Pop Culture

Will Scientology clamp down on Cruise?

Even some Scientology leaders think that Tom Cruise might be getting a little too preachy.

Some top-level officials at the Church of Scientology worry that the highest-profile member of the group may be going overboard when it comes to proselytizing. “He’s still their greatest asset, and they love Tom, but there is concern he has gone a little too far lately,” says a well-placed source. “They’re worried about a backlash.”

The source says that while church officials are “very happy” that Cruise has increased awareness of the sometimes controversial church and its positions, episodes such as his criticism of Brooke Shields and his testy talk with Matt Lauer on the Today Show “seem to be causing some backlash.”

The source adds, “There’s also concern that his sister [Lee Anne Devette, who replaced his longtime publicist Pat Kingsley] can’t handle the situation” but says that the church officials are “nervous about saying anything because they don’t want to upset” their megastar member.

“You shouldn’t listen to false rumors,” Greg LaClaire, vice-president of the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre, scolded The Scoop. “The federal government has since issued a double suicide and dangerous side effects warning, confirming all Mr. Cruise has said, which is also confirmed by the thousands of letters he continues to receive from mothers, fathers and teenagers who thanked him for lending them a voice and sparking a public debate that will save lives.”

Regarding rumored dissatisfaction with Devette, he said “You must be joking — isn’t ‘War of the Worlds’ up to about a half-a-billion dollars right now world-wide?” He went on to comment: “Obviously, your sources are feeding you horse manure.  But beyond that, it’s offensive to even suggest that the Church would take positions regarding any of its members’ affairs, when its sole role is a spiritual one.”

Younger Wonder Woman

Tim Wimborne / X01371
Actress Sandra Bullock of the U.S. listens to a question during a news conference in Sydney in this March 17, 2005 file photo. Bullock, star of

Is Sandra Bullock too old to play Wonder Woman?

Lynda Carter, who played the super hero on TV, thinks that so. The “Miss Congeniality” star Bullock recently turned 41, and has been mentioned to play a big screen version of the role Carter played on the small screen, but Carter thinks she’s over-the-hill. Carter also believes that Catherine Zeta Jones, who is 35, is too long-in-the-tooth.

“People have talked about Sandra Bullock but she’s too old and so is Catherine Zeta-Jones. You want someone that is really fresh,” Carter told reporters while promoting her new film, “Sky High.”

Carter also spoke about the “pioneering” role of the series she starred in and her belief that it helped pave the way for other TV dramas starring women, and observed that when she sees the show now, she thinks, “Oh, my God, I think, she had a great body. Where has that gone?”

Notes from all over

Lucas Jackson / X01783
Pop star Michael Jackson leaves the Santa Barbara County Courthouse after being found not guilty on all ten counts of child molestation in Santa Maria, California, in this June 13, 2005 file photo. Jackson went to hospital suffering from dehydration and weight loss after jurors acquitted the singer of child molestation last month, his lawyer said on July 26, 2005. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files

Jermaine Dupri is urging the African-American community to support Michael Jackson. The music producer — who is dating, and some say engaged to, Janet Jackson — says prosecutors tried to frame his perhaps future brother-in-law. “It’s clear that Michael was set up,” Dupri said, reports World Entertainment News Network. “What I hate about the black community is we don't protect our own... He's the only living legend that touched all our lives."  . . .  Despite Russell Crowe’s marriage, Nicole Kidman says they’re still close friends. “Russell and I have walked a parallel path in terms of our careers and coming from Australia and trying to navigate our way through the world,” she told the London Daily Mirror. “We just do it differently, but I'm always there for him.”  . . . Scarlett Johansson says acting is not that important. “As actors, we make movies, we don’t save lives. What I do, it’s actually not that important,” the “Lost in Translation” star told Germany’s Financial Times Deutschland. “I’m also not proud of my films.” She would, however, like to direct.  “I would even make a [commercial] if I had to, if it meant I could direct at least once. As long as it wasn't for tampons or something embarrassing.”

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