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Watch: Please Stop Asking Paul Thomas Anderson If Tom Cruise Has Seen 'The Master'

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 6, 2012 2:40 PM
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The Master Paul Thomas Anderson Joaquin Phoenix

The press and publicity tour for a movie can be a grind for anybody, as actors and directors must remain fresh and upbeat, even as they must answer the same, usually mundane questions from every outlet on the planet. But again, talent are usually more than champs and good sports, and are gracious and patient even if it means answering "How did you get involved with this project" for the 29th time. But sometimes, enough is enough.

Ever since the film made its official premiere at the Venice Film Festival (after some sneak screenings in the United States), Paul Thomas Anderson has gamely done the rounds for "The Master," where the repeated question in almost every interview has been whether or not actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise has seen the movie (which he was already reported to have watched in the spring) and what his reaction was. Anderson has been gentlemanly about keeping Cruise's comments private, but his tolerance reached a boil with Angela Davis on Network 10 in Australia.

And while some might perceive Anderson as perhaps flying a bit too easily off the handle, one would think that a basic bit of research would reveal that the question is a dead end for the director and it's probably best to delve into other subjects. And really, by this point the Scientology "narrative" of "The Master" has been talked into the ground, and the movie tackles much broader themes outside of its cult setting as any glance of reviews would reveal. Anyway, judge for youself below and check out a new international poster for the film as well via IMPA.

The Master Poster
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  • nightgoat72 | January 17, 2013 9:17 PMReply

    People calling PTA an asshole just mystifies me. He's the nicest, most down-to-earth guy. I've actually met him, and he was really, really cool and genuine. He seems genuinely appreciative that people like his work. His response in this situation was totally justified, and he wasn't even rude about it. He called her out on her tasteless interviewing and let her know where the boundaries are.

  • Alan | December 8, 2012 8:29 PMReply

    PTA is interesting because there always seems to be something dickish about him, even when he is kinda right. The stories around his first film suggest that he has an entitlement problem, and his cocaine use is documented. (Moreover, he wished cancer upon David Fincher). Bishop's a moron (and some of the other Australian interviewers asked stupid questions, too), but I struggle to understand why HAS TO answer these concerns with upmost venom. He's trying to market his own film: is it THAT hard for him to answer these questions with courtesy?

  • Alan | December 9, 2012 6:59 PM

    The stories about Hard Eight are addressed in 'Rebels on the Backlot'. Anderson had a lot of knowledge about film technique going into that film, but not a lot of practical experience. He says that he probably didn't handle the producers as best he could have.

  • d | December 9, 2012 6:41 PM

    @Sean, if i remember right he was offended by the depiction of the cancer support group in FIGHT CLUB, so he wished it upon Fincher. This was a while ago. I think he sent him an apology afterward.

  • SEAN | December 9, 2012 4:11 PM

    WAIT WHAT?!??!!? PTA wished David Fincher cancer.........????? Why the hell would he say that....? That has to be a joke right......

  • ey7 | December 8, 2012 10:15 PM

    What stories about his first film are you referring to? I've only ever heard Reilly and Hall say the nicest stuff about him and the making of the picture. The only problems ever mentioned are those with the financiers

  • Chopsocky Hillbilly | December 8, 2012 6:31 PMReply

    The arrogance of interviewers never ceases to amaze..."well, my viewers don't [know the answer]." She got served and deserved every bit of salted phlegm on that spoon.

  • Carson Wells | December 9, 2012 10:29 PM

    I like PTA but I'm going to side with the interviewer. Whether she knew the answer or not is irrelevant. Interviews are always for the benefit of the viewers/listeners/readers. A good interviewer asks the questions the audience are going to be interested in - and let's face it, we were all interested in the answer to that question when we first heard it.

  • AE | December 7, 2012 4:48 PMReply

    All the scientology talk was a ruse, more than anything the cult in the film resembled Lee Strasberg's method, there's an emotional memory scene and the disagreement that fractured The Cause between imagined truth and real truth is the same split that happened with The Method. I'm not surprised he's had enough of being questioned about Cruise, it sums up the general misunderstanding and confusion that's greeted the film.

  • Janey | December 15, 2012 7:48 AM


    Because they're friends and colleagues.

  • brijazz | December 7, 2012 9:39 PM

    If the film truly has nothing to do with Scientology, I wonder why he bothered screening it for Tom Cruise then?

  • anguanop | December 7, 2012 11:01 AMReply

    Ha ha. Well as usual the title of the article is much more exciting than the content! Good for him. More people should stand their ground like that.

  • Kevin | December 7, 2012 12:30 AMReply

    In 30 seconds PTA just became the hero of anyone who has ever had to do an interview ever. Also he didn't even get mad at all he was even kind of smiling as he said it

  • Jack | December 7, 2012 12:29 AMReply

    Poor guy. He puts in the time to write 200 pages of original material and then spends years getting it made and making the flick all for people to just dismiss it as "that scientology picture", and when his years of hard work finally pay off all these people do it ask him questions and questions about Tom Cruise?

  • TACE | December 6, 2012 7:03 PMReply

    Angela Bishop is probably one of the worst interviewers in Australia. So many of her questions are groan-inducing and make me embarrassed to be in the same country.

  • cirkusfolk | December 6, 2012 5:56 PMReply

    I thought he was more than polite in his response. Given the headline I thought it was going to be more volitial than that. PTA is super cool.

  • dudeabides | December 6, 2012 3:57 PMReply

    saw this a while ago...freakin hilarious! PTA is the man

  • Another Tom | December 6, 2012 3:16 PMReply

    That clip was cut to make PTA seem like an asshole but I think Bishop is the asshole here. PTA is the man!

  • Rich | December 6, 2012 3:11 PMReply

    Good for him. If you're going to interview someone, probably best to check what questions to avoid.

  • bohmer | December 6, 2012 3:10 PMReply

    I love this man, he's genuine.

  • Tom | December 6, 2012 2:54 PMReply

    is it possible to like this guy any more than I already do? seems like a perfectly fine response at this stage in the game. also, that poster is better than the domestic one sheet in my opinion.

  • Agamemnon Sails | December 7, 2012 4:02 PM

    That poster is effin awesome.

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