Tom Cruise is steadfast in his faith.
In recent years, a wave of critical documentaries focusing on Scientology has raised questions about the religion. But Cruise, one of the Church's most famous members, would rather focus on the positive aspects of the organization. "It's something that has helped me incredibly in my life. I've been a Scientologist for over 30 years. It's something that is, you know...without it, I wouldn't be where I am," the actor admitted. "So, it's a beautiful religion. I'm incredibly proud."
ITV asked Cruise about his beliefs at the London premiere of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back last week. Lucrezia Millarini had inquired about Louis Theroux's documentary, My Scientology Movie (set for release in 2017), but Cruise opted to speak about his faith in general. The interview later went viral, as it had been a while since he'd spoken publicly about Scientology.
Of course, talking about his faith has always been tricky for Cruise.
"What's interesting is, if I don't talk about my religion, if I say I'm not discussing it or different humanitarian things I'm working on, they're like, 'He's avoiding it.' If I do talk about it, it becomes, 'Oh, he's proselytizing,'" he explained to Playboy in 2012. "...When I'm promoting a film, I'm not going to get caught up in anything else, and that includes all my personal things."
The bottom line? "When I'm promoting a film," Cruise explained, "I'm there to promote a film."
"I have respect for what other people believe. What I believe in my own life is that it's a search for how I can do things better, whether it's being a better man or a better father or finding ways for myself to improve. Individuals have to decide what is true and real for them. I'm fortunate in the life I have...I've gotten to travel to different places all over the world, to see the commonality of the human experience," Cruise said. "It's something I look for. Whether it's in Canada, France, India or Russia, even though people have different color skin and they believe in different things, there is a commonality of the human experience that is very real for me."
"I try to look to the future and look at life in a way that, no matter how tough something can be, I don't go in blindly but step back and try to understand it. To me, that's the search," he added. "It applies to racing cars and to playing different characters. There has to be a level of understanding. I hope that answers your question. That's what I want, and the search never ends. You always have a choice. You can let something overwhelm you, or you can take one step at a time and figure it out. Because life is problems. We've all got problems. We like problems. Do you know what I mean? And getting to that place where you ask how you can solve these problems to better handle life and survive, that is the place I want to be in my life."