Katie Holmes Talks Tom Cruise Split and Moving to New York with Suri

"That time was intense. It was a lot of attention..."

  • Following her divorce from Cruise, Holmes dated Jamie Foxx until 2019.
  • In a new interview, Holmes has opened up about life following her split from the Mission Impossible star.

Katie Holmes is currently enjoying a prolific period of work, with the release of movies Brahms: The Boy II and The Secret: Dare to Dream , and as she prepares to direct Rare Objects .

Amid her recent success, Holmes reflected on past challenges during a new interview with InStyle . In particular, the former Dawson's Creek star spoke about what it was like moving to New York with daughter Suri in 2012, right around the time she also filed for divorce from Tom Cruise. Holmes explained, "That time was intense. It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it. We had some funny moments out and about in public."

But as she's gotten older, the actress has come to terms with life in the public eye, and sounds more at peace with herself than ever.

She told InStyle , "Obviously, as a public person, I've gotten a lot of attention at different periods in my life. And when you have a lot of attention, sometimes you don't want to leave the house because it's just too much."

She continued, "You can get consumed by what people think, but suddenly you just decide to do things on your own terms. I feel like I'm finally figuring that out. I'm getting the projects I want made and just relaxing a little. I've been around for a long time, and I'm still here! I can't believe it."

But we can believe it, and we can't wait to see what Katie does next.

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Amy Mackelden is a freelance writer, editor, and disability activist. Her bylines include Harper's BAZAAR, Nicki Swift, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, ELLE, The Independent, Bustle, Healthline, and HelloGiggles. She co-edited The Emma Press Anthology of Illness , and previously spent all of her money on Kylie Cosmetics.

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Katie holmes had this to say about her ‘intense’ divorce from tom cruise.

by Alice Kelly

Alice Kelly

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Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes

Still, despite relocating to New York and beginning her life as a single mother, Holmes remained tight-lipped about her divorce. In 2016, Radar Online claimed that the couple’s rapid divorce, which was finalized in just 11 days, featured a clause that prevented Holmes from speaking out about her ex-husband. In exchange for $4.8 million in child support and $5 million for herself, Holmes allegedly agreed not to talk about Cruise, Scientology or even date publicly until 2017. This leads us on to one of the Dawson’s Creek alum’s rare admissions about her divorce which she shared in 2020.

While speaking to InStyle , Holmes reflected on her 2012 move to New York City after her divorce. She recalled: “That time was intense. It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it. We had some funny moments out and about in public. So many people I didn’t know became my friends and helped us out, and that’s what I love about the city.”

katie holmes interview tom cruise

The proud mom has given us occasional glimpses into her and Suri’s life over the years and if those tidbits of information, and the rare paparazzi photo we get, are anything to go by, a now-17-year-old Suri is growing into a happy young woman. Still, the rumors continue to swirl about Cruise’s absence from his daughter’s life. The father-daughter duo have not been photographed together in over a decade and a March report stated that the actor is missing key events in Suri’s life such as her high school graduation and her college application process.

Before you go, click here to see Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes entire relationship timeline:

katie holmes interview tom cruise

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The Real Truth About Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes' Break-Up

Tom Cruise smiling

There's no end to news about Tom Cruise. Some of it's great, like the fact that "Top Gun: Maverick" was his first movie to gross over $100 million on its opening weekend . Nicely done. And some of the news is a little more exciting and sometimes bizarre. Some of the more disturbing things about Cruise's life have to do with his involvement in the Church of Scientology. He's also not a bit shy to take on studio executives if he feels he has a better way of doing things. For example, when Paramount proposed a release plan for "Maverick" that would bring it to a streaming platform after only 45 days in theaters, Cruise allegedly showed up with a lawyer and insisted on a three-month theater showing.

On a more badass level, Cruise can freak out his family and friends with his insistence on doing his own stunts , some of which are outright dangerous. In 2021, when Cruise was filming "Mission: Impossible 8," fans got footage of him strapped to a 1941 Boeing B75N1 Stearman biplane, The Sun reports, and the plane flipped and nosedived while Cruise was on the wing. Clearly, there are no stuntmen required for these projects!

But perhaps most exciting of all is Cruise's relationship history and, as far as we know, no stuntmen were hired for these gigs either. He's certainly made an impression because all of his exes had things to say about time spent dating him. But of all of these exes, Katie Holmes might have the most to say.

The strange selection process for Tom Cruise's girlfriends

Before Katie Holmes came onto the scene, Tom Cruise had an unusual way of finding love. As Maureen Orth reported for Vanity Fair in 2012, the Church of Scientology had a way of vetting women to fill the role of Cruise's girlfriend. Apparently, Cruise's adherence to the church was a source of tension in two of his previous relationships with Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman. "There were allegations and counter-allegations about fidelity, but the central problem was Nicole did not want to deal with Scientology," a source told Vanity Fair.

Allegedly, A-listers like Sofia Vergara had been scouted but turned down the offer. Brendan Tighe, a former Scientologist, said on " Megyn Kelly Today " that Scarlet Johansson had apparently tried out for the role, a comment that garnered a response from the actor herself.

"The very idea of any person auditioning to be in a relationship is so demeaning," Johansson said in a statement, per a later publication by Vanity Fair . "I refuse for anyone to spread the idea that I lack the integrity to choose my own relationships. Only a man, a.k.a. Brendan Tighe, would come up with a crazy story like that." Orth reported on the experience of actor and activist Nazanin Boniadi as she was scouted and molded by Scientology, which included the encumbrances of being constantly accompanied by handlers. Boniadi was also never allowed to criticize the church. It didn't last, but it sure gave a heads up for what Katie Holmes was in for.

How an article for Seventeen changed everything

Of all things, it was an interview that set things in motion between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. In 2004, Holmes was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, after playing Joey Potter on "Dawson's Creek" and engaged to actor Chris Klein, per HuffPost . She was interviewed by Deb Baer for "Seventeen" magazine and was, naturally, being asked about upcoming wedding plans. Holmes quite innocently said, "I think every little girl dreams about (her wedding). I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise," (via The Hollywood Reporter ).

The behind-the-scenes workings of the Church of Scientology are unknown, but sure enough, six months after the article hit the press, Holmes and Klein broke off their engagement. Shortly after, Homes was introduced to Cruise on the pretext that there might be a part for her in "Mission: Impossible 3." However it happened, Holmes' admission of her childhood crush on that fateful day set the wheels in motion.

Baer later lamented her interview with Holmes in an op-ed for HuffPost, where she admitted that Holmes struck her as overly trusting and far too idealistic to see a relationship with Cruise for what it really was. "She was ridiculously easy prey," Baer wrote, noting that Holmes was young enough that she was still easily "starstruck" and lonely. "Once Katie was firmly in Tom's clutches, sometimes I'd lay awake at night, tossing and turning realizing that the quote I'd gotten from her at the first interview probably ruined the poor girl's life," Baer ominously wrote.

The couch-jumping episode

It's not every relationship that gets a defining moment that involves Oprah Winfrey. Maybe Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are one of the few other couples who can compete with such an illustrious milestone. For Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, it came via the infamous couch episode. It was in 2005 and Cruise was wild in the interview, throwing around power poses, fit pumps, and athletic arm swings. "Something happened to you, something happened to you," Winfrey repeated. "I'm in love," Cruise told the audience with a radiant smile, followed by the actor taking a knee and giving another low fist pump.

"We've never seen you behave this way before," Winfrey said. It was after this comment that Cruise jumped on the couch. Hey, we've always known he's done his own stunts. It was as erratic and enthusiastic as anyone could imagine but Winfrey, being the pro she is, took it in stride. Cruise then ran backstage to get Holmes, who was 26 at the time, and brought her out in front of the audience. She continued to hug Cruise and looked charmingly shy.

Cruise was supposed to be promoting his 2005 film "War of the Worlds," directed by Stephen Spielberg and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Needless to say, the production company wasn't overly pleased,  The New York Times noted, when any talk of the upcoming film was completely derailed by Cruise's antics. No one remembered a movie after that.

Suri Cruise was born in silence

Tom Cruise didn't get down on one knee when he proposed to Katie Holmes in Paris in June 2005. The two dined at one of the restaurants in the Eiffel Tower, The Hollywood Reporter notes, and it was here that Cruise asked her. While Holmes didn't get a traditional, kneeling proposal, she did get a five-carat yellow diamond ring by famed jeweler Fred Leighton.

In October 2005, the couple broke the news that they were expecting a baby. In an interview with Barbara Walters for her special "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005," he admitted that he made a big, baby-related purchase. "I bought a sonogram machine," Cruise said, (via People). "I am gonna donate it to a hospital when we are done," he added, admitting that he was going to perform the sonograms himself. The news was worrying to many doctors, a later article by NBC News noted, stating that such procedures should be performed by a trained professional.

Thankfully, everything went off without a hitch and daughter Suri was born on April 18, 2006 in Santa Monica, California. But there was one unusual detail. Holmes had to deliver Suri in silence. The unusual requirement hailed from Cruise's belief in Scientology, where founder L. Ron Hubbard stated that words and sounds created by pain were harmful to both the mother and the baby, Today notes. We wonder what Holmes thought of this belief.

Katie's parents were upset about the relationship

While Tom Cruise was jumping on Oprah Winfrey's couch, Katie Holmes' parents were allegedly a lot more skeptical about the budding relationship. When it came to Holmes and Cruise's 2006 wedding at the Odescalchi Castle in Italy, the Mirror notes, it was rumored that her parents were going to skip the wedding because they were so disappointed in the pending nuptials. They may have been worried about Cruise himself but they were also upset about Holmes' religious shift. She had been Catholic but dipped into the waters of Scientology, since it was a must in becoming Cruise's leading lady. As Catholics, they felt they could not attend a Scientology wedding.

Her father, lawyer Marty Holmes, wasn't one to have his leadership contested. "Marty is very rigid — it's his way or the highway," an insider told People . However, whatever differences her parents felt, they put it aside, at least for her rehearsal dinner. "It didn't take much time before I realized this Tom guy was a special guy — that he loved Katie, that he cared for her and supported her," Holmes' father said in a speech, per People. "Tom expressed his love many different ways — I like that. I respect men who are not afraid to show their feelings. I respect Tom for the commitment he has made to provide happiness and love to Katie." While they might not have loved her choice in partner, they at least stood by their daughter for part of the ostentatious events.

Why there were red flags at their wedding

Despite the fact that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had a $3.5 million dollar wedding at the Odescalchi Castle in Lazio, Italy, there were some unusual moments about their big day. With all of the guests assembled and Cruise waiting at the front, Holmes kept everyone waiting for an uncomfortably long time. Leah Rimini, a Scientologist at the time, later wrote in her book "Troublemaker," that Cruise stood there smiling "for the next twenty minutes (but what seemed like an eternity)." Rimini also wrote that Holmes and Cruise asked her to invite Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony to the wedding, since Rimini was friends with them, per Vulture .

The wedding was, unsurprisingly, a ceremony of Scientology and, as the Mirror reports, some of the vows were a little unusual. "Girls need clothes and food, tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, a cat," Cruise allegedly said to Holmes as part of his vows in a way of promising to provide for her during their marriage.

