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It's been a busy month for movie star Tom Cruise. Hopping around the world doing advance publicity for his summer blockbuster film, War of the Worlds, Cruise has found himself the subject of intense media scrutiny. For starters, there's the 42-year-old's whirlwind romance with the 26-year-old Katie Holmes, a former television actress who plays the love interest in one of the summer's other big-budget action films, Batman Begins. Although the couple has been together only since April, Cruise popped the question to Holmes on top of the Eiffel Tower mere days before War of the Worlds opened to the biggest-ever box-office weekend for one of the actor's films, leading many to speculate that the Cruise-Holmes romance was as much a marketing stunt as a love affair. And throughout the lead-up to his film's release, Cruise has been forced to gingerly confront questions about his ardent beliefs in Scientology, based on the writings of science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, which would seemingly clash with the alien-invasion story at the center of War of the Worlds. Are you an apologist for Tom Cruise? Take our quiz and find out!
1) The Steven Spielberg-directed War of the Worlds opened to huge lines at the box office, raking in more than $200 million around the world in its first 12 days. Do you think the movie's success has solidified Tom Cruise as America's No. 1 movie star?
A) Yes. But more important, it's solidified him as America's No. 1 crazy movie star.
B) I'm sorry, but that honor still belongs to one Mr. Travolta. (Bonus point for adding: "As long as it's a Scientologist.")
C) Absolutely. Now is finally the time for him to make Legend 2.
2) Among Cruise's several public appearances over the past couple of months while promoting War of the Worlds, none was more dramatic than his guest spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show, in which he giddily declared his love for Holmes, detailed the history of their love affair, and eventually brought her out from backstage. "I'm glad I was a big dreamer," she told the audience. What, to you, was the most memorable moment of Cruise's appearance?
A) All that jumping around on the couch while describing Holmes. Tom, she was on Dawson's Creek, for God's sake. The rest of America fell out of love with her years ago.
B) When he told us he covered their Rome hotel room in rose petals. Surely he has people to do that for him, right?
C) Are you kidding? There is no TV moment more magical than an Oprah-Tom high-five.
3) Although their romance has been heavily criticized as a marketing ploy, Cruise and Holmes insist they plan to tie the knot. How long do you think the love affair between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will last?
A) Um ... when does War of the Worlds hit DVD?
B) I predict it will last longer than Jennifer & Ben but shorter than Jen & Brad; maybe about the same time as Tom & Penelope. Also, I'm everything that's wrong with society.
C) Eternity. (Bonus point for adding: "Like her, I've been brainwashed.")
4) An interview with the Today Show's Matt Lauer became quite heated when the discussion turned to anti-depressants, specifically those employed by actress Brooke Shields in her fight against postpartum depression, which Cruise has publicly ridiculed in accordance with his Scientologist beliefs (which do not embrace psychiatry or drugs). Among Cruise's comments to Lauer: "You don't understand the history of psychiatry. I do. ... There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance." Given the long history of animosity between psychiatrists and Scientologists, what do you make of Cruise's statements?
A) Well, gosh, I'd like to suggest that maybe there issuch a thing as a chemical imbalance, Mr. Cruise.
B) Look, Tom Cruise knows the history of psychiatry, and nobody else does. Is that so crazy?
C) I'm just glad someone has the courage to speak out against a genuine wrong in this society, an insidious force that for too long has corrupted our nation's youth, mothers, and husbands: Brooke Shields.
5) In interviews promoting War of the Worlds, Cruise has mentioned that the Scientologists run the "only successful drug rehab program in the world," an organization called Narconon. Although the group has made several presentations to students in the San Francisco Unified School District, most medical professionals have dismissed Narconon's message as dangerous pseudo-science. Do you agree with Cruise's assessment that the Scientologists' rehab program is the world's best?
A) I agree with former Surgeon General C. Everett Coop: "I don't think L. Ron Hubbard has credibility in the scientific world. The author's suggestions about detoxification can be detrimental to your health."
B) Look, I don't really wanna say anything one way or the other. Scientologists can be a wee bittouchy when you ask them to explain their beliefs.
C) Well, it depends on how you define "drug," "program," "rehab," "best," and "world."
6) At several press conferences in advance of War of the Worlds, reporters asked Cruise how he reconciles his Scientology beliefs with the alien invasion that forms the centerpiece of the film. Although the actor generally deflected questions of that nature, the question remains: How can Cruise make and promote a film that tells an invasion story at odds with Scientology's back story about how the world and the human mind were created?