Matt Lauer Recreates Tom Cruise Interview, Doesn't Regret His Emotional Talk With Britney Spears
By Rachel McRady
Matt Lauer’s just living his life! The Today show anchor broached the subject of some of his most controversial celebrity interviews during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Thursday.
Host Cohen asked Lauer to recreate his now-infamous June 2005 interview with Tom Cruise about Scientology, psychiatry, and prescription medication, in the “Clubhouse Playhouse.”
“Can I just say before we do this, I like Tom Cruise. We have a good relationship, we have a good friendship. It was just one little moment,” Lauer prefaced the sketch, before slipping on a floppy brunette wig to play Cruise.
“Yes, and I’d like to relive that moment!” Cohen quipped.
Lauer still gave the performance his all, reading a partial script of the televised interview, even saying, “You are extremely handsome!” and “You are a great interviewer, you are a fantastic interviewer.”
“I think he got such a bum rap for that. And to be honest, he was a real mensch after that. He came and he apologized, we had a great time,” Lauer said after the fact.
He was later asked about his 2006 Dateline interview with Britney Spears before her 2007 meltdown. The caller asked if Lauer regretted the interview or if he would have changed anything in hindsight.
“I think the only part that was at all controversial was that she got very emotional. But keep in mind, it was taped,” Lauer explained. “We offered many opportunities to stop so that she could compose herself, but she wanted to keep going. She was really feeling extremely emotional about the hounding of the press and the paparazzi and how they were making her life miserable. I think I did my job, and I let her talk. If people didn’t think it went that well, I apologize, but I would do the same thing again.”