Tom Cruise has been very vocal about his support for the Church of Scientology. Sometimes too vocal, according to his former publicist Pat Kingsley. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 81-year-old PR legend says she once advised the Oblivion actor to tone down his talk about his religious beliefs.
"I did have that conversation with Tom, about cooling it," Kingsley says, recalling what she told him at the time: "'Scientology is fine. You want to do a tour for Scientology? Do a tour for Scientology. But Warner Bros. is sponsoring this tour.' That was for [2003's] The Last Samurai. He didn't say yes or no, except he did not discuss Scientology on that European tour."
In general, THR notes, the star's religious beliefs didn't have much of an impact on his professional relationship with Kingsley until shortly before they parted ways. There had been only one "serious conflict" before with the Scientology reps, "but it was taken care of very early in the game," the veteran publicist notes.
"I felt that they were involved in a story that I was doing on Tom, and I said: 'It's not your story, it's Tom's. You have to step aside,'" she recalls. "And they did."
Kingsley, who worked with Cruise from the early 1990s until 2004, was once so close with him that they "could almost finish each other's sentence," she says. "We never really had a disagreement about direction or any particular interview. The trust became pretty complete on both sides."
She added: "We talked constantly. He was an insomniac. I liked the fact that he was so much fun. And he was so thoughtful. He remembered birthdays, my daughter's birthday. He came to her wedding; she was registered somewhere for the china, and he bought out everything."
In the end, she tells THR, he "wanted to be more personally involved" in the decisions about his career. They went their separate ways in March 2004 and have not seen each other since. But Kingsley has only good things to say about him. "Tom Cruise was a prince," she says.