa in his Telluride, Colorado, home. "I was a little nervous coming up this morning, I have to admit, because you and I have not sat down for a real conversation since the sofa incident," Oprah says. Because three eventful years have passed, Oprah says she wanted to talk with Tom in a more private setting. "It's difficult to have a real conversation in front of an audience." Oprah says Tom's couch jump took her by surprise. "When we finished that show with you jumping up on the sofa, I was like, 'Wow. What was that?'" Oprah says. "I had no idea it was going to turn into an international brouhaha, as I'm sure you did not either." Tom says he could not have predicted the media's reaction. "[It] was a moment, and it was real," he says. In previous interviews with Tom, Oprah says he was usually pretty subdued. "So I had never experienced that before with you," she says. "What was going on with you in that moment?" Tom says he was simply in love and had never before experienced a relationship like he has with Katie. "I just felt that way, and I feel that way about her," Tom says. "I can't even articulate it, to be honest. That feeling, that connection. Just who she is and what she means to me." After the interview, news agencies and celebrity gossip websites kept replaying the moment over and over, turning it into something it wasn't. "It just kind of kept going," Tom says. "Those things I kind of go, 'You just have to take in stride.' It just kind of became a confluence of things."
Oprah: Let's talk about the confluence. Because, as I recall, what happened was you did the sofa thing, and then you were on Access Hollywood because all of this was about promoting War of the Worlds. And then you were on Access Hollywood and made a comment about Brooke Shields. And the comment about Brooke Shields being on antidepressant drugs combined with jumping on the sofa, and the media took the two comments, and then that became its own thing.
Tom: Yeah, and then Matt Lauer.
After the Matt Lauer interview on the Today show, Tom says he went back to watch the tape.
Tom: I thought, 'Okay, I remember at that time I was feeling.' I was feeling pressed in the interview with Matt Lauer. For me, my issue was really about child drugging. It's not like it is today, like people are really kind of openly talking about this.
Oprah: Are we doing too much drugging of our children? Are we doing too much drugging in society?
Tom: I think that it's got to be the parent's choice. I think the parent should be able to and should make that decision.
Still, when talking about his interview with Matt Lauer, Tom says that ultimately he "shot the messenger" and that his comments didn't come out as he intended. Throughout the media frenzy, Tom says his views on postpartum depression were misunderstood. "It came out wrong. It's just not true. Even if you read [Scientology text] Dianetics, you know that it talks about postpartum depression," Tom says. "But even outside of that, I know that. I was raised by four women who have children, who have babies. I'm not trying or want to tell anyone how to live their life or what they should believe or shouldn't believe in any way." Does Tom regret the comments he made? "What I regret is that it just came out wrong," he says. "What I regret is even discussing Brooke in any way." Although Tom says he personally does not believe in taking antidepressants, he thinks people should have the right to choose for themselves. "It's an individual's right to make a decision on what they're going to do with their life," he says. Since the controversy, Tom says he has apologized to Brooke, a longtime friend. "Brooke and I have always been friends. It came out wrong. And was something that I apologized to her for, and as a result, we're actually closer friends," he says. In recent years, Tom has openly acknowledged his belief in Scientology. "Do you feel that you come under attack unnecessarily because of your beliefs?" Oprah asks. Tom says he understands the interest in his religion. "It's a minority religion, and I think that sometimes people misinterpret [it]," he says. "I think the best thing is for people to read about it themselves. ... I believe people have the right to choose what they believe in." As a Scientologist, Tom says he believes in God. "Absolutely, I believe in God," he says. "There is no way you can be up here [in the Rocky Mountains] and feel that there isn't a God." One rumor that has been circulating in the media is that Tom and fellow Scientologist John Travolta have tried to convert Oprah. "I must have missed that meeting," Oprah says. Tom says he is not out to convert anyone. "The code of Scientologists says you respect the religious beliefs of others. That's part of being a Scientologist, and that's who I am as a person," Tom says. In January 2008, a videotape of Tom discussing Scientology made headlines after hitting the Internet. "That was a stolen video," he says. "That was a stolen video from an event that we have every year. I was receiving an award that evening for global literacy. It was a very private moment. I'm actually talking to my congregation." Oprah says the impression she got while watching the video was that the tape was edited to make Tom look like he's preaching. "It's totally out of context," Tom says. In the 25 years since he filmed Risky Business, Tom says the paparazzi's involvement in his life has increased dramatically. "It used to be just in Europe, but even when I started out with Risky Business and Top Gun there was the paparazzi. You knew them, and I could go up to them and say, 'Give me a break tonight. I'll give you