Like most rational human beings, we were initially quite horrified when we read the details, per Vanity Fair, of the supposed spouse recruitment that the Church of Scientology arranged for Tom Cruise back in 2004. According to the October cover story, after several young actresses/Scientology members submitted audition tapes for what they thought was a film project, Iranian-born and London-raised Nazanin Boniadi “won” the role. She lost the part after three month, the story says. Her friend, the director and former Scientologist (and infamous Scientology critic) Paul Haggis confirmed the relationship to Showbiz411, telling the site, “Naz was embarrassed by her unwitting involvement in this incident and never wanted it to come out, so I kept silent. … However I was deeply disturbed by how the highest ranking members of a church could so easily justify using one of their members; how they so callously punished her and then so effectively silenced her when it was done. It wasn’t just the threats; they actually made her feel ashamed, when all she had been was human and trusting.”
So, OK, the church allegedly violated her privacy, made her break up with her old boyfriend, treated her like a disobedient child when she displeased Cruise and punished her for confiding in her friend about the relationship by making her scrub toilets with a toothbrush. But we’re going to play devil’s advocate for a second here: There had to be something that made this all worth it, right? Something that made Katie Holmes stick around for years? We just want to take a second to dissect the possible reasons a person might put herself through such a process. (And btw, the Church of Scientology and Tom Cruise’s camp deny all of the VF story’s allegations).
- You get to date a major Hollywood movie star, on whom you probably had a crush at one or more times during your girlhood. Even if there’s no true love involved, thousands of years of successful royal marriages prove that this kind of match isn’t the worst thing in the world.
- You can probably expect to become famous in the process. Or, in Katie’s case, more famous than a teen drama would ever make you. (This kind of didn’t work for Nazanin, who was kept hidden.)