We’ve heard Seth Rogen tell this story a dozen times. But it seems each time we learn something new — and this is no exception. Only this time it got a lot scarier…
The This Is The End star stopped by The Howard Stern Show on Monday to talk about his book of essays entitled Yearbook (available May 11). The book includes the anecdote about the first time he met Tom Cruise — something Howard Stern just had to know more about.
If you haven’t ever heard this wild tale before, it will all be new and amazing — if you have, make sure to stick around because he’s telling more than ever before… This was in the mid 2000s, when Seth was working with Judd Apatow on Knocked Up. Tom invited Judd to his house for a meeting about maybe doing a rom-com, and he brought his young star along.
But Rogen was early — and didn’t want to show up and be his awkward self without Judd there. He remembers:
“I was driving up to his house. I had to pee so bad. I was nervous to meet him anyway. I didn’t want to meet him and be like, ‘Hi, nice to meet you. Can I pee? Can I use your bathroom?’ It was going to be an awkward first interaction.”
Seth then describes the “really long snaking driveway leading to his house” which he was driving around, all the while dying having to pee. So he got inventive!
“I stopped halfway up the driveway, kind of in the woods, above Sunset Boulevard, and I peed in a Snapple bottle in my car. And then I sealed the bottle and left it there.”
Did anyone see him? He didn’t think so at the time, but…
“As I was leaving the meeting, I was snaking back down the driveway and, as I was passing the exact spot that I peed in, I noticed a red light in the woods. And there was a security camera literally pointed exactly at where I was peeing.”
The Long Shot star joked the tape of him peeing was probably in “Tom Cruise’s blackmail” file somewhere. While that may have been the most personally mortifying moment, that little red light was not the scariest thing Seth was faced with that day.
The meeting started off friendly enough. The producer — who was only around 23 years old at the time — even got to meet Katie Holmes and hold baby Suri Cruise, something that felt supremely surreal even then!
“There was this very weird period, where he had had his child, but no one had seen his child and there was genuine speculation as to whether the child was real… I remember meeting this baby, being like, ‘This poor baby doesn’t know she’s like the most talked about person on the planet.’ Which is a lot of pressure.”
It turns out all the negative media attention, the Tom Cruise “mania” as Seth puts it, was the reason for the meeting. As Seth understood it, the Vanilla Sky star was talking to likable, funny folks in a search for ways to rehabilitate his image. Hours into this meeting, Tom finally broached the subject of “how weird” he had “looked in the press lately.” But he didn’t blame missteps like his classic Oprah couch-jumping moment. He thought it was a conspiracy!
“He said, ‘I think the pharmaceutical industry is making me look bad.’”
Um, whut?? Seth thought that was “an odd conjecture to make” and “was a surprising thing to hear” even from Tom at this “bizarre” time. The Neighbors star did not know what to do as the “very loaded moment” continued:
“I’ll never forget the wording he used… ‘It’s like with Scientology,’ he said, ‘If you let me just tell you what it was really about… just give me like 20 minutes to, like, really just tell you what it was about, you would say, ‘No f**king way. No f**king way.’”
Based on what we’ve heard Scientology is really all about, we’d have to agree! LOLz! How did Seth respond? Not that well, probably:
“The wording, I was like, ‘Is that a good thing to be saying?’”
Ha! He and Judd looked at each other trying to figure out how to respond. A million things ran through Seth’s mind as it became clear they were about to be pitched on Scientology by its poster boy:
“Is he gonna bite? Am I gonna bite? Can we come out of this? Are we strong enough to have him do this to us and not be converted? I don’t know if I am. I’m generally a weak-willed, weak-minded person. I would assume on the grand scale of people, if they got , what chance do I have?”
That seems like a good point, actually. Thankfully, Seth says, he “dodged that bullet” thanks to his col-headed director:
“Thank god Judd was like, ‘Eh, I think we’re good. Let’s just talk about movies and stuff.’”
Seth says listening to Tom Cruise tell him all about Scientology was actually really “tempting” — which, we have to say, we totally agree — but that he genuinely doesn’t know if he would have gotten out without being converted:
“If I was there alone, I would be singing a very different tune right now.”
Do YOU think Seth Rogen could have become a Scientologist? We don’t know, he seems very level-headed to us, but maybe that’s more these days than the Knocked Up years. Still, great to finally hear the most exciting part of that meeting story!
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