Matt Lauer News: ‘Today’ Anchor Discusses ‘Glib’ Tom Cruise Interview With Howard Stern [VIDEO]
In a radio interview with Howard Stern, Matt Lauer explained that his infamous interview with Tom Cruise where the actor called him "glib" resulted in a "cold war" breaking out between the two.
Cruise blasted the Today anchor in 2005 because Lauer would not agree with his criticism of actress Brooke Shields. The scientologist condemned Shields for taking anti-depressants to treat her post-partum depression. Although it has been eight years, the segment is still recalled and on Wednesday, Lauer sat down with radio host Stern and discussed the events.
"There are times where, when you least expect it, you get someone who sits on this couch...and all of a sudden you say something and you can see in the person's' eyes a physical change," Lauer said.
The 55-year-old further explained that he knew he was going to get caught in the crossfire. He could see Cruise's expression changing and wanted to almost get out of the way. Lauer said that the subject of Scientology, Cruise's religion, lit Cruise's fuse that fateful morning.
"It touched a nerve, no question," he said. "That was a very big nerve in his life and in his belief system."
Lauer revealed to Stern that Cruise's PR team contacted the Today show after the 2005 interview was taped. They requested that "the whole anti-depressant thing" not be aired. The producers of the morning broadcast declined since Cruise's comments were at the crux of the segment. In a 2008 interview, the Mission Impossible actor apologized for coming across as arrogant.
Lauer also told Stern that he has tried to put the incident into perspective given the circumstances in Cruise's life at the time. The actor had begun to date Katie Holmes, his now ex-wife, and jumped on Oprah's couch to declare his love for her.
"Although there was maybe a Cold War period after that interview of about a year, he since has come forward and said, you know, that was a strange time in his life and he regrets the way it came across," Lauer said.
Lauer added that Cruise has gone out of his way to be gracious to him since their dispute. The Oblivion star offered a tribute to Lauer at a Friars Club roast in 2008. Lauer did not harbor any feelings toward the actor and reiterated that it was simply an odd time in Cruise's life.
"[He] has gone out of his way to be awfully nice to me since then," Lauer said. "It was a weird time in his life and career."
Watch Cruise call Lauer "glib" in 2005.