Tom Cruise is arguably one of the most famous Scientologists, but at one time he felt that he couldn’t practice his beliefs openly.
The actor is a topic of discussion in Stephen Galloway’s new book, Leading Lady, which focuses on the former CEO of Paramount Pictures, Sherry Lansing.
From 1992 to 2006, Cruise and Paramount had a lucrative partnership, which resulted in major hits including the Mission: Impossible franchise and War of The Worlds.
The book recounts a time in which Cruise was furious with a Paramount Pictures executive he believed was attacking his Scientologist beliefs.
John Goldwyn, the studio’s former president of production, has revealed his 2003 divorce from actress and Scientologist Colleen Camp, and the custody battle over their daughter, put a wrench in his relationship with Cruise.
PageSix spoke with Goldwyn, who revealed that Cruise was very upset because he thought Goldwyn was launching a campaign against Scientology.
“He felt I was persecuting him for his religion,” Goldwyn said. “Tom was rabid about it and said, ‘It’s because of people like you that I have to ride in a bulletproof car and why I cannot practice my faith openly.’”
Goldwyn also revealed that he believes what caused the star’s anger was a claim in his divorce papers that his estranged wife was using her faith to “alienate the affection” of their child.
Both men were important assets to the company at the time, so the Paramount CEO intervened to help solve the conflict.
“Sherry was amazing as an executive and a friend,” Goldwyn recalled. “She stepped in and saved the situation by saying, ‘I’ve known John for years, and he isn’t a bigot. This is about his daughter.’ Tom immediately calmed down.”
Cruise and Paramount ended their partnership in 2006 but have since worked together on the sixth Mission: Impossible film, which will be released next year.
In February, former Scientologist Leah Remini revealed that Cruise’s box-office failures — like last year’s Jack Reacher — are explained away; members of the religion are told that “suppressive persons” (a.k.a. Scientology detractors) are responsible for Cruise’s flops.
“Scientologists believe that if he didn’t make [Reacher] a hit, it was because there were suppressive, evil people working against him, because he’s winning in life and clearing the planet,” she said to Maher.
The King of Queens star also stated that the Top Gun actor has the power to “end” Scientology.
“[Cruise] could end this single-handedly,” Maher proposed.
“He could end this, correct,” Remini agreed, adding, “because they are saying he single-handedly is ‘clearing’ the planet, is changing the planet, so most Scientologists believe.”
(“Clearing the planet” refers to the Scientologist goal of eliminating “body thetans,” or aliens inhabiting the planet.)
Leading Lady will be released April 25.
— With files from Chris Jancelewicz