the shots tomorrow.'" Tom says things have accelerated so much that it seemed like Mission Impossible trying to keep Katie's pregnancy private. When Tom and Katie made their first trip to the doctor for a pregnancy test, Tom says they did everything they could to keep it a secret. "We went in the middle of the night, and we were very excited—this is such a private moment," he says. Even so, the news was leaked within 12 hours. "My life was already a zoo," he says. "And now she's pregnant, and it was off the charts." The next big headline came when the media discovered Tom had purchased a sonogram machine for Katie so they could bring the doctor to their home. "When you're having a baby, you just want it to be as safe and as easy as possible," he says. On April 18, 2006, Katie gave birth to a baby girl, Suri. As the months passed and no photos of Suri surfaced, rumors began to circulate that she was being kept out of sight because of deformities. "That's even hard to hear," Tom says. "That was actually kind of surprising for us. We just want to have our baby, have the kids and everyone get to know Suri, get the family up here and just chill and have that time that you never get back. You don't ever get those moments back." Why did Tom wait to publish pictures of Suri? "Kate and I didn't feel any need to do it. We said, 'Why? It's our family,'" he says. During Suri's first private months at home, Tom says the family was just enjoying their newest member together. "We just were on Suri time." Eventually, they decided it was time to dispel the rumors. The couple allowed friend and photographer Annie Leibovitz to take pictures for Vanity Fair, allowing the world to see their gorgeous 3-month-old for the first time. In 2008, Suri celebrated her second birthday. "She's spectacular," he says. "She really is just magic." Tom says his children from his previous marriage to actress Nicole Kidman, Bella and Connor, were ready to welcome their new sister. "They were really excited," he says. Tom says part of the excitement was also because of how the kids feel about Katie. Tom says Connor and Bella liked Katie the moment they met her—but a sweet secret might have helped win them over. "Kate shows up with cupcakes," Tom says. "The cupcakes are there, and they all looked at me like, 'This is cool. Can we eat these cupcakes? This lady's cool.'" Although Tom has experienced the ups and downs of the media for 25 years, Katie wasn't as used to the international spotlight. "No one should ever underestimate that woman—she has got strength," Tom says. Although he would rather let Katie speak for herself, Tom says it's easy to imagine how hurt Katie is by the claims made about Suri. "I mean, picture any mother and how she's going to feel about that," Tom says. "It's the downside, and I don't want to give that a lot of weight because of the upside and what we get to do [for a living] is so great. That's what I try to do, is focus in on that." Some people in the media have also claimed that Tom and Katie's relationship isn't real. Tom says he just shrugs it off. "That's laughable to me," he says. 'You just know that they're trying to sell it and spin it." Tom says Katie's entire family has become part of his life. "They're amazing. I love them," he says. "You see why Kate is such an amazing woman—incredible integrity and strength. They're family." In 2001, Tom and Nicole went through a highly publicized divorce. Now, Tom says they have a good relationship and the rumors that Nicole has been pushed out of Bella's and Connor's lives are untrue. "No, that's ridiculous," he says. Tom says the children have maintained relationships with Nicole and still see her. "We share custody," he says. "That's what it is." Tom's house is filled with many family photos. Among the beautiful pictures is a shot of Santa Claus ... but who's really under the beard? Tom says Katie asked him to dress up as Santa as a surprise for Suri.
"I open the door, and I'm giving my best, 'Oh, merry Christmas! Oh, look at this little girl,' and Suri looks at me, and she says, 'No—Dada!'" he says. The surprise didn't work, but it led to a touching moment. "So that night, we were putting Suri down. Kate says, 'How was it? Did you like it? What did you think of Santa?' And Suri was really sweet, she looks up, and she goes, 'Dada Santa.'" When he's being scrutinized by the media, Tom says he hopes it doesn't affect Bella and Connor, who are now old enough to understand what's going on in the press. "They love me, so they know. They've grown up with that, and I'm sure there are things that they don't like, and you go, 'Okay, that happened, things go wrong, but don't live in it. Don't live in that because today is a new day and there's plenty of tomorrows,'" he says. "They're good people, my children. I'm proud of them. I don't want them to worry," he says. "They know I'm there. No matter what, I'm always there."
I KNEW IT! At long last, Tom confirms that Suri was brought forth into existence by way of "magic". His quote, "She really is just magic." absolutely confirms my suspicions. Ahhh, vindication feels goooood. I just *knew* that little creature had to be either a robot/alien/other. Honestly, Tom still sounds a little whacky (his explanation of the couch-jumping just sounds insane to me) but he is more subdued and he has managed to wrangle in his crazy antics considerably. I don't think he'll ever be able to convince me that he has all of his marbles intact but I much prefer this Tom Cruise Light rather than the manic weirdo that was running all over town scaring the hell out of people a few years ago. [Source]