Leah Remini Says That Tom Cruise Likes to Play Hide-And-Seek With A-List Guests
The former Scientologist wrote about the star's unusual hosting behavior in her memoir.
Leah Remini had her breakthrough in 1989 on Who's the Boss? and the short-lived spinoff Living Dolls, then her lead role on The King of Queens turned her into a sitcom star and household name in the late '90s. However, since the mid-2010s, the actor has been known for something outside of her acting career: Her crusade against the Church of Scientology, the controversial religion where she spent her formative years.
As one of the most famous Scientologists in Hollywood, Remini ran in circles that included Tom Cruise, his now-ex-wives Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, and others. She shares stories about some of them in her 2015 memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, including a few strange anecdotes about Cruise. In recounting one dinner party at his home, Remini claims that the Top Gun star requested that his A-list guests play a game of hide-and-seek. Read on to find out what else the ex-Scientologist wrote in her book about Cruise and how he responded.
Remini has been speaking out about the religion since she left.
Remini's mother joined the Church of Scientology in 1978 when Remini was eight. As the actor details in her autobiography, she spent her teen years as part of the "Sea Org," a group of Scientologists who've each pledged a billion years of their lives to serve the religion. She was a devout member for nearly 35 years, during which time she met and married fellow actor Angelo Pagán, who was also a Scientologist. The couple exited the church in 2013, and not long after, in 2015, Remini began her public fight against the religion, which she has portrayed as being abusive and manipulative.
In addition to Troublemaker, the King of Queens star has made noise by co-producing and hosting the A&E documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which ran three seasons and won two Emmys. She has called out several celebrity Scientologists over the years for putting a sheen on the group. With Cruise as the organization's most famous member, he has certainly not been spared.
Remini claims that Cruise acted like a child.
Those who wanted dirt on Cruise were not disappointed by Remini's book, which includes several accounts of the mega movie star's behavior. She did say that initially, being in his presence was "magical," as he's able to make someone feel like they're the only person in the room. However, she claims she eventually became privy (or witness) to some problematic or just plain weird whims of Cruise. In one story, as reported by Vulture, the star berated his assistants for not producing the ingredients for him to make cookies, when the dough was sitting right on the counter in his line of sight. "Tom seemed like a child who had never been told no," she recalled.
In another, Cruise demanded that his dinner party guests, nearly all of them just as famous, join him in a game of hide-and-seek on his property. "At first I thought he was joking, but no, he literally wanted to play hide-and-seek with a bunch of grown-ups in what was probably close to a 7,000-square-foot house on almost three full acres of secluded land," Remini wrote, per Vulture. Guests at that party evidently included Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who never publicly claimed to be Scientologists but are good friends of Cruise and are rumored to have been involved in some church activities.
As reported by Us Weekly, Remini wrote that she tried to decline the invitation, saying, "I can't play—I'm wearing Jimmy Choos." This didn't faze her host. "Well, good, so you're It, then," Cruise supposedly said in response.
She went on to say that she told her husband to play without her, despite Cruise's insistence. "Uh, Angelo, you're going to go ahead and do this, because I'm not doing it," she said. "I'm not trying to play a [expletive] game of hide-and-seek in five-inch stilettos."
Cruise thought her book was a "major betrayal."
Cruise never addressed Remini's accusations, which include that his and Holmes' daughter Suri was left crying on a bathroom floor at their wedding and that his older children had been forbidden to speak to mother Kidman because she is considered a "suppressive person" by Scientology. But a source told Us Weekly at the time that he was "freaking out" and thought of the book as a "major betrayal."
The Church of Scientology responded at length in an official statement. It reads, in part, "Sadly, bitterness and anger are common threads through Ms. Remini's life. Rather than take responsibility for self-inflicted problems, she is quick to blame others."
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Cruise has made headlines for other unusual behavior over the years.
Cruise has become known for his bombastic personality and sometimes unusual antics. The first story that likely comes to mind, of course, is the way he jumped up and down on Oprah Winfrey's couch in 2005 to celebrate his new romance with Holmes. But others have shared their experiences with the Risky Business star and his singular personality. Annabelle Wallis, his co-star in 2017's The Mummy, claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that Cruise was against having anyone run onscreen with him, to the point where she had to demonstrate to him that she was a good enough runner to be the exception to his rule. Seth Rogen recounted a meeting with the celebrity, in which Cruise supposedly began attempting to recruit him to Scientology, in what the Knocked Up actor called "a very loaded moment." In 2020, Cruise was caught on audio shouting at the crew of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning in a long rant about following COVID protocols. Thandwie Newton, his Mission: Impossible 2 co-star said in a 2020 Vulture interview that Cruise is "a very dominant individual" though "he tries super hard to be a nice person" and revealed that she was "so scared of him." She also told a story about her co-star being so unhappy with her performance that he insisted that they do a take in which he played her role, so she could see how he wanted it to be done. "And it was the most unhelpful," she said.
Of course, some of Cruise's bold actions have entertained audiences, including his commitment to doing even the most death-defying stunts himself. In a recent stunt for the upcoming Mission: Impossible movie, the actor drives a motorcycle off of a cliff, with the unbelievable clip posted online for the world to see.