Tom Cruise and Rosie O’Donnell get along great… as long as they avoid one topic. In a recent interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show, O’Donnell was asked about her lengthy friendship with the Mission: Impossible star. While they aren’t super close, the two have known each other for 25 years, and the comedian spoke fondly about him. But, O’Donnell also shared her thoughts on Scientology, which is Cruise’s religion, and she didn’t mince words. Read on to see what O’Donnell had to say about her meaningful connection with Cruise and about his controversial religion.
When O’Donnell hosted The Rosie O’Donnell Show from 1996 to 2002, she often talked about her crush on Cruise. The star also made a few appearances on the show over the years where they would joke about her feelings for him. He even took part in the finale episode with a bit where he mowed her lawn and said, “Rosie, I cut your grass, and here is your lemonade.”
While appearing on The Jess Cagle Show, O’Donnell was asked whether her “crush on Tom Cruise abated or become deeper and more profound over time?” The 59-year-old explained that they are still in touch. “He is the only person who never misses my birthday,” she said. “In knowing him for 25 years now, he has never missed my birthday or an event in my life.”
She continued, “Like I know people think in Hollywood and celebrity, everybody knows each other, but I know him in the way that I did in that time 25 years ago. But every year, I think what a classy guy he is that he never has forgotten my birthday. A lot of people say to me, it’s just his secretary, but I don’t believe that. I think he knows in early March, ‘Oh, it’s Rosie’s birthday coming up.’ And he sends me something every single year for 25 years. I love Tom Cruise and I will always love Tom Cruise.”
But while Cruise is sure to send O’Donnell a birthday gift every year, they aren’t close enough friends to discuss certain personal topics. “Now, I don’t know him enough to go, ‘Hey, Tommy, it’s Ro, the Scientology thing can we chat?’ Like, that’s not my relationship with Tom Cruise,” she said. “I don’t have his home phone number.”
O’Donnell also shared her strong opinion on Scientology, of which Cruise is the most famous member. “I do not understand, uh, you know, the Scientology religion,” she said in the interview. “I think it’s a cult and it’s scary. And I think Leah Remini is a hero for doing what she’s done.” (In her memoir and on her docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the former member shares claims about the alleged abusive practices of the organization.)
In an interview with Andy Cohen‘s Radio Andy in 2019, O’Donnell sad that Scientology “was like a creepy, bad mafia” and that she was concerned for her friend.
“Since seeing all the documentaries, it does make me worry about [Cruise] and his life,” O’Donnell said. But, she added, “He’s never brought it up to me. We’ve never spoken about it. He keeps it very private. It’s not like he tries to convert people.”
At least one other celebrity would disagree with her. Seth Rogen recently claimed that Cruise tried to talk up Scientology to him in a business meeting.
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O’Donnell isn’t the only famous friend Cruise remembers on their birthday and during the holiday season. In December 2020, Yahoo! reported that for 10 years, Cruise has sent the White Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake from Doan’s Bakery to famous friends for the holidays. Celebrities who have raved about the cake include Cruise’s Interview With the Vampire co-star Kirsten Dunst, Mission: Impossible – Fallout co-star Henry Cavill, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back co-star Cobie Smulders, and talk show host Jimmy Fallon.
O’Donnell posted about the cake on Instagram last year. In December 2020, she shared a photo of the cake wrapped in a gold box and captioned it, “christmas is here when tommy’s gift shows up #holidayseason.”