Besides some of the more unusual moments, the wedding was also lavish and magical. Giorgio Armani designed both of Holmes' dresses for the day, as well as Suri's dress, per People . When asked who was responsible for the whimsy of the evening, a guest said, "It was all Katie. It was the wedding every little girl dreams of." It definitely sounds like it was unreal. "It was so beyond what your mind could compute," Remini said.

People noticed that Katie started acting robotic

While Katie Holmes looked blissed out at her wedding, people started to notice a change in her during her marriage to Tom Cruise. No doubt, the stringent requirements of a life in Scientology meant that Holmes was constantly monitored. As Maureen Orth reported for Vanity Fair , Cruise and Holmes were always surrounded by handlers, even in their own home. On top of that, Holmes had to re-start her own life so it would fit in Cruise's world. "Holmes disappeared for a couple weeks after she and Cruise met, and she distanced herself from old friends," Orth wrote. Orth also noted that in 2010, she sat with Holmes and Cruise at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, where the couple was bombarded by fans throughout the entire meal. "My goodness," Orth addressed Holmes, "if this is what you go through here, what must it be like when you go outside?" Holmes replied, "Oh, we don't go outside very much."

Deb Baer, who interviewed Holmes for that famous "Seventeen" article that started it all later wrote of what she observed in Holmes throughout her marriage to Cruise. "I'd see her on Letterman or Leno, robotically calling Tom amazing for the 400th time and think, that is NOT the down-to-earth girl I met," Baer wrote for the HuffPost .

Jenna Miscavige Hill, daughter to Scientology powerhouse David Miscavige, later wrote in support of Holmes by sharing her own experience, per The Hollywood Reporter . "My experience in growing up in Scientology is that it is both mentally and at times physically abusive," she wrote.

If you or someone you know is dealing with spiritual abuse , you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website .

Tom Cruise didn't see their divorce coming

On June 29, 2012, Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise after five years of marriage, a move that allegedly blindsided Cruise, according to The Hollywood Reporter . "I didn't expect it," Cruise admitted to the German network ProSieben (via CBS News ). "Life is a tragicomedy. You need to have a sense of humor," he added. News of the divorce landed right before Cruise's 50th birthday. "To be 50 and to have experiences and to think, you have a grip on everything, and then it hits you: This is it, what life can do to you," Cruise added.

Despite Cruise's brave attitude, TMZ reported that both Cruise and Holmes were seen wearing their wedding rings after the divorce filing. Allegedly, Cruise's two children, whom he adopted with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, Connor Cruise and Isabella Cruise, stayed close by his side during the experience. "Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children. Please allow them their privacy to work this out," a rep for Cruise stated.

Meanwhile, Holmes' attorney, Jonathan Wolfe, released a statement as well, according to People . "This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," Wolfe said. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest." Despite the big changes to come to both of their lives, reports aired that Holmes was photographed in New York looking happy and relieved.

Why Scientology factored into their split

After the news broke about Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's divorce, Cruise admitted that a major reason for their divorce was Scientology. Radar  got access to Cruise's deposition, which was eye opening when it came to the actor's religion and the impact it had. Lawyers asked Cruise if Holmes left in order to protect their daughter, Suri, from Scientology. "Listen, I find that question offensive," Cruise heatedly responded. "I find it, those statements offensive. Like with any relationship, there are many different levels to it. You know, I, I find it very offensive. There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion."

Cruise relinquished a little during the deposition. A lawyer asked him, "And Ms. Holmes has never indicated in any way that was one of the reasons she left you? ...To protect Suri from Scientology?" Cruise replied, "Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes." When asked if Suri was currently practicing Scientology, Cruise said that she wasn't.

Jenna Miscavige Hill, a former Scientologist, told The Hollywood Reporter that she understood Holmes' decision to protect Suri. "As a mother myself, I offer my support to Katie and wish for her all the strength she will need to do what is best for her and her daughter," Miscavige Hill said in a statement. Holmes asked for sole custody of their daughter, so clearly she wanted to make sure that she was in charge of parenting.

Finances after their divorce

It was very advantageous for Katie Holmes that her father, Marty Holmes, was a lawyer and one who really went to bat for his daughter when she divorced Tom Cruise. Marty, of course, wasn't the only lawyer on Holmes' side, but he was a key one. In fact, he had brought his legal talent to his daughter's aid even before her wedding. He had negotiated her prenup with Cruise, a document that "reportedly filled five bankers' boxes," Vanity Fair notes. It was shrewd planning on his part. "Because of it, when Katie Holmes made her bombshell announcement late last June that she was divorcing Tom Cruise, the case was able to be resolved in a mere 11 days," the outlet noted.

Interestingly though, Holmes didn't make out with as much money as one might have expected, considering Cruise's net worth of $600 million, per Celebrity Net Worth . Cruise only gave Homes $400,000 a year for child support, which will end when Suri turns 18, according to TMZ , totaling $4.8 million. Cruise was also made responsible for any other expenses, including medical costs, related to Suri.

There was considerable speculation as to why Holmes settled for so little. As CafeMom hypothesized, Holmes was able to maintain more autonomy in how she chose to raise Suri, including schools, because it would give Cruise less control over. Had Holmes gotten more money from Cruise, he would have had more say, which might have included an education in Scientology for Suri.

How Katie started to thrive after her divorce

There was something remarkable about watching Katie Holmes after her divorce from Tom Cruise. She moved to New York City with her daughter, Suri, and friends told InStyle that Holmes was a resurrected woman, up for all that the city had to offer and eager for new adventures. "I feel like I can be more creative and have more time, have my voice," Holmes told InStyle. "It's sort of, like, just put your stuff out there and be yourself. It takes a while to be comfortable, though." Holmes admitted that she's never felt so creative and so peaceful at the same time. "You can get consumed by what people think, but suddenly you just decide to do things on your own terms," Holmes added. "I feel like I'm finally figuring that out. I'm getting the projects I want made and just relaxing a little."

Holmes found love again too with actor Jamie Foxx. The only problem was that Holmes had, as Radar  reported, signed an agreement in her divorce settlement that she wouldn't date anyone publicly for five years after her split from Cruise. On top of that, Holmes was forbidden to introduce any new love interests to Suri. Foxx and Holmes began dating in 2013 but ended up splitting after six years, People notes. However, the relationship was an emotional breakthrough for Holmes. "I don't have any fear now, I don't have a lot of rules for myself, and I don't take myself that seriously," she told People in 2014.

Tom Cruise's relationship with his children today

Tom Cruise shares two children with ex Nicole Kidman. The couple adopted Connor and Isabella Cruise, whom he remains connected to still. Isabella, who goes by Bella, is an artist and social media shy, though she does have an Instagram account where she showcases her art. Bella is still a member of Scientology and married Max Parker in London, according to the Daily Mail . Neither Cruise nor Kidman attended her wedding, which naturally led to speculation that her relationship had frayed with her parents. But she later cleared the air. "Of course [we talk], they're my parents," Bella told the Daily Mail. "Anyone who says otherwise is full of s**t."

Conner, who was born in 1995, has a few film credits under his belt and works as a DJ but, like his sister, he's media shy and rarely posts photos with his parents. However, in 2019, Conner and Cruise were photographed together in London, according to People , where they bonded over a private helicopter. Cruise learned how to fly choppers for "Mission: Impossible" because... of course he did.

As far as Cruise's relationship goes with daughter Suri, whom he shares with Katie Holmes, there's less evidence of a bond. In fact, as Hollywood Life notes, Cruise and Suri haven't been photographed together since 2012. "As challenging as things have become for him and his daughter, he still loves her," a source told the outlet in 2019 and added that Cruise hopes to rekindle the relationship.

Who else they've dated since their divorce

Tom Cruise started dating British actor Hayley Atwell in 2020 when they met on the set of "Mission: Impossible 7," where they filmed together in London and Rome. An insider on production told The Sun that they were a great pair. "Tom and Hayley hit it off from day one," the source said. "They've been meeting up after hours, and she's been to his London pad. They get on brilliantly, and both seem very happy." Atwell was even at the premiere for Cruise's next film, "Top Gun: Maverick."

However, things got rocky between the two and they split once, reconciled, got back together, and split again. In June 2022, they had called it quits, a later publication by The Sun reports. There was no evidence that Scientology was a factor in their breakup.

Meanwhile, Katie Holmes found love after Jamie Foxx with chef Emilio Vitolo but after eight months, they split in May 2021, per Us Weekly . Holmes then began dating musician Bobby Wooten III, who is ten years her junior, Page Six notes. They seem to have quite the New York romance and have been photographed smooching in Central Park and walked the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2022 for Holme's film "Alone Together." Their relationship continues to be a delightful hit and Holmes looks happy. She's come a long way since that Seventeen article.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were together for almost a decade — here's a timeline of their relationship

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were once one of Hollywood's most iconic couples. The pair's relationship was a bit of whirlwind, from a quick engagement to a seemingly shocking divorce. 

Here's a timeline of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's relationship. 

2001: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman got divorced.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

After almost a decade, the couple divorced . The pair had previously adopted two children, Connor and Isabella, who later joined the church of Scientology . 

Read More: Nicole Kidman opens up about loving her adopted children with ex-husband Tom Cruise despite them not talking to her

July 2004: Katie Holmes told a Seventeen reporter about her crush on Tom Cruise.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

"I used to think that I was going to marry Tom Cruise," Holmes told a reporter for Seventeen magazine, who later wrote about the interview  and its possible significance in a Huffington Post op-ed. 

During this time, Katie Holmes was engaged to actor Chris Klein. 

March 2005: Holmes and Klein split.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

According to People, Holmes and her then-fiancé Chris Klein ended their five-year relationship in 2005. 

April 2005: Holmes and Cruise stepped out as a couple for the first time.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

A month after Holmes and Klein split, Holmes and Cruise make their first public appearance as a couple.

The two were photographed together in Rome where Cruise was receiving a David di Donatello Award for lifetime achievement. A source told People the pair had "been dating a couple of weeks." 

May 23, 2005: Cruise declared his love for Holmes during an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

katie holmes interview tom cruise

About a month after the two started dating, Cruise filmed one of his most well-known interviews ever. While on "Oprah,"  he jumped on the set's couch  to gush about Holmes.

Cruise said, "I'm in love. I'm in love and it's one of those things where you want to be cool, like, ‘Yeah I like her' … that's not how I feel." He added, "I wanted to meet this person and I met her and she's extraordinary."

June 13, 2005: Holmes said she's converting to Scientology.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

At the "Batman Begins" premiere, Holmes told reporters that she was going to convert to Scientology .

In a separate interview with "W," she spoke a bit  about the process , saying, "You know, it's really exciting. I just started auditing and I'm taking some courses and I really like it. I feel like it's really helping."

June 16, 2005: Holmes and Cruise announced their engagement.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

A few months after they began dating, the two got engaged . Cruise said he proposed with a teardrop-shaped ring at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He announced their engagement the next day at a press conference for "War of the Worlds."

