Host vs. Guest

The Day Matt Lauer Wanted To Punch Tom Cruise!

When an interview went off the rails, ‘Today’ host had to control himself!

Matt tom punch featured
Splash News

Tom Cruise has never been shy about expressing his opinions, but sounding off about Brooke Shields’ postpartum depression during a 2005 “Today” show interview made host Matt Lauer want to take a swing at Hollywood’s tiny titan!

Appearing on “Watch What Happens Live” this week, Matt confessed to host Andy Cohen that he felt frustrated by Tom’s pontificating about the ills of psychiatry and medications that seem to help people.

“I was thinking: ‘Can I take him in a wrestling match? Could I tackle him on the set?’” Matt recalled from the time.

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During that interview a decade ago, Scientologist Tom insisted, “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.”

Matt pressed him on what he meant by that. “So postpartum depression to you is psychological gobbledygoop? I’m just asking what you would call it,” Matt countered.

“Matt, you’re glib,” Tom fired back.

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Readers of The National ENQUIRER are well-acquainted with Tom’s own foibles, including clashes with family and friends to marriage woes to his advocacy of Scientology.

Nevertheless, Matt said he learned something from butting heads with Tom.

“If you have a bad experience on air,” the “Today” host recalled, “you don’t think you’ve done your job, or you have an embarrassing moment — I guarantee that you’ll work harder the next time not to let it happen again. Even the bad interviews, I think, you learn from. They make you better.”