Jerry O'Connell, Tom Cruise

Walter McBride/Getty Images: Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage

Jerry O'Connell is still feeling the effects of a joke he made in 2008.

In a controversial sketch for Funny or Die, O'Connell poked fun at Scientology and one of it's main members, Tom Cruise, and found himself scared to run into the actor as soon as it made went public as he impersonated the Mission: Impossible star throughout the skit.

"I saw [Cruise] at one event, and I hid," O'Connell explained Tuesday in an interview with Allegedly With Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss. "I had to be at the event. I hid for as long as I could. When it was time to disperse, I literally was the first at valet."

Looking back O'Connell thinks he went too far, and even though it has been nearly eight years, he still is "sort of avoiding him."

"I don't think there will be a confrontation, but it's just, why poke that bear? It was rude what I did," he added.

He also opened up on the podcast about his experience with Scientology, saying that while he got drunk at a party with the group one time, it just wasn't an environment he could see himself being part of permanently.

"Scientology is a weird place. I'm 41. I don't know if Scientology is right in my wheelhouse," he explained. "I think if you're younger today it's not that big a deal."

O'Connell said he had friends who joined and confessed to being tempted into joining once. "There's no rules about drinking or not in Scientology. Those people party," O'Connell recalled of a party years ago that ended in a visit to the Celebrity Center.

"Everyone was walking in the gates, and you're sort of drunkenly stumbling and you're happy to not have to drive anywhere," he continued. "A group of them all went in. I was with my brother, and he was like, 'Oh no, we can't do this,' and they were like, 'Come in. Don't be lame!'"

"That's how they get you."

Actress Leah Remini once belonged to Scientology but has since left the organization. She is sitting down with 20/20 to talk candidly about the church environment, but in a sneak peek she opens up about how talking badly about Cruise has consequences.

"Being critical of Tom Cruise is being critical of scientology itself. You are evil," she alleged. ABC News' Dan Harris goes on to ask, "If you knew Tom Cruise was watching this, what would you say to him?"

The full interview is expected to air Friday night at 10 p.m. on ABC.

To hear more about Remini's Scientology tell-all, watch the video.

  • Share
  • Tweet

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.