Tom Cruise is many things. Movie star. Activist. Stunt enthusiast. Father. He’s also a Scientologist -- perhaps the most famous member of Scientology on this planet. So it goes without saying that when he has the opportunity to talk about his faith with a fellow A-lister, there’s a good chance Cruise is going to want to talk about Scientology, and possibly interest them in learning more.
This allegedly is what happened to Seth Rogen, who is making the press rounds in support of his new book, Yearbook. As part of the tour, the Funny People and This Is The End star went on Howard Stern, and the talk show host brought up a story that Rogen tells in the book about going to meet Tom Cruise with his producer-director pal Judd Apatow. Apparently, they wanted to meet with Cruise about a professional collaboration. And as the meeting went on, Cruise steered the topic of conversation to Scientology. As Rogen tells it:
We met with him for hours. A few hours into the meeting, the Scientology stuff comes up and how weird he’s looked in the press lately. … And it’s like with Scientology, he said, ‘If you let me just tell you what it was really about, if you just give me 20 minutes to really just tell you what it was about, you would say, “No fucking way. No fucking way.”’
At that point in the meeting, Seth Rogen recalls looking over at Judd Apatow wondering if either of the men were going to bite and give Tom Cruise the 20 minutes he was asking about. Rogen appeared genuinely curious about Cruise’s pitch for Scientology, though Rogen wondered jokingly if he was strong enough to hear Cruise’s pitch and not want to immediately sign up for Scientology. Rogen went on to say to Stern:
I’m generally a weak-willed, weak-minded person, I would assume on the grand scale of people. If they got him, what chance do I have? Thank god Judd was like, ‘Ah, I think we’re good. Let’s just talk about movies.’ Oof, dodged that bullet.
As Seth Rogen states, this meeting took place during Tom Cruise’s marriage to Katie Holmes, and they met the couple’s daughter, who at the time had yet to be revealed to the public. Since Suri is 15 years old, that would put this meeting after 2006, which means they might have wanted Cruise for 2007’s Knocked Up or -- and this is what I’m willing to bet -- to play the role that went to Adam Sandler in Funny People (2009). Sandler is a famous comedian who mentors Rogen’s aspiring stand up. Cruise would have made the role very different, but as we know, this collaboration was never meant to be.