The Exclusive Interview
Oprah says she wanted to talk with Tom in a more private setting. "It's difficult to have a real conversation in front of a real audience."
Tom: It was a moment.
Oprah: Yeah, it was a moment. I had no idea it was going to turn into an international brouhaha, as I'm sure you did not either.
Tom: No, I didn't. ... That was a moment, and it was real.
Oprah: Obviously, I had interviewed you many times before, and you've been very Tom Cruise-like. Very, "yes, I'm going to talk about this, but I'm not going to talk about that." So I had never experienced that before. ... What was going on with you in that moment?
Tom: It was something that I just felt that way. And I feel that way about [wife Katie Holmes]. And it's something, you know, that's just how I felt.
Oprah: Now, this is interesting because, obviously, you've been in love before. You've been in love before. But never felt it this way?
Tom: No. Not like this. ... Something I just can't articulate—what it's like and that feeling and the connection and just who [Katie] is and what she means to me.
Tom: I think that you look at it and you go, "Okay, I understand the interest in it." It's a minority religion. And I think that sometimes people misinterpret.
Oprah: Is there a way, then, that you can summarize and describe what Scientology is so that people can understand what it is?
Tom: ... I think the best thing is for people to read about it themselves.
Oprah: So you're not out to convert everybody else. You know, I've read that you—both you and John Travolta—had personally tried to convert me to Scientology, and I want to say, "Well, whenever they did I must have missed that meeting."
Tom: I know, I know. ... [If] someone wants to know about it, they should just go and read about it themselves. That's the best way to do it.
Oprah: Well, sitting up here, I don't know what a Scientologist believes, or is there a belief in God or a higher power?
Tom: Absolutely, I believe in God. ... There is no way you can be up here [in the Rocky Mountains] and think that there isn't a God.
Tom: Yeah, and it's something I've lived with for so long. And you don't know until you're inside of it.
Oprah: But it's accelerated, has it not?
Tom: It used to be, like, just in Europe. But even when I started out with Risky Business and Top Gun came out, there was the paparazzi. You knew them, and I could go up to them and say, "Give me a break tonight. I'll give you the shots tomorrow."
Oprah: You have seen how—we both have seen how—the ability to spin and how once something happens it can just sort of be taken in context, out of context, and spiral into something unimaginable, unimaginable. ... Are you surprised by that?
Tom: Sometimes I am, actually. ... Twelve hours after Kate tested [positive for her] pregnancy test, we went [to the doctor] in the middle of the night. ... Someone leaked it. ... Kate and I looked at each other and went, "Man, I thought I was good setting this up."
Oprah: Cause what? You went in the middle of the night to get the pregnancy test?
Tom: We went in the middle of the night. Kate and I ... we're very excited. It's such a private moment. ... And we sat down, we thought, "All right, now what are we going to do?"
Oprah: Cause you know it's going to be a zoo. You already know that.
Tom: ... My life was already a zoo. Then Kate came in, and it was a real zoo. And then, now she's pregnant, and it was like, it was off the charts. ... We sat down and talked about it. ... And there is enough stress just, like, how's the pregnancy going? And so, so we bought a sonogram machine. We had the doctor coming and doing this. Someone found out that we—
Oprah: You bought the sonogram machine because you wanted the doctor to come here?
Tom: Yeah, to come to the house. ... People found out that we had a sonogram machine. Then I was asked about it, and I wasn't about to tell people I was sneaking the doctor into the property, and you are not going to find out what hospital and where, and that's how we were able to do it. ... You know, and when you're having a baby, you just want it to be safe and easy as possible.
Tom: Look, Kate and I didn't feel any need to do it. We said, "Why? It's our family." ... Then we heard all this stuff that was going on. And we said, "Okay, what do you want to do?" So then Kate said, "Okay, look...let's just do it. We'll just do this. This is ridiculous, and we'll just do it, and that'll be it.'"
Tom: No one should ever underestimate—that woman has got strength.
Oprah: Was she hurt by all those things people were saying about you and about your baby?
Tom: You know, I think it's something I'd rather Kate talk about that, than me talking for Kate.
Oprah: I understand that.
Tom: You know what I mean? ...
Oprah: But you know how she felt.
Tom: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, picture every mother and how she's going to feel about that. ... It's the downside, and I don't want to give that a lot of weight because of the upside and what we get to do is so great, and that's what I try to do, focus on that.
Oprah: Were you upset or have you been upset by people saying even what you have isn't real? What you have with Kate isn't real?
Tom: That's laughable to me. That stuff's laughable.
Tom: Look, it's something that always as a parent you're struggling. "Did I say the right thing? Did [I] do the right thing?" ... We're a family. And part of it is, I try to really create a life together.
Oprah: Is it hard on them if you're being attacked in the press?
Tom: You know what? They love me, so they know. They've grown up with that, and I'm sure there's things that they don't like. And you go, "Okay, that happened. Things go wrong, but don't live in it. Don't live in that because today is a new day and there's plenty of tomorrows." ... They're good people, my children. I'm proud of them because they're good people. I don't want them to worry about anything. You know, as a parent, I don't want them to worry. I don't want them to worry.
Oprah: That's what a good parent is.
Tom: I'm someone who's like, I take care of things. They know me; they know I'm there. No matter what, I'm always there.
Tom: ... I feel like definitely things have been misunderstood, and [there are] things I could have done better. And I think that where I look at it, I go, "Okay." But then there's also that world where you go, "Oh, it's been spun to such an extent and that's a truth also."
Oprah: Has it taught you anything, Tom, this past three years? What did it teach you?
Tom: I never stop learning. And knowing when and where to communicate, I think that's important.