Matt Lauer of the Today Show says that he was never closer to physically mixing it up with a guest more than Tom Cruise when he was on his anti-psychiatry jags and suggested Scientology as a cure instead. Lauer said it actually crossed his mind that he wanted to throw Cruise to the floor and wrestle him. He said he went through in his head if he could take Cruise, and what would happen if he threw him down on the set of the Today Show.
According to the Inquisitr, the conflict, which happened in 2005, started based on Cruise’s criticism of Brook Shields who took anti-depressants after struggling with postpartum depression. Cruise, who never even graduated high school, claimed to know more about most doctors about the history of psychiatry and the downside of pharmaceuticals. Cruise appointed himself an expert and tried to shame Shields, claiming all she needed was vitamins and supplements and the counseling you can get through Scientology.
— Closer Weekly (@closerweekly) January 29, 2016
Page Six is reporting that Lauer said the dialogue that went through his head is now funny, but then it was serious, and he wanted to beat Cruise up.
“I was thinking, ‘Can I take him in a wrestling match? Could I tackle him on the set?'” Lauer said.
“Matt, there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance,” Cruise told Lauer in a 2005 interview.
“So postpartum depression to you is psychological gobbledygoop? I’m just asking what you would call it,” Lauer asked.
“Matt, you’re glib. You don’t even know what Ritalin is,” Cruise replied.
But Matt Lauer believes that in retrospect, he learned a valuable lesson from the conflict.
“If you have a bad experience on air, you don’t think you’ve done your job or you have an embarrassing moment. I guarantee that you’ll work harder the next time not to let it happen again,” he shared. “Even the bad interviews I think you learn from. They make you better.”
“I was thinking, ‘Can I take him in a wrestling match? Could I tackle him on the set?'” https://t.co/5pYWIJkCEF
— New York Post (@nypost) January 29, 2016
Entertainment Tonight said that Lauer told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live that he considered tackling Tom Cruise that day when Cruise questioned the use of drugs to treat mental health problems. Cohen asked if there was an interview that he would like a do-over.
“I probably would do over the Tom Cruise interview because I’ve thought of so many things I would have said in hindsight.”
But Lauer is glad he didn’t take out Cruise, because it would have been career ending. Lauer was lucky enough to land the interview of the year, which was Charlie Sheen telling the world he had HIV.
“I had heard rumors about Charlie’s diagnosis a couple of weeks before the news broke and I reached out to him,” Lauer said. “He’s someone I know through other interviews and kind of confirmed it that way. It all came together pretty quickly once I contacted him.”
Lauer said that you never know if you can snag a top interview unless you try.
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) January 29, 2016
According to Closer Weekly, Lauer and Cruise have since mended their relationship, and he no longer wants to hit the actor. Lauer said he could not even recall how the interview went so wrong, except that Lauer had asked Cruise a question about his soon to be wife, Katie Holmes. As soon as Cruise called Lauer glib, Lauer saw red, as he felt disrespected by the actor.
What do you think would have happened if Lauer had tackled Cruise?
[Photo by Mike Coppala/Getty Images]