A past Seth Rogen interview has resurfaced after Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael shocked the audience with a Scientology comment about Tom Cruise.
During the ceremony, Carmichael joked: “Backstage, I found these three Golden Globe awards that Tom Cruise returned. I think maybe we take these three things and exchange them for the safe return of Shelly Miscavige.”
Miscavige is a member of the Church of Scientology, and is married to its leader David Miscavige. She has not been seen in public since 2007. Cruise is a known Scientologist, and has been a member for 30 years.
While promoting his 2021 book of essays, Yearbook, Rogen appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show and recalled the time he and director Judd Apatow were invited to Cruise’s house around 2006.
The Pineapple Express actor began what he called his “bizarre” story by explaining that the visit took place shortly after the birth of Cruise and his then-wife Katie Holmes’s daughter, Suri. Rogen said he thought Holmes “had a vague ‘please rescue me from this place’ look on her face”.
Calling the encounter “very absurd”, Rogan revealed that the topic of Scientology came up, and more specifically “how weird” Cruise had been “looking in the press lately”.
Cruise allegedly told Rogen: “I think the pharmaceutical industry is making me look bad.”
Rogen said he thought that was “an odd conjecture to make”.
The Superbad star claimed that Cruise then started to talk to him and Apatow about the appeal of his religion, saying: “It’s like with Scientology. If you let me just tell you what it was really about... just give me like 20 minutes to really just tell you what it was about, you would say, ‘No f***ing way. No f***ing way.’”
In response, Rogen said he and Apatow gave each other a look as if to say, “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?”
Rogen added that he was very grateful the filmmaker was with him at the time because he sees himself as a “generally weak-willed, weak-minded person”. He added: “Thank god Judd was like, ‘Eh, I think we’re good. Let’s just talk about movies and stuff.’”
He said that Cruise’s pitch was “tempting” and “if I was there alone, I would be singing a very different tune right now” but he had managed to “dodge that bullet”.
Cruise is one of Scientology’s most famous followers, having described the religion as “beautiful”. He has followed Scientology since being introduced to the organisation by his first wife Mimi Rogers in 1986.
Cruise did not respond to The Independent’s request for comment.