At the conference, a fairly quiet Holmes said the two planned to have children. 

October 6, 2005: The couple announced they were expecting.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

A spokesperson for Cruise told People that Holmes was pregnant with the couple's first child together and the couple was "very excited."

April 18, 2006: Holmes gave birth to a baby girl.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Cruise's spokesperson announced that Holmes had given birth to a baby girl named Suri who was seven pounds and 20 inches long.

October 2006: Suri made her public debut.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Cruise and Holmes showed Suri off to the world on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. The couple also shared details about their daughter's name. 

"We had the name before we found out [the gender of the baby] because we both thought the baby would be a girl," Cruise told Vanity Fair. He  said their daughter's name meant "red rose."

November 18, 2006: The couple got married in Italy.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Holmes and Cruise sealed the deal with a very lavish wedding in the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. Holmes wore a Giorgio Armani gown and the two had a "double ring" Scientology wedding , as per People's report. 

January 2008: Cruise's Scientology indoctrination video went viral.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

According to Gawker, a  Scientology indoctrination video featuring Cruise had leaked and spread across media outlets. The outlet described the video as "scary." 

He said, among other things, "When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help … We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures."

May 2010: Holmes put on a show for Cruise at a Hollywood benefit.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

During the benefit, Holmes performed a seductive dance to the song "Whatever Lola Wants" from the musical "Damn Yankees." She danced around her husband while he did some of his own moves.

September 2010: Holmes gushed about Cruise in an interview and talked about future children.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

In an interview with Marie Claire, Holmes described being married to Cruise as "really fun," saying, "It's an amazing life, but we always remind ourselves of how incredibly lucky we are."

When asked about the possibility of having more kids, she said "maybe in a couple of years," adding that she really just wanted to focus on Suri at the moment.

May 2012: Cruise raved about Holmes in an interview with Playboy.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

In a "Playboy" interview, Cruise called Holmes "an extraordinary person," saying "if you spent five minutes with her, you'd see it." He added, "I'm just happy, and I have been since the moment I met her. What we have is very special."

June 2012: Cruise promoted "Rock of Ages" without Holmes by his side.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Many noticed when Holmes didn't appear next to her husband on the red carpet while he promoted his new film.

June 29, 2012: Holmes filed for divorce from Cruise.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

In June, Holmes' team made a statement to People about how she was divorcing Cruise , who said he wasn't expecting it at all.

Holmes' attorney said, "This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family. Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."

Cruise's rep said, "Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children. Please allow them their privacy."

Holmes reportedly made calls about the divorce on a disposable cellphone and hired three law firms in three states, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

July 11, 2012: Lawyers for Cruise and Holmes announced they had reached a settlement on custody of Suri.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

According to People, lawyers reached a very quick settlement only 11 days after the divorce was filed.  Holmes received primary custody of 6-year-old Suri and Cruise was granted visitation rights.

April 2013: Cruise admitted he had never expected the divorce.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

During an interview with German TV network ProSieben, Cruise said he didn't expect Holmes to divorce him .

He described that time of his life as a "tragicomedy," and said, "To be 50 and to have experiences and to think you have a grip on everything ... and then it hits you: This is it, what life can do to you."

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Katie Holmes: How She Planned Her Split from Tom Cruise

"She was talking to Tom on the phone until last week saying, 'I love you,' " says a source

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Katie Holmes ‘s decision to leave Tom Cruise may have seemed sudden , but it involved meticulous planning.

And no one was more shocked than Cruise himself.

“She was talking to Tom on the phone up until last week saying, ‘I love you,’ ” a source tells PEOPLE of the actress.

“Her inner circle has been planning this and switching out cell phones since she was in China [in mid-June],” adds the source.

“When new cell phones arrived, then nobody could reach her. Her old best friends from last week don’t have her new number, no email. She’s unreachable.”

Holmes, 33, also rented her new apartment in New York City in early June. “[Tom] knew that she moved there, but [he thought it was] for different reasons,” says the source.

“She said she moved there to drive into the underground garage. There are fewer paparazzi and it’s less intrusive for her,” says the source. “It was the first phase of getting everything out of the house, and that’s why she was able to say she’s moving without giving an indication that she was going to divorce him.”

Then, last week, her father, Martin Holmes , arrived in New York and helped his daughter clean house, firing many of the people around her shortly before Holmes filed for divorce anonymously in New York City.

Cruise, then filming in Iceland, “had no idea this was coming,” a source tells PEOPLE in the magazine’s new cover story, on newsstands now.

For much more on the split, including Holmes’s dramatic exit from the marriage and the legal battle ahead, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's Relationship Timeline: A Look Back

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were married for nearly six years before they called it quits.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Krista Carter is a writer and editor with nearly a decade of experience working in beauty and fashion.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Has anyone ever been more in love than couch-jumping Tom Cruise and  Katie Holmes ? We'll wait. Beginning in 2005, the actress and  fashion icon  (not just anyone can  pull off socks over sweatpants , alright?) engaged in a whirlwind romance with PDA-filled red carpet appearances that solidified their public image as TomKat. Within a year of meeting, they were engaged and welcomed a child together. A few months later, they tied the knot (Holmes's first marriage and Cruise's third). While many believed that the union wouldn't last — and it ultimately didn't — the pair still went on to share nearly six years together as husband and wife.

Since their 2012 divorce, we're remembering the Hollywood couple that once gave every teenager a glimmer of hope that it was possible — although highly unlikely — that maybe, just maybe, the dream of marrying their celebrity crush could become a reality.

Here's a look back at Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's relationship.

April 2005: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes first meet and are spotted together

As the story goes, after Cruise divorced  Nicole Kidman  and subsequently  split from then-girlfriend Penelope Cruz , the  Mission: Impossible  actor's beloved Church of Scientology set out to find him a worthy (and malleable) wife. After reportedly courting (and ultimately scaring off) famous women like  Sofía Vergara  and  Scarlett Johansson , the task proved more difficult than expected.

Eventually, church officials' prayers were answered through a  Seventeen  article,  per HuffPost . In October 2004, Holmes (then  engaged to Chris Klein ) told the teen magazine, "I used to think that I was going to marry Tom Cruise." 

Six months later, Klein and Holmes announced their breakup, and on April 27, 2005, Cruise and Holmes were first spotted together in Rome. TomKat made their red carpet debut as a couple two days later on April 29 at the David di Donatello Awards. Coincidence? We may never truly know.

"When I met Tom, I was completely in love, and, yes, I admired him growing up — he's Tom Cruise!" she reportedly told  T: The New York Times Style Magazine  ( via  People ).

May 23, 2005: Tom Cruise declares his love for Katie Holmes on The Oprah Winfrey Show

Cruise jolted daytime television when he appeared on  The Oprah Winfrey Show  and ecstatically jumped on her couch while professing love for his new girlfriend (who he subsequently brought out from backstage). The appearance went viral, with many questioning Cruise's sanity, as well as the relationship's authenticity.

June 16, 2005: Tom Cruise announces engagement to Katie Holmes

Gregg DeGuire / WireImage / Getty Images

Shortly after going public with their relationship, Cruise announced at a press conference for  War of the Worlds  that he and Holmes were engaged. According to  The Hollywood Reporter , Cruise, then 43, proposed to Holmes, then 26, with a five-carat yellow diamond ring at a restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower.

"Today is a magnificent day for me; I'm engaged to a magnificent woman," he said, per  People . 

April 18, 2006: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes welcome their first child together

Holmes gave birth to a baby girl, Suri, in Santa Monica, California, in April 2006. Their newborn daughter made her public debut on the October 2006 cover of  Vanity Fair. 

The  Dawson's Creek  alum  told the magazine , " The moment the doctor handed me Suri, I was just ready. The feeling is indescribable. All I can say is the moment I looked in her eyes, I felt like ... Mom." 

Since then, the celeb offspring and fashionista has inspired one of our favorite pop culture artifacts of all time:  Suri's Burn Book . 

November 18, 2006: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes get married

Robert Evans / Handout via Getty Images

In November 2006, the  Batman Begins  actress's schoolgirl fantasy of marrying Cruise came true. Their wedding was marked by an extravagant ceremony and reception at an Italian castle that cost more than $3 million, according to E! Online .

The star-studded guest list included couples  Jennifer Lopez  and Marc Anthony, John Travolta and the late Kelly Preston, and  David Beckham  and  Victoria Beckham , among others. As for the bridal party, Holmes had her sister Nancy Blaylock as maid of honor, while Cruise chose Scientology leader David Miscavige as his best man.

June 2012: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorce

John Shearer / WireImage / Getty Images

Interestingly, after Cruise gave a  Playboy  interview in which he praised Holmes, she filed for divorce. Although the  Top Gun  star admitted that he "didn't expect" the divorce —  per CBS News  — the legal proceedings ran smoothly, and a settlement was reached in just 11 days.

Cruise and Holmes have rarely spoken on the record in regard to their split, but it's rumored that Holmes's motivation was to free her daughter from the unique constraints of Scientology. During his deposition against Bauer Media Cruise (whose tabloids claimed he'd abandoned Suri), Cruise was asked if Holmes left him "in part to protect Suri from Scientology." 

Insulted, he said, "There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion." 

However,  according to ABC News , when prodded again, specifically as to whether Holmes had mentioned that she was leaving in an effort to protect Suri from Scientology, Cruise responded, "Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes."

Holmes was granted primary custody of Suri in their divorce. Though Cruise was afforded ample visitation, it was widely reported that he rarely saw his daughter. In 2016,  InTouch Weekly  asserted  that the actor hadn't seen or spoken to his youngest child in over 1,000 days (or two-and-a-half years).

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Tom cruise and katie holmes: a timeline.

THR revisits the major milestones for the divorcing couple, dubbed "TomKat" by the media.

By Seth Abramovitch

Seth Abramovitch

Senior Writer

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Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes: Timeline

Tom Cruise Katie Holmes 2009 - H 2012

From a childhood crush to hyperspeed courtship, parenthood and a storybook wedding, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes ‘ Hollywood romance seemed to defy all odds. But the fairytale ended today, with news that Holmes has filed for divorce from Cruise, short of their sixth anniversary. Here now is a chronology of major events in their high-profile, and ultimately doomed, relationship.

1980s According to later interviews, as a young girl growing up in Toledo, Ohio, Holmes always had a crush on Tom, her movie star idol.

October 2004 A year after she’d left her defining role as Joey Potter on Dawson’s Creek , Holmes gives an interview to Seventeen magazine, in which she says, “I think every little girl dreams about (her wedding). I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise.”

April 2005 Katie meets Tom for the first time, ostensibly regarding a role in Mission: Impossible 3 .

STORY: Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes Divorcing 

April 27, 2005 The couple makes their new love public by appearing together in Rome, where Cruise had traveled to receive a David di Donatello Award for lifetime achievement. Both had major films ( War of the Worlds and Batman Begins ) coming out around the time, leading many to speculate the romance was a publicity stunt.

