Sea Org-approved? In a wide-ranging new interview, Thandie Newton shared an anecdote about the time her Mission: Impossible 2 costar Tom Cruise gave her an unconventional gift.
“I’ve worked with Tom Cruise, and he was very generous and open about sharing Scientological stuff,” the Westworld star, 47, said in the Monday, July 6, issue of New York magazine. “Christmas gifts would be something to do with Scientology. Like a book with the greatest hits of Scientology, a bit like a Bible kind of thing.”
Newton admitted that she “was curious” about the Church of Scientology, which has counted Cruise as one of its most prominent members for years, but the book ultimately turned her off.
“It’s like, ‘Wow, if it’s going to attract people, powerful, high-profile people, there’s got to be some glue that sticks this s–t together,’” she recalled thinking. “Didn’t find any.”
During the interview, the actress also discussed another well-known Scientologist, Paul Haggis, who directed and cowrote her 2004 movie Crash.
“The time I’ve spent with Paul has not been so much, but obviously we did the press thing together. I certainly didn’t know him well,” she told the publication. “I was aware of his being a Scientologist, which was surprising to me. Just any person who’s really smart, I find it strange.”
Cruise, for his part, became a Scientologist in 1990 after his first wife, Mimi Rogers, introduced him to the controversial belief system. Since then, he has become a vocal advocate for the church and even received the Freedom Medal of Valor from leader David Miscavige in 2004. The Top Gun star’s involvement in Scientology has long been rumored to be the reason that Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes divorced him.
“Katie and Nicole have moved on from their time with Tom,” Tony Ortega, a staunch critic of Scientology, told Us Weekly exclusively in 2018, noting that the actresses “living their lives is their way of moving on from the Church of Scientology.”
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