When asked if there was an interview he would want to erase or redo, he told host Andy Cohen, "I probably would do over the Tom Cruise interview because I’ve thought of so many things I would have said in hindsight."
During Lauer's discussion with Cruise, he questioned the actor about his earlier criticism of Brooke Shields taking anti-depressants. The actress said she took the medication for her postpartum depression, but as a Scientologist, Cruise does not believe in drug use to help with such a condition.
"You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do," Cruise told Lauer. At one point in the interview, the Mission: Impossible star accused the anchor of being "glib."
Lauer told Cohen that it was at that moment that he thought, "Can I take him in a wrestling match? Could I tackle him on the set?"
Lauer said he did have a takeaway from the awkward encounter. "Even the bad interviews I think you learn from. They make you better," he said. "If you have a bad experience on the air, you don't think you've done your job or you have an embarrassing moment. I guarantee you'll work harder the next time not to let it happen again."
The morning show host also revealed how he managed to land the first interview with Charlie Sheen about his HIV diagnosis. "I had heard rumors about Charlie's diagnosis a couple of weeks before the news broke and I reached out to him," Lauer explained. "He's someone I know through other interviews and kind of confirmed it that way. It all came together pretty quickly once I contacted him."