May 23, 2005 Cruise appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show and declares his love for Holmes, prompting him to punch the floor, grab Winfrey’s hands and, most memorably, jump on her couch with joy. He also pulls Holmes out from backstage. The appearance instantly becomes infamous, known as Cruise’s “couch jumping” episode.

June 13, 2005 Holmes converts from Catholicism to the Church of Scientology.

June 16, 2005 The couple announce their engagement, just shy of eight weeks from having first met. Cruise proposed to Holmes in Paris at the Eiffel Tower at a restaurant on the Tower’s second floor. He does not get on one knee, but he presents her with a ring reportedly containing a five-carat yellow diamond. She says yes. No date is announced.

June 24, 2005 Cruise and Matt Lauer face off for a heated argument on The Today Show over comments Cruise made criticizing Brooke Shields for using the anti-depressant drug Paxil to battle postpartum depression. Cruise calls Lauer “glib” in his defense of psychiatry as a real branch of medicine.

October 6, 2005 The couple, dubbed TomKat by the media, announce they are expecting a child.

December 1, 2005 Cruise purchases a sonogram machine to track his baby’s development, eliciting a warning from The Food and Drug Administration saying private use of a sonogram violates the law.

April 18, 2006 At Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., Holmes gives birth to a baby girl weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. They name her Suri . A statement from the couple on the significance of the name says Suri “is a word with origins in both Hebrew and Persian. In Hebrew, it means ‘princess’ and in Persian, ‘red rose.’”

VIDEO: Tom Cruise on Becoming Stacee Jaxx in ‘Rock of Ages’ 

November 18, 2006 At a lavish affair at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy, the couple wed. Holmes wore a Giorgio Armani gown featuring an ivory skil train adorned with lace and Swarovski beaded crystals. Cruise wore a navy-blue tuxedo, also by Armani. Celebrities in attendance include Will and Jada Pinkett Smith , Jim Carrey , Jenna Elfman , Victoria and David Beckham , Jennifer Lopez and then-husband Marc Anthony , Jerry Bruckheimer and JJ Abrams .

August 22, 2006 Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone announces that Paramount Pictures is ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise, citing the damage done by his various public controversies to his box office viability.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

January 15, 2008 An internal Scientology video featuring Cruise discussing what the Church means to him is leaked onto Gawker.com, and instantly goes viral. The video inspires scores of parodies.

August 14, 2008 Tropic Thunder opens, in which Cruise wears heavy makeup and a fat suit to play Les Grossman, an obnoxious, hip-hop-loving studio executive. His performance earns positive reviews, and is seen as a step towards improving Cruise’s public image.

September 21, 2009 Suri is photographed by paparazzi wearing high heels.

June 15, 2012 Cruise plays against type again, starring as Stacee Jaxx, a hair-metal rock star in New Line’s Rock of Ages . The film underperforms, taking in $14.4 million at the box office in its opening weekend, giving it a third-place finish. Still, Cruise receives positive notices for his portrayal.

June 29, 2012 Holmes files for divorce from Cruise, making it the third divorce for him and her first. In a statement to the media, Cruise’s attorney calls it “a private matter” and that her primary concern is “her daughter’s best interest.” Cruise’s rep offers that the actor is “deeply saddened” about the news and is “concentrating on his three children.”

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Tom Cruise Katie Holmes’ Relationship Timeline: PHOTOS

  • Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again later. More content below

When people think of the 2000s, obviously, a lot comes to mind. Looking past the questionable fashion choices and our obsession with everything pink, everyone was really obsessed with the “It” couples of the decade: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck , Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, and, perhaps most of all, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise (AKA TomKat), who married 16 years ago on November 18, 2006.

Let’s face it; whether you loved them or hated them, everyone was paying attention. Their whirlwind romance started in 2005, and within two months, they were ready to tie the knot . Then came love, marriage, and a baby carriage — just not in that order. Soon after they announced their engagement, they also announced they were expecting their daughter Suri Cruise .

They seemed like a simple, happy family, from their Italian fairytale wedding to their many smiling red-carpet appearances. But some people got a weird vibe, especially after Cruise’s Scientology activities went viral, and some worried Holmes was trapped in the marriage.

Then, after nearly six years of marriage, Holmes filed for divorce in 2012 — and everyone had so many questions. What was 2000s royalty became another celebrity divorce that broke our hearts.

Learn more about their turbulent relationship and divorce timeline, and see some photos of the pair together below.

A version of this article was originally published on Nov 2021. 

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Love in Italy

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got together in 2005 and made their love public while they were touring Italy.

Wedding Bells

When Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes revealed their relationship, everyone thought it was a fairytale. When Holmes first got into the Hollywood scene in the early 2000s, she told Seventeen magazine in a now-deleted interview whom she saw herself marrying. Per Vogue , “I think every little girl dreams about (her wedding). I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise.”

Packing On The PDA

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise weren’t afraid to pack on the PDA, wherever they were.

Engagement Ring

Katie Holmes was proudly showing off the $1.5 million engagement ring Tom Cruise gave her after less than two months together. 

The War of the Worlds

Newly engaged couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were all smiles at the premiere of  The War of the Worlds  in 2005.

Baby on Board

Tom Cruise was over-the-top with his love and excitement for every milestone he had with Katie Holmes. The media lost it when they announced they were expecting a baby. 

Sports Fanatics

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were very in love throughout their marriage, and one of their go-to activities together was to go to sports games.

Perfect Day

On Nov 18, 2006, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise had a star-studded wedding in a castle in Italy.

The Big Day

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise wore Giorgio Armani ensembles, and everyone was obsessed with the iconic wedding.

Suri’s Origin

The happy family frequently went to sports games, even when Suri Cruise was an infant. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes named their baby girl “Suri” because it means both “princess” and “red rose.”

Mother-Daughter Duo From Day One

Suri Cruise has always been a momma’s girl and you couldn’t find a photo of Katie Holmes not holding onto Suri.

Scientology Family

Soon after getting together, Katie Holmes converted to Scientology for Tom Cruise.

NYC Marathon

Back in 2007, Katie Holmes finished the NYC Marathon. Tom and Suri Cruise were right there to show their support.

Red Carpet Wonders

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes always brought their A-game with red carpet fashion. 

Baby No. 2?

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were open to having more children in the future, according to Marie Claire. 

Happy Family

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes brought their daughter Suri wherever they went.

Word Travelers

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise went everywhere around the world together, frequently going to places like Japan, Germany, and Italy.

Helping Hand

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes always showed up to a friend’s important day. In 2009, they showed their support for friend and former co-star Cameron Diaz, who was getting a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

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Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, enter the Cort Theater to view the ‘Fences’ performance on Broadway out and about for CELEBRITY CANDIDS – TUESDAY, , New York, NY June 22, 2010. Photo By: Ray Tamarra/Everett Collection

Despite both being in multiple projects in 2010, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise frequently set aside time for one another.

Joined At The Hip

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were always side-by-side during film premieres.

“Very Special” Relationship

Tom Cruise raved about Katie Holmes whenever he could, even close to the end of their marriage. In a 2012 interview with Playboy , he said, “I’m just happy, and I have been since the moment I met her. What we have is very special.”

Happy Red Carpet Couple

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise seemed happy as can be at the 2011 Golden Globes, even though they split only a year later.

Smiling at the Oscars

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes went to the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar party, which was one of their last appearances together before Holmes filed for divorce. Holmes filed due to fear of Tom Cruise abducting their child into the Church of Scientology. 

Tom & Suri

After filing for divorce, Katie Holmes won the custody battle for Suri against Tom Cruise.

Katie & Suri Forever

Since their divorce in 2012, Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise have been one of the cutest mother-daughter duos we’ve ever seen

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This Is Why Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes Really Divorced

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise posing on the red carpet

Back in 2012, the former Hollywood power couple  Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes announced to the world they were getting a divorce after six years of marriage. According to Ranker , news of the A-list split sent shockwaves throughout the world of show business and sparked waves of rumors and speculation as to why the pair decided to call it quits. So, why exactly did Cruise and Holmes get divorced?

As Extra reported, the former husband and wife first began dating in 2005. In June of that same year, the former "Dawson's Creek" star revealed that she and Cruise were engaged and that  she planned to convert to Cruise's religion of Scientology. Four months later, in October 2005, Holmes announced that she was pregnant with her first child. In April 2006, the pair welcomed their baby daughter, Suri Cruise — who has undergone a stunning transformation —  and seven months later the pair tied the knot in a luxurious Italian wedding ceremony. 

As per the Mirror , the star-studded Scientologist wedding was held at Odescalchi Castle in Italy on November 18, 2006. The nuptials were attended by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including the likes of Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, John Travolta, and the former Scientologist, Leah Remini . Holmes and Cruise looked like they were well on their way to a fairytale ending.

Katie Holmes has remained quiet about her divorce from Tom Cruise

According to InStyle , both Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise have remained tight-lipped about the exact reasoning behind their divorce. However, the "Mission Impossible" actor previously revealed that he "didn't expect" his wife to file for divorce. Although neither party has confirmed why the highly publicized breakup actually took place, there are plenty of rumors surrounding Holmes' decision to get out of the marriage. One of the primary rumors was reported by HuffPost in 2013, when Cruise discussed Holmes' aversion to raising their daughter, Suri, in the Scientology religion.

While the "Top Gun" actor was being questioned during a deposition for a defamation case involving Bauer Media, a lawyer asked whether the "Dawson's Creek" alum had requested a divorce "in part to protect Suri from Scientology," (per HuffPost). The outlet went on to say that Cruise initially reacted with frustration, indicating, "there is no need to protect my daughter from my religion." However, as the attorney continued to press Cruise on the matter, the movie star admitted that Holmes' desire to keep Suri from Scientology, " ... was one of the assertions, yes."

Despite her newfound freedom as a single woman, Radar Online reported in 2016 that Holmes had made a "secret divorce deal" with Cruise that allegedly forbid her from publicly commenting on their separation or dating someone else for five years after their breakup. Though almost a decade has passed since their divorce, the "Batman Begins" actress has still remained quiet about the situation.

Tom Cruise backed up a long-standing rumor about his divorce

The most commonly accepted cause surrounding the demise of the couple's relationship is that Katie Holmes wanted to remove herself and their daughter Suri from any involvement with the Church of Scientology. Per InStyle , Tom Cruise appeared to back up this theory by admitting that one of the reasons his ex-wife filed for divorce came down to the controversial religion itself during his defamation case against Bauer media.

During the 2013 deposition, Cruise also revealed that his daughter Suri, who was just seven years old at the time, was no longer a practicing member of the Church of Scientology (via HuffPost ). This particular revelation came as a surprise to many, primarily because those who leave the Church are deemed a "Suppressive Person" and are eventually cut off from other practicing members — which includes immediate members of their own family. According to the Mirror , Cruise and Holmes' divorce settlement afforded Holmes "sole custody" of Suri, and reportedly included "'ironclad' rulings that Suri would not be exposed to anything Scientology related."

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My Impossible Mission to Find Tom Cruise

The action star has gone to great lengths to avoid the press for more than a decade. But maybe our writer could track him down anyway?

