June 24, 2005

''Matt, Matt, you don't even -- you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is."

Did you hear the Matt Lauer "Today Show" interview with Tom Cruise today? I happened to catch it on MSNBC radio this afternoon. Cruise is so recklessly passionate about psychiatry and psychiatric medications that he ... well ... kind of seemed to need psychiatric medication.

Lauer remained poised through the whole thing and was the very soul of moderation. If Brooke Shields believes that anti-depression medicine has helped her, why isn't that good enough? But Cruise would not back off. He kept pounding on Lauer and insisting that he knew everything because he's studied "the history of psychiatry" and because Scientology is the true religion.

Jeez, isn't anyone telling him he's going to lose a lot of fans acting like that? He seems truly deluded and must think this will actually win people over to Scientology, when, in fact, it's quite the opposite.

ADDED: Oh, here's the TiVo of last night's "Letterman," with Cruise. When he comes out, the band plays "Jump." Ha ha. Tom was just fine. Nothing strange at all. Dave is very good with him.

MORE: Here's the full text of the interview -- with a few helpful illustrations.

38 comments:

jinnmabe said...

Saw it too. He acts like the kid (read: my little brother) who just "read a book" about the Holocaust or Einstein's Theory of Relativity and goes around telling everyone how smart he is and how dumb they are. I just want him to shut up.

Soo said...

The most curious thing about Tom Cruise's screed against the use of drugs, is that he singles out a woman who just gave birth to a child (one of the most revered classes of people in the world), instead of singling out recreational drug users (you know, because Hollywood has a shortage of them).

xsapph said...

Ann, Wisconsin is all the better off for you being in it! Your work is fantastic on here, really interesting how multi-faceted your range is!

Kathleen B. said...

somehow I doubt that anyone in a position to tell Tom Cruise anything is going to criticize him, even if it is constructive. I mean who do you have around you at that point? sycophants, employees, co-religionists? given his behavior he doesn't seem like he would reward honest comments from his lackeys. It almost makes you wonder how he and Nicole Kidman stayed married for 10 years, since she certainly seems quite normal.

Eric said...

Didn't Katie switch to Scientology? He won over at least one person. Maybe you're just not in his target audience.

XWL said...

shouldn't this post be entitled "the politics of zombies"?

Harkonnendog said...

The thing is, Cruise is probably more right than wrong. I know an entire family that was functional for years, and now they are all on medications for being bi-polar, or depressed, or whatever... and now the family is NOT functional. I know it is anecdotal, but it seems kind of crazy that after 5 years EVERYBODY in a household suddenly finds out they were sick all along and were fighting it off all that time...

Ann Althouse said...

Harkennodog: I agree. People are taking way too many drugs.

Dirty Harry said...

If Cruise put as much passion into his acting as he does against Ritalin... Who knows, he might rise above passable.

Kathy Herrmann said...

Gotta agree with society taking too many drugs in general. But hoo boy, Tom was over the top.

The winning Tommy quote, though, goes to The Superficial (a celebrity blog with bite)...

In response to Tom's "I know psychiatry" comments, The Sup wrote...

"Just to reiterate, no, he really really doesn’t. Later, the actor who failed high school and never went to college explained his depth of knowledge in regards to psychiatric medications..."

Tom's answer is...don't take drugs. Give your life over to Scientology instead...because that's sooooooo much better for you and in no way harmful to your psyche or anything.

Mom Underground said...

From scientology.org (the official site): "A maxim in Scientology is that only those things which one finds true for himself are true."

I wonder how Tom Cruise doesn't think this statement applies to Brooke Shields.

Slac said...

I think the real reason why that interview seemed so confrontational is because Lauer wanted to talk about individual cases, but Cruise wanted to talk about the larger problem. Both seemed to think that one was more important than the other.

That sad truth is that they're both important and that they've both been ignored for so long. Mental illness is still a taboo subject, only now in additional ways.

Speak out against the way psychiatrists operate their industry and you run the risk of being suspected that you're off your medication. Ann, even though you were probably joking, I'm a little disappointed that you're adding to this kind of careless conjecture.

Cruise was being condescending (and I'm sorry if I also appear condescending while berating a law prof) but let's cut him some slack this time and start treating the subject at hand with a little more sobriety. I think by now it's earned it.

Ann Althouse said...

Slac: I didn't feel you were berating me until you brought up the subject. I think Lauer is very adept at controlling interviews and personally looking good and un-controlling while he's doing it. Cruise is cocky and threw himself into it and got burned. Cruise needs to learn that people are gunning for him and that he can be played. He's overconfident and needs advice. Let's say he has an agenda to promote. Well, okay, then learn to do it competently. Because otherwise, you're only hurting your own cause, because your opponents are making you look like a nut.

EddieP said...

I saw Cruise with Letterman last night and thought, what a sleezy guy! He was smiling so hard at Dave that I recalled an old term from my days as a recruiter and instructor.

I know when I'm being "Grinf*cked".
I'm not certain Dave knew he was.

Ann Althouse said...

EddieP: You're right that he was overgrinning.

Ron said...

and somehow Nicole Kidman once married this guy...

what a world

mcg said...

