NEW YORK — Tom Cruise was all smiles talking about his movie and his fiancee on NBC’s “Today” show, but the smile disappeared when Matt Lauer mentioned Cruise’s earlier criticism of Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants.
Cruise got very serious and kept saying “Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt” every time Lauer said he knew people who were helped by anti-depressants.
Shields took them for her post-partum depression. As a Scientologist, Cruise doesn’t believe in those kinds of drugs or therapy of any kind.
At one point Cruise told Lauer, “You’re glib” and said Lauer didn’t know what he was talking about. The star launched into a detailed discussion of the use of the prescription drug Ritalin.
“It's very impressive to listen to you,” Lauer replied, “because clearly, you've done the homework. And you know the subject.”
“And you should,” Cruise retorted. He also told Lauer, “You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do.”
The NBC anchor told Cruise he had known people who had been helped by psychiatric drugs. Cruise then accused Lauer of advocating the use of Ritalin.
Lauer asked Cruise how he could get more people to understand Scientology, the controversial religion practiced by Cruise and other celebrities like John Travolta.
“You just communicate about it," Cruise said. “If I want to know something, I go and find out. Because I don't talk about things that I don't understand.”
‘A great time in my life’
The actor was far more upbeat when it came to discussing his recent marriage proposal to “Batman Begins” actress Katie Holmes. He said he couldn't care less about some cynics' suggestions that his over displays of affection are just for show.
“You know what? There’s always cynics. There always has been. There always will be,” said Cruise, who hasn’t been shy about professing his love for Holmes. “I have never worried ... about what other people think and what other people say.”
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Cruise and Holmes went public with their romance in April, smooching and posing for photographers in Rome. They recently became engaged.
Many have doubted the romance — the words “publicity stunt” have rained down on the couple like an alien invasion as Cruise has been busy promoting his new film, “War of the Worlds,” directed by Steven Spielberg, which opens on June 29.
“I have to tell you. It’s just a great time in my life,” Cruise told NBC. “I’m really happy. And, you know, I’m engaged. I’m going to be married. I can't restrain myself.”
The 42-year-old actor, whose marriages to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman ended in divorce, declined to say what the 26-year-old Holmes has brought to his life that wasn’t there in the past.
“I don’t want to compare things,” Cruise said. “It’s that thing where you just — in life when it just happens. ... You meet someone. And it’s — I can’t even describe it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.