Saturday, June 15, 2024

Scarlett Johansson Says She’d Like to Work with Tom Cruise: Maybe She’s Forgiven Him for Holding Her in the Scientology Centre for 8 Hours in 2005


I see the terrific actress Scarlett Johansson had a surprising answer last night on the “Asteroid City” red carpet. Someone from the Hollywood Reporter asked her which actor she’d like to work with.

“Tom Cruise,” she replied with a big smile. Her answer is going viral.

Scarlett must be in a forgiving mood, or she has amnesia. In 2005, not long after Katie Holmes had turned up in Rome with Cruise, surprisingly, as his “girlfriend,” I ran into Scarlett and her then boyfriend, Josh Hartnett.

We were outside, backstage at the Live 8 concert in London’s Hyde Park. It was quite an event, and the VIP area was filled with celebrities. (That’s where I sat on lawn chairs with Bill Gates outside Sting’s dressing room.)

I bumped into Scarlett and Josh in the catering tent. Hartnet had recently dated Holmes a few months earlier. I asked him if he was surprised to hear about Katie surfacing in Rome with Cruise.

That’s when Scarlett told us that she’d been among the different women Cruise had interviewed for “Mission Impossible 3,” and maybe to be his wife or girlfriend. Scarlett told us that her “audition” took place at the Hollywood Scientology Celebrity Centre, where she was held for about eight hours. They put her through the whole routine — e-meters, and so on — plus the interview with Cruise.

Scarlett wasn’t alone. There were a bunch of actresses, like Holmes, who came in for “Mission Impossible 3.” Holmes was the only one stick around. The others included Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth, and even Lindsay Lohan. Scarlett told us that she bolted. Of course, she had no intention of joining a cult.

I wrote about this in 2018. The original story was in my Fox411 column at Fox News. Curiously all mention of Scientology has been deleted from the archives for 2005. (Roger Ailes capitulated to Scientology in 2008, but that’s another story.) Lawrence Wright also mentioned this in his book, “Going Clear” (although he didn’t credit me.)

Well, maybe it’s all water over the dam, or under the bridge. Scarlett is one of my favorite younger actresses, very smart, and she knows her own mind. A Johansson-Cruise pairing is not such a far fetched idea. Anyway, it was the perfect answer considering “Mission Impossible 7” is coming up soon and Tom is uber popular after “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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