Credit... Illustration by Kelsey Dake

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By Caity Weaver

  • Published July 17, 2023 Updated July 31, 2023

In an interview with Playboy in 2012, Tom Cruise described Katie Holmes as “an extraordinary person” with a “wonderful” clothing line, and someone for whom he was fond of “doing things like creating romantic dinners” — behavior that, he confided, “she enjoys.” It would prove to be his last major interview with a reporter to date. Despite what may be recalled through the penumbra of memory, this sudden silence was not directly preceded by either of Cruise’s infamous appearances on television: not by his NBC’s “Today” show interview (in which he labeled host Matt Lauer both “glib” and “Matt — MattMattMattMatt”), nor even by his appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (in which he reverse-catapulted himself onto Winfrey’s fawn-colored couch multiple times in a demonstration of his enthusiasm for Holmes). Those incidents occurred seven years earlier, in 2005; Cruise emerged from the hex of public bewilderment unscathed. In fact, Cruise gave no indication that the interview, pegged to the musical-comedy bomb “Rock of Ages,” was intended to serve as a farewell address to journalists. At the time he sat for it, another life milestone was hurtling toward him: The month after the article was published, Holmes filed for divorce.

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In the decade since, the amount of verified information we have gleaned about Cruise’s real life could fit on a single flashcard, though it’s unclear why anyone would need to memorize it, since the details mainly consist of anecdotal trifles shared by other celebrities in interviews of their own: From James Corden, we know Cruise once asked to land a helicopter in James Corden’s yard . From Brooke Shields, we know Brooke Shields no longer receives the (by all accounts delectable) white chocolate coconut Bundt cake that Cruise famously sends to many beloved stars each holiday season. From Kyra Sedgwick, we know that there was a panic button under a fireplace mantle in one of Cruise’s homes . (She pressed it out of curiosity, summoning the police.) From Matt Damon, we know that during production of the fourth “Mission: Impossible” movie, Cruise had “a safety guy” replaced because he deemed a proposed stunt (in which Cruise scampers over the Burj Khalifa) “too dangerous.” Tom Cruise, Kate Hudson informs us, loves skydiving.

These facts sketch a portrait of a daredevil with a finite budget for cakes, but hardly a recluse. Cruise’s spurning of interviews makes him unique among his cohort — A-list, pathologically charismatic, wrest-butts-into-seats-type movie stars — whose success, it has long been assumed, derives from their ability to appear likable to mortals. They demonstrate this skill, traditionally, by exhibiting their personality in interviews. Every time Cruise turns down an interview request (through his representative, Cruise declined to be interviewed for this article), he makes a bet that just his being Tom Cruise, offering no further details about what that might entail, is enticement enough for people to watch his movies. Lately, more often than not, he has been right.

To see this clearly, perhaps it’s helpful to contrast Cruise’s career with that of Brad Pitt, his co-star in “Interview With the Vampire” (1994) and fellow member of a declining species: Hollywood leading men. Pitt has continued appearing in the kind of films (thrillers, comedies, romances, psychodramas, historical epics, etc.) that he and Cruise starred in throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In the past decade, audiences could find Pitt endeavoring to disappear into roles ranging from abolitionist to astronaut. In the same period, Cruise has starred solely in action films, which have depicted him fighting aliens, terrorists, fellow spies, a mummy and sundry other enemies of the United States. Rather than vanishing into roles, Cruise remakes them in his image. So fully has he melded his offscreen persona with that of the skydiving, cliff-jumping, motorcycle-parachuting pilots he portrays, these characters become mere receptacles of Tom Cruiseness. Cruise’s films tend to perform better than Pitt’s at the box office; his most recent endeavor, “Top Gun: Maverick,” outearned Pitt’s latest by about $1.4 billion. This summer, Tom Cruise will run, drive and jump at top speeds in “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One,” and Brad Pitt will star in nothing.

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Cruise still takes part in promotional junkets and convivial late-night-talk-show chats, but his refusal to participate in the sort of in-depth journalistic interviews that (in theory, anyway) reveal some aspect of his true self has coincided, somewhat paradoxically, with an incredible surge in his commitment to infusing cinematic fantasies with reality. For unknown reasons it could be interesting to explore in an interview, reality has become very important to Cruise, who reveres it as a force more powerful than magic. It is vital to Cruise that the audience of “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” have the opportunity to witness not a C.G.I. production of a feat, or even a seasoned stunt performer executing a dangerous act, but real footage of him, Tom Cruise, the 61-year-old father of three from Syracuse, N.Y., riding a motorcycle off a cliff.

This fetish for reality has become a keystone of Cruise’s persona, to the extent that many of his public appearances now take place in flying vehicles. Rather than accept an MTV Movie & TV Award in person in May, Cruise filmed his acceptance speech from the cockpit of a fighter aircraft as he piloted it through clouds, politely shouting, “I love entertaining you!” over the engine’s roar. Delivering “a special message from the set of @MissionImpossible” to his followers on Instagram, Cruise screamed while dangling backward off the side of an aircraft, “It truly is the honor of a lifetime!”

But reality does not exist only in movies. What is missing from Cruise’s fervid documentation of ultrarisky, inconceivably expensive, meticulously planned real-life events are any details about the parts of his real life that do not involve, for example, filming stunts for “Mission: Impossible” movies. My own mission, then, was simple: I was to travel to the ends of the Earth to see if it was possible to locate the terrestrial Cruise, out of context — to catch a glimpse, to politely shout one question at him, or at least to ascertain one new piece of intelligence about his current existence — in order to reintegrate him into our shared reality.

Having lately made an effort to scrutinize any article that cast Tom Cruise as its subject, one of the few things that I can say for certain he has done since 2021, besides film two “Mission: Impossible” movies, is order chicken tikka masala from a restaurant in Birmingham, England, and then “as soon as he had finished” (per a tweet from the restaurant ) order the exact same chicken tikka masala “all over again.”

These days, Tom Cruise is hardly ever photographed in any situation other than shooting and promoting his films. (He was filming in Birmingham.) The paucity of paparazzi photos of the apparently chicken-loving actor can be at least partly attributed to his spending much time removed from America’s twin celebrity-entertainment control rooms: New York (where his ex-wife, Holmes, lives with their daughter) and Los Angeles (where, in 2015 and 2016, he reportedly sold multiple homes for a combined total just over $50 million). Years of speculation that Cruise lives or was planning to live in a penthouse apartment a five-minute walk from the “spiritual headquarters” of the Church of Scientology, of which he is a big fan, in Clearwater, Fla., appear never to have been realized, apart from an unsourced assertion published in The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, which mentioned that the audition process for co-stars in Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” “involved flying down to Cruise’s home in Clearwater. ”

To learn more about the possible activities of Tom Cruise, I turned to the person who, after Cruise himself, his family, his friends, his employees, his co-workers and anyone who has ever met — or, at least, interacted with — him, knows him best: a Brazilian woman who is quite possibly his most dedicated fan in the world. She spoke to me on two conditions: first, that I grant her anonymity; second, that I not identify by name, or characterize too specifically, the publicly available online repository of Cruise-related information she has maintained for over 20 years. Her concerns are both practical and legal: Practically, she isn’t sure if the operation, which may or may not play host to more than 132,000 images of Cruise, could withstand a large influx of traffic; legally, she did not wish to invite the scrutiny and possible copyright claims the attention might draw.

She started the operation when she was 18. Today she is in her early 40s and works as a librarian. More than two decades into the endeavor, a nostalgic melancholy permeates the fan’s reflections. Ten years ago, she said, she was often the first to widely disseminate the latest images of Cruise. Now, because of the superabundance of photo-sharing social media accounts, she must settle for merely having the most complete repository. New additions trickle in sporadically. She’s partial to the theory that paparazzi rarely capture photographs of Cruise in part because he is a real-life “master of disguise,” whom people fail to recognize on the street. Despite years of remote observation, of scrutinizing nearly every single image captured of the man, even she could not say definitively where Cruise lives. She did observe, however, that he appears to spend “most of the time” in Britain.

In fact, there is a strange rumor that Cruise bought a home in a tiny town called Biggin Hill, on the farthest fringes of London — the site of a small private airport that he has been known to use when filming in the region. The legend appears to trace back to an article published in the British tabloid The Sun in July 2021 about the actor’s 59th-birthday celebration. An anonymous source declared that Cruise had “only recently moved to” a house in Biggin Hill (average home price: £590,000), “which feels like it’s practically in the countryside.” The claim would accrue scant new details as it was repeated in British papers numerous times over the following year, apart from one: that Cruise’s residence “is set in 140 acres of stunning rural parkland,” inside a posh gated community near the airport.

Cruise, who has filmed parts of the three most recent installments of “Mission: Impossible” in Britain, has never publicly commented on the rumors. He did, however, confirm that he spends “a lot of time in Britain” in an exceedingly rare interview that appeared, inexplicably, in the September 2022 issue of Derbyshire Life magazine. “I guess I am an Anglophile,” Cruise told Derbyshire Life. “I love being in Britain because everyone is pleasant and will give you a nod or say hello without crowding you too much.” Elsewhere in the interview, Cruise expressed additional enthusiasm for auxiliary British topics, including politeness (“Being friendly doesn’t cost a bean, and I enjoy it”) and Derbyshire, which is, for the record, actually a considerable distance from Biggin Hill (“Wow! Derbyshire — what a fantastic place!”).

To determine if anyone who did not work in the British newspaper or chicken-tikka-masala industries had ever encountered Cruise on English soil, I sifted through Facebook posts, typing any permutation of “saw Tom Cruise” I could think of into the search bars of neighborhood groups for all of the Hobbit-ily named localities surrounding Biggin Hill (“Orpington”; “West Wickham”). I joined groups like “Westerham and Biggin Hill News friends Community fun views gossip” and pored over hundreds of responses to posts like “Think I just saw Tom Cruise driving down jail lane that’s impossible.” The flashes of Cruise that winked from the replies were tantalizing — “I’ve seen him blue Ferrari…jail lane…”; “Lives up Cudham drives blue Ferrari” — but there was no way to tell who was reporting accurate details about the comings and goings of Tom Cruise, who was mistaken and who was merely lying for fun. The only way to find out was to do what Cruise himself would do: grab onto the nearest plane and go, for real.

Next to the Biggin Hill Airport, there is a pocket-size hotel built to serve the crews and engineers of the private planes that fly in and out. The hotel, its website boasts, offers “great views towards London” — something just about any place on Earth could offer with the right window arrangement, assuming it was not already in London. The description of the property’s sleek teal-and-toffee-colored restaurant turned out to be even more specifically accurate: The view of the runway at Biggin Hill Airport was without parallel. At the bar, I pulled up a leather stool and ordered (not in these exact words) the worst Shirley Temple of my life, which cost $11. My fellow patrons had long since familiarized themselves with the contours of the small dinner menu; they had been stranded at Biggin Hill for some time, because the private jet of the billionaire for whom they were working had received — you hate to hear this — an estimated $10 million worth of hail damage. I asked a maintenance technician if he thought Tom Cruise really did have a house in Biggin Hill. He replied with unflinching confidence: “I know he does.”

