Converting Seth Rogen to Scientology proved to be a mission impossible for Tom Cruise.
The two stars have never shared the screen, but Rogen took a meeting with the action star in the mid-aughts (post-couch-jump, pre-Suri Cruise baby reveal) about potentially working together on a project.
While promoting his new memoir “Yearbook” on “The Howard Stern Show” this week, the comedian recalled a “bizarre” encounter that involved Cruise attempting to bring him and director Judd Apatow into the fold.
“A few hours into the meeting, the Scientology stuff comes up and how weird he’s looked in the press lately,” Rogen recalled about Cruise, who’d made a slew of eyebrow-raising appearances at the time. “He said, ‘I think the pharmaceutical industry is making me look bad.’ Then he said, ‘You should see what they do to my friend Louis Farrakhan.’”
That’s when Cruise asked for just 20 minutes to convince Rogen, who is Jewish, about the virtues of Scientology.
“If you let me just tell you what it was really about … you would say, ‘No fucking way. No. Fucking. Way,’” Rogen said Cruise told him.
Rogen recalled being somewhat intrigued, against his better judgment. But then Apatow intervened, joking that if he had met Cruise by himself he “would be singing a very different tune right now.”
“I’m generally a weak-willed, weak-minded person,” Rogen said. “If they got him, what chance do I got? Thank god Judd was like, ‘Ah, I think we’re good. Let’s just talk about movies.’ Oof, dodged that bullet.”
Ultimately, the collaboration wasn’t meant to be.
Rogen said he also vividly remembered meeting Cruise’s then-wife, Katie Holmes, and their daughter, Suri, during his time at the family’s compound.
“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. “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.”
Cruise, one of Scientology’s most prominent followers, has seemingly made a habit of sharing his beliefs with fellow famous types.
His “Mission Impossible 2” co-star Thandiwe Newton said last year that he had sent her gifts including “a book with the greatest hits of Scientology, a bit like a Bible kind of thing.”
Like Rogen, Newton admitted she briefly entertained the idea before declining.
“I was curious, because it’s like, ‘Wow, if it’s going to attract people, powerful, high-profile people, there’s got to be some glue that sticks this shit together,’” she said. “Didn’t find any.”
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