This Actor Says Tom Cruise Tried to Convince Him to Become a Scientologist
Seth Rogen shared the story of his "bizarre" meeting with Cruise.
Tom Cruise is the most famous Scientologist there is and therefore a pretty important advocate for the religion. Recently, one of his fellow actors revealed that Cruise once tried to sell him on the controversial belief system during a "bizarre" meeting. During a new interview with Howard Stern, as reported by E! Online, Seth Rogen said that Cruise brought up Scientology when they met at his home 15 years ago. According to Rogen, he could be "singing a very different tune right now" if he had been at the meeting with Cruise alone, but he was joined by filmmaker Judd Apatow, who stepped in and led the conversation in another direction.
And it wasn't just Scientology that made the meeting stand out to Rogen. The Knocked Up star also shared a story with Stern about how he peed in a Snapple bottle to avoid a potentially awkward moment inside Cruise's home. Read on to see exactly how Rogen remembers the meeting playing out.
The meeting happened during Tom Cruise "mania."
Rogen and Apatow were invited to come talk to Cruise about potential projects. At the time, both men were starting to make a big splash in the entertainment industry; Apatow as a producer, writer, and director, and Rogen as a producer, writer, and actor. According to Rogen, their meeting occurred not long after Cruise's daughter with ex-wife Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise, was born, and there was a lot of media attention on the family.
"There was this very weird period, where he had had his child, but no one had seen his child, and there was genuine speculation as to whether the child was real," Rogen said. He added that he and Apatow got to meet Suri. "I remember meeting this baby, being like, 'This poor baby doesn't know she's like the most talked about person on the planet.' Which is a lot of pressure."
The conversation took a turn into unexpected territory at one point.
Rogen said that he and Apatow were at Cruise's home for hours, and eventually, Cruise turned the conversation toward Scientology. According to Rogen, Cruise began talking about how he thought "the pharmaceutical industry [was] making [him] look bad" in the press, because as a Scientologist, he had spoken out against the use of some pharmaceutical drugs to treat mental illness. Rogen said it was a "surprising thing to hear."
Then, Rogen said, Cruise got more specific. Rogen claimed Cruise continued, "'It's like with Scientology,' he said, 'If you let me just tell you what it was really about. Just give me like 20 minutes to, like, really just tell you what it was about, you would say, 'No f***ing way. No f***ing way.'"
Rogen said the phrasing stood out to him. "The wording was like, is that a good thing to be saying?" he added.
Apatow stepped in to move the conversation along.
Rogen said that in that "very loaded moment," he started questioning everything.
"Is he gonna bite? Am I gonna bite? Can we come out of this? Are we strong enough to have him do this to us and not be converted? I don't know if I am," Rogen said. "I'm generally a weak-willed, weak-minded person. I would assume on the grand scale of people, if they got [Cruise], what chance do I have?"
Rogen continued, "Thank god, Judd was like, 'I think we're good. Let's just talk about movies and stuff'… If I was there alone, I would be singing a very different tune right now."
For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Prior to the Scientology talk, there was another awkward moment.
Before Rogen even got inside Cruise's house, he had an issue arise.
"I was driving up to his house. I had to pee so bad," Rogen said. "I was nervous to meet him, anyway. I didn't want to meet him and be like, 'Hi, nice to meet you. Can I pee? Can I use your bathroom?' It was going to be an awkward first interaction. So, he had this really long snaking driveway leading to his house, so I peed in it. I stopped halfway up the driveway, kind of in the woods, above Sunset Blvd., and I peed in a Snapple bottle in my car. And then I sealed the bottle and left it there. And went on to have a very absurd meeting with Tom Cruise."
But, when he was leaving he noticed something. "I was snaking back down the driveway and, as I was passing the exact spot that I peed in, I noticed a red light in the woods. And looked and there was a security camera literally pointed exactly at where I was peeing." Rogen joked that he thinks the tapes are in "a file of Tom Cruise's blackmail."
Cruise has been open about his religion.
During the interview, Stern noted that while Cruise is very vocal about being a Scientologist, from what he'd heard prior to Rogen's story, Cruise "never proselytizes." At this point, Rogen made clear that while he had a different experience, he's a big Cruise fan. "I'm a huge Tom Cruise fan … I see every Tom Cruise movie. I go to theaters. I can't wait."
In the past, Cruise said of Scientology in an interview with ITV News, "It's something that has helped me incredibly in my life; I've been a Scientologist for over 30 years. It's something, you know, without it, I wouldn't be where I am. So it's a beautiful religion. I'm very proud."