In the same venue, a man so young he might have been a teenager, who at one time worked inside the airport, revealed to me that Cruise had a parking spot there, though it was unclear if he meant for a car or a helicopter. Most of the good people of Biggin Hill, when grilled about Cruise’s living arrangements, seemed genuinely to have no idea what I was talking about. These were the two camps into which, without fail, every respondent fell: Either they had never so much as heard the rumor that Cruise walked among them, or they were 100 percent certain that he did.

Upon reaching Keston Park, the only gated community in the area matching The Sun’s description, I discovered two things: first, that there appeared to be an illegally locked gate obstructing public access to the footpath that cuts through the neighborhood — whether the gate is impenetrable is a matter of ongoing dispute among the Bromley borough council, myself and many other aspiring path-takers who have submitted complaints about the locked gate to the borough website — and, second, that the biggest movie star in the world did not live there. That was evident through holes that carpenter bees had bored into the barbed-wire-topped fences protecting Keston Park from the wider world. The stately houses faced one another too directly. Their trees could drop acorns into another’s gardens. There was nowhere to conveniently land a helicopter.

Oh, well. These were Keston Park’s problems — not mine and probably not Tom Cruise’s. Tom Cruise, as he and I both now knew, was most likely secretly living at another estate I had turned up in my research — one that was even closer to the airport.

The distance between any two points within the general environs of Biggin Hill is insignificant by car, which is probably why I was unable to persuade any taxi driver to transport me between them. It is less insignificant by foot, and even longer, though much more scenic, if one attempts to traverse it by way of the aforementioned footpaths. These meandering trails tended to be spectacularly beautiful, bursting with a vernal lushness that was nearly pornographic. House-high frozen fountains of eensy white hawthorn blossoms shaded dusty walkways. Wild roses as pink as Country Time lemonade exploded from leafy hedges. Fragile sapphire speedwells, fat purple clover tops and buttercups strewn like gold confetti — these were merely the things it was impossible not to step on. The fluorescent green of the meadows recalled the grasses of another royal province — Super Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom. Poppies and toadflax sprang out obscenely from stone walls. Tom Cruise would be crazy not to live here , I thought as I stroked the soft, sun-warmed mane of a little white donkey. Let’s all live here .

Except, upon my arrival at the end of an idyllic woodland stroll, I discovered that Cruise did not live there either. There was, in the front yard of this residence, a garden gnome lugging buckets on a yoke, which didn’t seem like Cruise’s style, and the gnome was overturned, lying on its side — definitely not his style. I righted the gnome and ambled on, in search of another public footpath that would, I hoped, lead me to where Cruise actually lived. Instead, I accidentally wandered into what (I learned through being yelled this information) was not a public right of way but a field privately owned by a woman who berated me until I ran into traffic on a nearby road.

That night, with half my allotted exploratory mission time used up, I lay awake in the hotel built for the flight attendants of billionaires’ jets, miserable and panicked at my failure to do anything but incur thousands of dollars in expenses for airfare and one Shirley Temple. Surely this wasn’t all for naught; surely some meaning could possibly be derived from an interaction between a movie star and a magazine journalist — even a brief one, even one in which the movie star had already said (through his publicist) he did not wish to participate, even one in which the star was not present, since some understanding of some dimension of his life could doubtless be gleaned through a study of his surroundings. But what if Cruise has been so successful in removing himself from our world that I would never find any trace of him? What if Cruise had evanesced into a high-octane mist of pure entertainment? Did I have time to just go to every single house in England and check if Cruise was home? How big was this nation? Why was the sun rising now, in the middle of the night? What time was it?! Had I accidentally not gone to sleep all night?

I had one more idea.

On my first day in town, I had stopped at a pub for lunch. I was told that there was a funeral going on and that there was an hour wait for food, but that if I ordered something simple like a sandwich, the wait would be less, so I ordered a sandwich, which actually took 90 minutes to arrive and was so, no offense, disgusting-tasting that I turned around and asked a middle-aged man sitting at the picnic table behind mine if he would like half a sandwich (no) and if it always took so long to receive a sandwich at this pub (unclear) and if it was true that Tom Cruise really lived nearby. “He’s here,” the man said to me.

“Do you know?” I asked. “Or are you guessing?”

“He’s definitely around here, that’s for sure,” he said. “I know where he is.”

At first, with the cagey pride of one who knows the favored hovering spot of an actual ghost, who acts as self-appointed doorman of the thin place between worlds, the man made a show of not telling me where. But then, on his way out, he materialized at my elbow and proffered three “clues” (his word).

“It’s within two miles of the airport,” he said. “Look for the biggest house. And I mean — ” his voice dropped to a whisper, “ — the biggest .”

“It’s a very famous house,” he said. “The anti-establishment of slavery started there.”

I was aware of this property from my earlier research. It was a colossal butter-colored manor once owned by a prime minister, William Pitt the Younger. I had eliminated it from contention as a possible Cruise residence because it was sold in 2018 (£8.5 million) to a used-car magnate who, at least judging by an article from 2020 that I read in Car Dealer magazine, appeared to be quite comfortably ensconced in it. But it was only a few miles away. On foot, the journey could be completed in just over an hour.

How, exactly, I ended up on the edge of that woman’s privately owned field again, I have no idea. The expedition to that point had seemed to take me through brand-new areas. All of a sudden, I noticed that the path had dissipated into dense forest. This is just like what happened yesterday, when I trespassed in that woman’s field, I thought, then looked up and spotted her house in the distance.

I panicked. I frightened a badger — likewise, babe! — and bolted through the forest as quickly as I could in a new, randomly chosen direction. This deposited me into a vast, previously unencountered field. On all previous paths, vigorously growing cow parsley had stood on slender stems, about shin high. Here, upright hordes of it grazed my shoulders, while fallen comrades entangled my ankles. Needles of true panic pricked my nape under sweaty hair. Statistically speaking, I assured myself, it was unlikely I would be trapped in this field so long that I would die there.

Although — wouldn’t it serve that woman right if I did die in this field, so close to her own, where I was not allowed? “That would teach her a lesson,” I said into the audio recorder I had brought in case I encountered Tom Cruise. Have to “find some way to notify her,” I explained. (Of my death.) Hopefully she would see my picture in a — newspaper! That would be another good thing about dying out here, I told the recorder. It would “serve” the editor who recklessly assigned me this article — who had irresponsibly approved my travel budget — “right.” It would probably ruin his life, or at least his work life. God, would he be fired? Certainly, at the very least, he would get in trouble. You should never have sent her to a small English town . Would our boss tell him not to blame himself? Hopefully not — I am dead because of him! I didn’t want to die, of course — but if it did happen, at least I would die doing what I loved: making people feel bad and be in trouble deservedly. I had yet to clearly develop a mental image of my widowed husband’s second wife when I realized that I had stumbled, midfield, upon a dirt path leading into a neighborhood. I ran down it — in, I was shocked to discover, the exact direction of the used-car dealer’s palatial estate.

The public footpath alongside the property — which, if a man drinking outside a pub at 2 p.m. is to be believed, is inhabited by Tom Cruise — looked like the aisle down which a fairy princess would glide at her wedding. Actually, no, even nicer: It was like the flower-strewn tunnel of light she would pass through following her death (from being viciously yelled at for walking in a private field BY ACCIDENT) on her journey to eternity. It wound beneath protective arches of graceful branches trailing heaps of white and pink blossoms. A gentle, constant wind rippled the flowers just enough to allow dappled sunlight to illuminate a trail through their lovely shade. So vast were the grounds, so lush the foliage, that the home itself was not visible from any vantage point. I listened for the distant throaty cry of a blue Ferrari, but heard only bird song.

The recorded owner of the estate made no response to my later attempts to contact him, to ask if, perchance, Tom Cruise (possibly in elaborate disguise) could be living in his house. Even if Cruise has no connection to the residence, this absolute lack of response serves to further obscure his existence. Not only is it impossible to determine where he lives — it isn’t even possible to determine where he does not live. The distance between Cruise and the average human remains unshrinkable. At a time when social media renders movie stars ever-present in the public field of vision — accessible to some extent through whatever scrupulously vetted personal information they share, but also broadly trackable via webs of celebrity-watching accounts that widely disseminate photos and rumors — Cruise has distinguished himself by becoming a comet. When, between protracted absences, his inscrutable orbit brings him back into Earth’s visible realm, he briefly commands the simultaneous attention of all its peoples: “Thank you to the people of Abu Dhabi,” read a June post on his Instagram account, alongside a photo of him greeting a crowd at a “Dead Reckoning Part One” premiere. (Also appreciated and acknowledged by their servant-sovereign for their attendance at other “Dead Reckoning Part One” premieres: “the people” of Rome; “everyone” in Seoul.)

At the conclusion of this promotional cycle, after Cruise has thanked everyone for allowing him to create world-class summer cinema, he will almost certainly disappear, not to be heard from again until next year, at which point his re-emergence will proclaim the arrival of “Dead Reckoning Part Two.” This vanishing, while perhaps rooted in avoidance of a press corps that asks questions he doesn’t want to answer, is massaged into something like a sacrificial duty to audiences. In disappearing the moment his work is through — always, like Santa Claus, with the promise of return — Cruise retains the mystique that so many Hollywood stars have lost this century. He goes away so that audiences may experience the thrill of his reappearance, and delight in the promise of movie magic he heralds.

Of course, it is possible that Tom Cruise does not even know that the gargantuan house in the quiet English village exists. But if we assume, perhaps foolishly, that he does live there, I did ascertain one new detail about his reality: He was in the process of having the long private driveway that weaves through the woods and stretches to the unseen manor beyond redone. It looks awesome.

Caity Weaver is a staff writer for the magazine. She last wrote about going on a package trip for youngish people.

An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the plane from which Tom Cruise accepted an MTV Movie & TV Award. It was a fighter aircraft, not a fighter jet.

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  • The Couch Jump That Rocked Hollywood

Tom Cruise’s 2005 appearance on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ was an iconic episode of television—and a turning point for how we discuss and understand celebrities

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In the spring of 2005, an unknown 20-something in California uploaded a 19-second video of himself to the internet. “Me at the zoo,” the first YouTube video, featured cofounder Jawed Karim rambling about animals. “The cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks,” a man said, gesturing toward an elephant enclosure. It was boring, but it was the beginning of something.

That same spring, Karim’s YouTube quickly found one of its first hits. Its origins were far less obscure than a tech guy on a field trip. At the time, Tom Cruise had a more-than-reasonable claim to the title of biggest celebrity in America. He was the movie star, a leading man with mom-approved handsomeness, a nimble physicality, and a gung-ho intensity that played on the big screen as magnetic instead of disturbed. He counted Top Gun , Jerry Maguire , and two Mission: Impossible movies among the idol-making roles under his small belt. Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey had already established herself as not only the biggest celebrity on daytime television, but the biggest celebrity in media. She’d made the careers of Drs. Phil and Oz. She’d debuted O, the Oprah Magazine . She’d hollered “You get a car!” to a euphoric crowd. Cruise’s May 2005 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show seemed destined to be yet another fluffy meeting of monstrously famous minds. Instead, traditional media’s powerhouse duo was about to provide the new video-uploading service with a clip that would demonstrate the format’s growth potential far better than a rinky-dink recording of a random dude musing about zoos.

