What happens when a Hollywood star spouts off about religion?
If it's ultimate A-lister Tom Cruise, who has been outspoken about his Scientology beliefs while promoting War of the Worlds, the fallout -- at least at the box office -- appears negligible.
The potential for permanent fan alienation has made religion, like politics, long a taboo topic for most celebrities to publicly schmooze about. Yet with early success -- War of the Worlds has taken in $113.3 million in North America since its debut Wednesday -- it looks as if the sci-fi film is on Cruise control, and moviegoers are seemingly shrugging off his rants on religion, psychiatry and postpartum depression as well as his couch-hopping for his new fiancee, Katie Holmes...
"To divert attention from the product you're promoting is a mistake," he says. "The confusion here is Tom is promoting War of the Worlds. He's diverting attention to Scientology and his personal life."
Still, Cruise, one of the world's biggest stars, is immune to fallout, at least for now, Sunshine says.
"He spent a long time building up this iconic status. It would take a lot more than the episodes of the past few weeks to hinder him."
Shared enthusiasm: Tom Cruise has said Katie Holmes, who was raised a Catholic, "digs" Scientology.
From: "Religious Affiliations of Celebrities" page in "Celebrity Religion" section of "Religion Facts" website (http://www.religionfacts.com/celebrities/religions_of_celebrities.htm; viewed 20 April 2007):
Below is an index of the religious affiliations or belief systems of celebrities (both living and dead; in film, television, music, literature, academics and politics), listed in alphabetical order by last name...
Celebrity: Katie Holmes
Quotes, More Information, Sources:
Raised a Roman Catholic, the new Mrs. Cruise has been studying Scientology. Cruise told Entertainment Weekly, "She digs it." - ABCNews.com [link to: http://abcnews.go.com/US/popup?id=884952]