Paul Thomas Anderson, the mastermind behind such cinematic delights as Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, recently stated that Tom Cruise has seen his latest offering The Master, a film which was reportedly inspired by Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard. In the feature, Phillip Seymour Hoffman plays the Hubbard-esque character Lancaster Dodd, a cult leader who spins his web around a World War II veteran portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix.
“The narrative is just driven by these two guys, and their love for each other,” Anderson explained during a news conference at the Venice Film Festival. Regarding Tom Cruise’s controversial religion, the director added, I “really don’t know a lot about Scientology,” he said. “But I do know a lot about the beginning of the movement and it inspired me to use it as a backdrop for these characters.”
According to Worst Previews, the questioning soon turned to Cruise, who starred in Anderson’s 1999 drama Magnolia. Although the filmmaker didn’t spend too much time on the inquiry, he did explain that The Master had not harmed their relationship in way.
“We are still friends. I showed him the film, and the rest is between us,” he explained. Anderson refused to elaborate further.
Of course, Paul Thomas Anderson’s comment about Tom Cruise isn’t the only headline coming out of the film’s appearance at the aforementioned film festival. Co-star Joaquin Phoenix was apparently a bit fidgety during the Q&A session and disappeared from the panel at one point for no particular reason. The drama surrounding Phoenix’s behavior quickly came to a head when he opted out of his photo call after a mere 14 seconds. MSN reports that the photographers in attendance booed the actor for cutting the engagement short.
Anderson, meanwhile, is already planning his follow-up to The Master. The acclaimed director’s next project is rumored to be Inherent Vice, which is based upon author Thomas Pynchon’s pulpy private detective tale.
Are you excited to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master?