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Before Cruise came out on stage that day, the crowd at Chicago’s Harpo Studios had already hyped itself into an ecstatic frenzy, whooping and clapping and jumping in overwhelmed pleasure at being in the presence of Winfrey, in her space, living their best lives. By 2005, Oprah had transformed her daytime talk show from a variation on Phil Donahue’s talk theme into something new, something that took the voyeuristic thrills of seeing televised confessions and elevated them with the language of self-help seminars and the polish of Hollywood. “Oprah is sitting in the throne of American pop culture,” said WBEZ anchor Jenn White on the podcast Making Oprah , describing Oprah’s cultural cachet in the early aughts. “She commands a regular worldwide audience of tens of millions. She can turn a book into a bestseller, a product into a trend, and people into stars.” At that point, Christianity Today had identified Oprah as “one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America.” Her audiences resembled gaga congregants.

Cruise was in Chicago to talk about his upcoming movie, Steven Spielberg’s remake of War of the Worlds . Instead of sticking to the promotional script, though, the compact action star gushed about his new girlfriend, actress Katie Holmes. “You’re gone,” Oprah said, searching for words to describe Cruise’s over-the-top infatuation. Within 15 minutes, Cruise had leapt onto Oprah’s couch in a spontaneous outburst of enthusiasm for his personal life. Cruise’s offbeat showboating was memorable in part because of its unusual setting; The Oprah Winfrey Show was where celebrities traipsed to shine up their reputations and get a warm embrace from a sympathetic fellow star. Oprah would polish, not grill. But Oprah, usually so masterful at empathizing with her guests, appeared to be at a loss. “You’re gone,” she repeated. The charismatic preacher had been sidelined by an even more earnest proselytizer.

People hated it. More importantly, they loved to hate it. Most importantly, they loved to talk about hating it. Divorced from its context and remixed into YouTube clips and GIFs, Cruise’s couch outburst looked far more bizarre than it had during the episode, when at least the studio audience had been equally hyped up and Oprah had encouraged him to talk about his personal life. Within the context of the episode, Cruise’s behavior was strange but not outrageous. On the internet, isolated and amplified into a single furniture-leaping moment, it looked like an A-list meltdown . The most popular spoof was called “Tom Cruise Kills Oprah,” where Cruise appeared to kill Oprah with lightning. Family Guy parodied it. Even Sesame Street eventually parodied it. But the couch clip went beyond launching parodies and viral videos. The response to the Cruise episode signaled a changing of the guard in Hollywood media, from a pecking order where publicists and studios could strike deals with access-hungry press toward a more democratic and chaotic media landscape. Even though Cruise had been in a terrific mood during his Oprah appearance, it was appropriate that his tomfoolery was reframed to look far more aggressive than it was. The internet and the media were about to get much sharper.

“Tom’s couch-jumping coincided with the rise of gossip blogs,” Matt James, who runs the celebrity gossip site Pop Culture Died in 2009, told The Ringer . “The entire incident became a testament to the way public opinion could form online in the pre-Twitter era, and how damaging it could be in the long run.”

Longtime Hollywood gossip blog Lainey Gossip also credited Cruise’s leap onto Oprah’s couch with galvanizing the media landscape. “This rise of the gossip blog quickly accelerated,” site creator Elaine Lui wrote in 2015. “Celebrities were not being contained the way they used to be. And the PEOPLE and Entertainment Tonight coverage just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Not when these illusions were so quickly being destroyed. This incident became one of the most critical chapters in the Origin Story of Internet Gossip.” The intense online response to Cruise’s convention-breaking presaged a shift in how celebrity freakouts were covered, as it was one of the first major entertainment-world meltdowns to saturate the blogging world. “There was something so personal, so oversharey, so necessarily engaged with the audience in Cruise’s couch-jumping that it set the tone for the kind of one-person media circus we’d expect and enjoy in the years to come, to varying degrees of sadness (Britney Spears), amazement (Charlie Sheen) and despicableness (Chris Brown),” Gawker ’s Rich Juzwiak wrote in 2012. While the word “meme” hadn’t yet entered the mainstream lexicon, Cruise’s furniture leap went viral. “Culturally, it was, in my mind, one of the first celebrity memes,” Brandon Ogborn, the writer behind The TomKat Project , an excellent play examining Tom Cruise’s reputation, told The Ringer . “That clip was reenacted so many times. It was kind of a watershed moment for internet culture.”

Along with memes came a cascade of internet commentary on Cruise’s behavior, most of it overwhelmingly negative. While Oprah’s studio audience had been pleased with his effusiveness, the story line soured in the digital world. “Now, whenever something happens in the news, we can go online and quickly find the tide in which public opinion is turning. In the early days of the internet, it wasn’t that distinct,” James said. “That changed with Tom. The people who watched Tom’s appearance and felt it was maybe even the slightest bit heartwarming went online to find that the majority opinion was Tom had lost his mind.”

katie holmes interview tom cruise

It was an exciting time for bloggers, and terrible timing for Cruise. He had fired his longtime publicist, Pat Kingsley, in March 2004. Kingsley was a powerhouse with a viselike grip on the dicks of traditional outlets. “She was adamant about keeping Cruise out of the tabloids. At press junkets, she demanded that journalists sign contracts swearing not to sell their quotes to the supermarket rags,” film critic Amy Nicholson wrote for LA Weekly in 2014, arguing that internet culture was to blame for Cruise’s fall from grace. “Then Kingsley expanded her reach and insisted that all TV interviewers destroy their tapes after his segment had aired.” Without Kingsley, Cruise didn’t have his usual PR fixer at hand to tell him what not to do, to tell him how to course-correct once the backlash began, or to tell the press to lay off. Instead, Cruise had replaced the flinty Kingsley with his sister, Lee Anne DeVette, a fellow Scientologist. The public reaction to his romance with Holmes was no good even before The Incident. According to a People poll, the majority of respondents saw the relationship as a publicity stunt . “We can’t get enough of the TomKat show because eventually the paint will start to chip and we will hopefully see all the ugliness as openly as we’ve been shoved the lovey-dovey bullshit,” Perez Hilton wrote. Cruise’s past habit of keeping his private life to himself and manicuring his public image had given him an idyllic but distinctly artificial sheen, one that may have counterintuitively exacerbated the response when he finally stepped out of line. “He had never done anything publicly wrong before,” Nicholson told The Ringer . “He’d always been so perfect.” Cruise’s over-the-top display of hyper-public affection, possibly made more intense by his desire to prove that his love was real, backfired. Instead of making people think he was a romantic, Cruise just made people think he was weird.

He quickly got weirder, and darker. Shortly after his couch leap, Cruise started a feud with Brooke Shields by dismissing her experience with postpartum depression. He went on Today to go even further, insisting that psychiatry and psychiatric medicine were dangerous. While Cruise was a longtime Scientologist, he had never openly advocated for the abusive group’s more controversial beliefs so publicly before. “It was a time when he really just let himself go, and let his freak flag fly. And it was also a time when he was really proselytizing for Scientology. I think it was a huge explosion of press that was bad press, because the Tom Cruise machine just stopped,” Ogborn said. “He said, This is who I am, I’m going to jump on that couch, I’m going to tell Matt Lauer he’s glib. ”

In less than a year, Cruise contorted his reputation from a hard-working, eccentric leading man into Hollywood’s premiere guileless kook. “Cruise: I will eat the placenta,” a 2006 Daily Mail headline , is a good example of the sort of news he generated. When California banned the sale of ultrasounds for personal use that year, it was known as the “Tom Cruise law” because Cruise had publicly purchased an ultrasound machine to view his daughter in the womb. South Park went for the jugular, as expected, but ridicule came from all over. Noah Baumbach wrote a New Yorker piece where the joke was that his dog was stupid and enthusiastic … just like Tom Cruise. Even Lauren Bacall dissed him to reporters. People still showed up for Cruise movies. War of the Worlds had a huge opening , but studios feared that Cruise’s bankability was tainted after Mission: Impossible III made nearly $150 million less worldwide than its predecessor. Cruise’s reputation was undeniably threatened. His Q rating, used to measure celebrity appeal, dropped 40 percent. “From that point on, we all accepted Tom Cruise was crazy,” James said. “It was a done deal.”

Cruise’s uninhibited media blunder bender cost him a lucrative, long-term production deal with Paramount. His behavior was blamed for the deal’s destruction. “His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount,” Viacom chairman Sumner M. Redstone told The Wall Street Journal . The Oprah Winfrey Show , meanwhile, continued on as an unstoppable cultural force. From all accounts, as much as the couch-jumping episode yoked Oprah and Cruise together for eternity as a punch line, it also ruffled feathers at Harpo. “She was not invited to his wedding, and he was not invited for a very long time to come interview with her,” Ogborn pointed out, noting that Harpo employees would frequently come talk to him after the Chicago run of The TomKat Project to discuss that period of time. “They said she was fucking pissed when it happened.”

katie holmes interview tom cruise

Regardless of Oprah’s personal opinion of Cruise’s behavior, the interview didn’t hurt her professionally. A mock set from the show is now on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of an exhibit on Winfrey. There was no lasting damage to her legacy. (Curators declined to comment on the role of the interview in her cultural history.) If anything, the couch-jumping episode only provided a bolstering example of Oprah presiding over must-watch TV. The show’s guiding ethos focused on going big and doing the best, resulting in ever-more-elaborate gift giveaways and surprises for the audience. While Cruise’s antics might have thrown off the dynamic between guest and host that Oprah preferred, his interview ultimately fit the bill for the gripping, unexpected, and wholly memorable. “Tom’s televised freakout was just another notch in her belt,” James said. Talk-show hosts now manufacture segments specifically to do well on YouTube and other online platforms, but it was Oprah who generated the first viral talk-show clip.

The incident certainly did not kill Cruise’s career, either. In 2008, his comic turn in Tropic Thunder helped undercut his reputation for unrelenting self-seriousness. (The same year, Cruise reunited with Oprah for a much calmer interview.) Cruise maintained his career throughout his reputational turmoil by sticking with Mission: Impossible and thematically similar films. “He’s always done such great work with this franchise, but he’s almost clinging to it nervously, like he’s afraid to let go and take a real risk,” Nicholson said. “He’ll take risks inside the film with stunts, but he’s not taking risks inside his own career, like doing the dramatic work that marked a lot of what he did in the ’80s, or by chasing an Oscar, which is something he gave up on.” Although he never quite regained his status as a Hollywood golden boy, he has mellowed into an aging statesman of action flicks—and anyway, his divorce from Katie Holmes and continued association with Scientology have left a longer-lasting stink on his name than his exuberant talk-show appearance. In 2015, GQ heralded “Cool Tom Cruise.” This summer, he is starring in the sixth Mission: Impossible movie. The critical response to both the film and Cruise’s performance has been overwhelmingly positive. “What’s always been so ironic to me about the Tom Cruise quote-unquote backlash is that it seemed to me that audiences still really loved him, even if newspapers were telling them that they didn’t,” Nicholson said. “I feel like he’s proving something that never needed to be proven.”

