The Passion of the Cruise - 2004-09-02
"Who are those people that say those things?" Cruise asks when I bring it up over lunch one day. "Because I promise you, it isn't everybody. But I look at those people and I say, 'Bring it. I'm a Scientologist, man. What do you want to know?" I don't mind answering questions."
He lists some of Scientology's selling points: its drug-abuse, prison-rehabilitation and education programs. "Some people, well, if they don't like Scientology, well, then, fuck you." He rises from the table. "Really." He points an angry finger at the imaginary enemy. "Fuck you." His face reddens. "Period."
It is a beautiful exhibition, and I don't believe that he's acting. Before meeting Cruise, I had been warned roundly by my colleagues. They told of restrictions set in interviews, documents that I would have to sign, unprintably generic answers I would receive. They said that he smiles and listens and talks and looks you in the eye, but afterward, when you walk away, you realize that you've really been given nothing but a command performance.