He's overconfident and needs advice.

You, mean, like the advice of the publicist he just fired, and replaced with his sister and fellow Scientologist (and therefore, effectively no publicist at all)?

SippicanCottage said...
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SippicanCottage said...
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Joe Baby said...
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Slac said...

I didn't feel you were berating me until you brought up the subject.

"Berating" was the wrong word. I probably should have looked it up!

brady said...
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Mark Daniels said...

I've seen portions of a grand total of four Cruise films--Rain Man, Top Gun, Jerry MacGuire, and one of those John Grisham things. So, he isn't one of those celebs to whom I would turn for medical advice anyway.

But in seeing the clip of him with Lauer tonight, my family and I all groaned. The guy, who seems to be in the business of rapidly collecting as many starlets as possible for his trophy case, probably could use a good regimen of Ritalin.

Bozsik said...

What's funny is that Cruise called out Lauer about something most Americans know nothing of. Specifically, if society existed just fine before psychiatric medication, why are so many more people in "need" of psychiatric medication?

I would have loved to hear what Lauer thought Ritalin was. You know he conducted the interview without any background information on the subject at all.

It seems to me, media is reacting to a person (Cruise) who is no longer afraid to dish dirt on celebrities and public figures. Many people have a reason to discredit Cruise.

James d. said...

I'm still trying to figure out if Cruise is being totally honest in his quest (not to sound Holy Grail-ish). If he is, then kudos to him, even if he's a bit loony, for finally opening up for once in his life. If not...then, it's sad.

But he's dead-on about Ritalin -- too often it's a way of not dealing with the fact that children are rambunctious and jittery and full of energy (and maybe need Ritalin because their parents give them junk food and TV constantly). The Onion ran a story years ago about the last child in the world not on Ritalin. They hunted him down and shot him with a dart gun or something. Funny stuff, but you came away from it thinking, not too far off.
Cruise really doesn't need to be slamming Brooke Shields, though. Bizarre choice. Maybe he's just a huge closet (no pun intended) fan of Andre Agassi, and blames her for his lousy play during their marriage.

Kathleen B. said...

jdasilver & bozsik: there is a big difference though from rationally and seriously talking about overmedication of American children, and Tom Cruise's behavior. I actually think the South Park episode about ADD said it all. But what Tom Cruise was doing on that interview was bullying, and raving - neither of which do his cause any good.

knoxgirl said...

No discussion of this interview is complete without seeing tvgasm's version:

http://www.tvgasm.com/archives/miscellaneous_tv/000888.php

chuck_b said...

This will be my new way of saying "shut up" to people.

"You don't even!--You're glib!"

CraigC said...

Ann, I can't believe you think Cruise was fine on Letterman. He scared the shit out of me. He would have looked perfectly at home with a butcher knife in his hand. Man, he's off the deep end.

Ann Althouse said...

Leland: Good idea. Let's try to popularize that.

Craig: I think you're projecting what you already believe. A celeb smiling a lot while promoting a movie is pretty damned normal.

Ron said...

brady: You don't even! -- You're glib!

Slac said...

If "glib" starts sounding old, you can always tell someone that they "gibber."

I was just waiting for Cruise to say that... "Matt, listen to yourself gibber!"

brady said...

It's true. I am glib.

And because I just got a job with Warner Brothers, I'm contractually obligated to stick up for good ol' Hollyweird.

That, and even if I wasn't, the scientologists would eat me.

Ron said...

Ann: I'm not sure the "you're glib" thing will catch on because of the sound of the word "glib." Kinda oddly smooshy, yes?

Brady: They say that if you find that most holy of Warners relics, the Fingerbone of Bogey, Jack Warner himself will appear in your dreams to give you invaluable career advice at the studio... But perhaps Bacall still has it, so tough cookies for you!

Pop into the Malpaso office with your boxing script...bet they never heard one of those pitches...and if you stroll into Fortis, give the future Mrs. Monster Garage my undying devotion.

Got all that? Okley dokely then!

brady said...

See, I'd have a witty comeback, except when I interviewed for the job, I said my favorite movie was either "The Maltese Falcon" or "To Have or Have Not".

And I recently wrote a song about Lauren Bacall.

Dang. Guilty as charged.

But, in my defense, the only script I ever tried to pitch was "Tarzan vs. Dracula", and it didn't go over so well. But it would be totally awesome if it ever got produced.

Two words:

Vampire Apes.

Ron said...

brady: Almost, which only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, baby!

You must've been happily gnawing at your egg white and quinoa omelet at the Ivy too loudly because every shill in town was pitching Vampire Apes then. Singing Vampire Apes, however...Julia Roberts hair person was all behind that logline, so with JR in your camp , we're talkin' $80mil domesitic at least! Think of the action figures! (Moulin Joe Young Rouge good working title)

ah, well, the best planned lays...

Ron said...

brady: pardon the spelling errors...

Scott said...

The next day, Katie mumbled, "That was an odd use of the word 'glib.'" I agree. Since when is "glib" something you are? It's a way in which you say something. But I relate to Tom: I've sometimes ranted incoherently.