The real legacy of the couch-jumping incident has almost nothing to do with Cruise or Oprah specifically and everything to do with how people reacted online to the moment. Tom and Oprah’s strange conversation, and the reaction it provoked, is now preserved as thousands of digital artifacts, emblematic of how information traveled in the early aughts. Rewatching the episode and the viral videos it spawned feels quaint now. The bloggy media cycle that produced Cruise memes has been replaced by a cesspool of broken newsfeeds smushing conspiracy theories and branded content against real news and irrational presidential tweets with such velocity that it seems deeply unlikely that Cruise’s hop onto a loveseat would provoke much at all in 2018. However, it’s even less likely that Cruise would’ve been able to make it so far into his career without finding his kooky personality exposed as he did in 2005.

Up-and-comers have learned to respond to a different and less controllable form of media attention. There is a whole brand of celebrity in which the famous are expected to engage with fans on social media. Celebrity PR disasters don’t often happen in such glossy settings anymore; instead, they are frequently facilitated by social media and accelerated by fans and detractors who dig up old tweets . The last time a daytime talk-show guest created a media supernova after their appearance, it was Danielle Bregoli, a.k.a. Bhad Bhabie, a.k.a. “Cash Me Ousside” Girl, who parlayed a viral moment shit-talking on Dr. Phil into a viable rap career . I doubt Bregoli knows about Tom Cruise’s Oprah appearance, but her own twist on the daytime meme underscores how much has changed since Cruise took his happy hop. Performative, contrived freakiness in front of a live studio audience can be an asset now. The big leap is figuring out how to navigate internet criticism without spinning out—a frequently impossible mission.

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katie holmes interview tom cruise

Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch 16 years ago and it hasn't aged well

katie holmes interview tom cruise

In May 2005, Tom Cruise momentarily lost the run of himself and trampled all over Oprah's couch as he proclaimed his love for Katie Holmes during an interview.

After months of speculation that the pair were together, Tom finally spoke of their relationship on Oprah's chat show and sent the host and viewers in the studio into the frenzy with his antics.

A month before this, Tom and Katie -- known as TomKat for a period -- made their first public appearance together in Rome, making them the most talked-about Hollywood couple of the time.

So, you can only imagine the mileage fans, haters, and the media all got out that *that* Oprah interview.

tom cruise katie holmes

The actor , then 42, wasn't appearing on the show to lep about, and shout his love for the Dawson's Creek star , then 26, but instead to talk about his upcoming movie War of the Worlds also starring 11-year-old Dakota Fanning.

The interview was happening as Oprah's talk show was at the height of its popularity and audience members were regularly leaving with cars and a feeling of having been in the presence of royalty.

With the excitement in the studio already high, Oprah introduced Tom to the crowd, and, well, it all went downhill from there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQgXEkL3NV4

At the time, some called it sweet watching Tom talk about his new romance, however, I never felt it right to categorise it as 'sweet' but rather cringe-inducing.

'You're gone,' Oprah said of Tom's first pumping and victory laps of the studio -- a fairly appropriate and presumingly unintentionally Irish way of describing the moment.

As the frenzy in the studio began to die down with Tom's ongoing victory lap, Oprah took the reigns and prompted Tom to create another headline moment.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Pic: REX

'Get Katie out here,' the host told Tom as the actor headed for backstage to push -- literally -- his new girlfriend out in front of the cameras and the hysterical viewers.

A reluctant Katie joined Tom and embraced Oprah as audience members continued to exert themselves at the sight of the pair together.

The moment was all over celebrity blogs and made his relationship with Katie the only celebrity love story worth talking about for the foreseeable.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Pic: REX

Within months, Katie and Tom announced they were expecting their first child and a year later, the couple was married in a Scientologist ceremony in front of many A-lister pals.

Some 16 years later, with Katie and Tom long divorced and their daughter Suri now celebrating her 15th birthday, looking back at this iconic TV moment feels totally removed from where we are now.

The moment continues to be a pop culture reference for many who will think of Tom when gushing about a new love or testing out a new sofa.

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katie holmes interview tom cruise

Suri Cruise, Daughter of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Has Decided Where She’ll Attend College This Fall

T hanks to a TikTok shared on May 20 by one of 18-year-old Suri Cruise’s classmates, we have insight into where the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is headed off to in the fall. Per E! News , Cruise’s college plans were revealed in the video, as she and her friends showed off college sweaters in a video set to the Hannah Montana song “I’ll Always Remember You.” In the video, Cruise “could be seen sporting a red Carnegie Mellon University sweater while making silly faces for the camera and doing a cute dance with her friends,” the outlet reports.

Cruise’s mother, Holmes—who split with ex-husband Tom in 2012—has expressed a strong desire to keep her daughter out of the spotlight since her birth in 2006. Letting Cruise have a private life was important to Holmes because she was “so visible at such a young age,” Holmes said.

Speaking to Glamour last year, Holmes said of her only child “I really like to protect her. I’m very grateful to be a parent—to be her parent. She’s an incredible person.”

Mother and daughter bonded when Cruise sang and did background vocals on two of Holmes’ recent projects, 2022’s Alone Together and 2023’s Rare Objects : “I hope she always does something on my films,” she said. “I always ask her. But both of those experiences came out of the same sense of what I love about our industry, which is, you have these projects and you become a family with people.” Holmes added “It was very meaningful to me to have her there, because she’s my heart.”

According to Page Six , Holmes reportedly helped her daughter with her college applications (and is reportedly “overwhelmed” by the thought of becoming an empty nester), but Cruise “has always been determined to forge her own way,” a source said. “She is a smart girl, and she is turning into a very intelligent, mature young woman. She has a very close group of loyal friends, and she knows exactly where she comes from.” Of Holmes, they added “Katie takes great pride in her, but is also extremely overprotective.”

Access reports that the prestigious Carnegie Mellon—located in Pittsburgh—is “known for its acclaimed drama and computer science programs.” But, according to The Daily Mail , Cruise will nix following in her very famous parents’ acting footsteps and is reportedly “leaning towards” studying fashion as she graduates from LaGuardia High School. In a new interview with The Sunday Times , Holmes—herself a style inspiration for many, specifically in terms of street style—told the outlet that she has saved some of her old outfits for her daughter.

“I’ve saved some things here and there,” Holmes said. “But she has her own sense of style and her own expressions.” Of Cruise borrowing clothes from her mom, “Sometimes the basics definitely disappear,” Holmes teased. “But that’s fine.”

 Suri Cruise, Daughter of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Has Decided Where She’ll Attend College This Fall

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Katie Holmes and daughter Suri

Suri Cruise gets by with a little help from her mom.

Katie Holmes joked about items of clothing sometimes “disappear[ing]” from her closet while praising her daughter’s fashion sense .

“She has her own sense of style and her own expressions,” the actress, 45, told the Sunday Times over the weekend.

Katie Holmes' daughter Suri

“Sometimes the basics definitely disappear. But that’s fine,” she continued, noting that she has “saved some things here and there” to give the 18-year-old.

The “Dawson’s Creek” alum’s comments come as her and ex-husband Tom Cruise’s child repeatedly makes headlines for her street style .

The college-bound teenager, who will attend Carnegie Mellon in the fall, has recently sported double denim , a shearling coat — on two occasions — and a patterned maxi dress .

Katie Holmes and daughter Suri

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As for Holmes’ own outfits, she told the outlet about her love of “mix[ing] and match[ing] classic pieces,” as well as vintage looks.

The “Alone Together” star credited New York City with influencing her style, explaining, “I have to have things that are practical and comfortable. Usually I’m in ballet flats, sneakers, baggy jeans and a T-shirt.

I like putting it together in a way that doesn’t look like you put it together,” she continued.

Katie Holmes

Holmes went on to share how her style changed when she and Cruise, 61, welcomed Suri in April 2006.

“When my child was really small, I was drawn to wearing a lot of dresses,” she recalled. “You do go through these different phases of motherhood and they inform what you feel comfortable in and what you don’t.”

Holmes rarely speaks about Suri in interviews, telling Glamour in April 2023 that she wants to “protect” her child from the public.

Katie Holmes

“She was so visible at a young age,” Holmes explained at the time of the “incredible” teen.

Suri, who has been estranged from her father for years, is reportedly following her parents’ acting footsteps.

Last year, she starred as Morticia in her school’s “The Addams Family” play.

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Katie Holmes and daughter Suri

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Katie Holmes confesses teen daughter Suri wasn't impressed by her dance moves in unearthed interview

The dawson's creek star is notoriously private about her family life.

Hanna Fillingham

Katie Holmes rarely gives anything away about her private life with Suri, now 18 , having been subject to press intrusion for years after daughter's arrival. 

However, from what the Dawson's Creek  star has said, it sounds as if the mother-daughter duo have the best relationship, and are incredibly normal too! 

Katie previously confessed to her unconventional morning routine, which included dancing as a way of waking up Suri. 

In 2022, the star spoke to InStyle about her private life, telling the publication: "Well, I love a dance party. I try to do one every morning to wake up my child, but she has rejected that. I just need some knee pads and a little Versace number." 

While Suri wasn't so impressed with her mom's dance moves, it's safe to say the teenager has inherited Katie's talents when it comes to performing herself. 

Katie Holmes, wearing CHANEL, attends the CHANEL Tribeca Festival Women's Lunch to celebrate the THROUGH HER LENS Program at The Greenwich Hotel on June 07, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/WireImage)

Suri has been the star of several school productions in recent years, including playing the lead role of Morticia Addams in The Addams Family , and is also an incredible singer, showcasing her singing voice in the opening credits of Katie's film, Better Together , in 2022. 

Katie has raised Suri in New York City for over a decade, with the mother-daughter duo moving over to the East Coast shortly after Katie's separation from Tom Cruise in 2012. 

Suri Cruise wore a Carnegie Mellon sweater

Until then, they had split their time between NYC and Los Angeles. After moving, the Hollywood star was able to raise her daughter out of the public glare, and previously opened up about why New York City has been such a special place for both her and Suri. 

She told InStyle: "The city has a lot to offer, and I use it. Yes, it's a little too exposed at times, and we work hard to maneuver and navigate. But what I love about New York is that for me and my child, this is our vibe. When there are 25 things to do every night, it takes you out of your own thing. 

katie holmes interview tom cruise

"And you know what else I discovered? There's a place not far from my house that does foot massages until midnight. That's what New York offers!" 

Suri will soon be experiencing life away from New York City come September, when she relocates to Pennsylvania for college. 

katie holmes tom cruise

On Friday, it was revealed via a TikTok video that Suri would be attending Carnegie Mellon University. The private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was established in 19000 and sits in the city formerly known as the Gateway to the West. 

It is thought Suri will study at the School of Design which offers a variety of subjects and is suitable for students with interests ranging from graphic designers, illustrators, animators, fashion designers, and artists, all housed under one department.

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