NEW YORK - It took a few years, but Tom Cruise says he regrets the tongue-lashing he gave Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today" show the last time he was on. An apologetic Cruise returned to the morning program Monday to sit for his first interview with Lauer since criticizing Brooke Shields for taking anti-depressants in 2005.
"It's not what I had intended," Cruise said. "In looking at myself, I thought, `man, that came across as arrogant.' ... That's one of those things you go, OK, I could have absolutely handled that better."
That now-infamous conversation grew heated when the star told Lauer he was glib and didn't know about psychiatry.
Cruise, who has been a Scientologist for 25 years, agrees with the religion's long-running campaign against psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry.
But in hindsight, "I thought I didn't communicate it the way that I wanted to communicate it," the 46-year-old actor says of defending his controversial views in the interview. "And that's also - that's not who I am. ... That's not the person that I am."
Lauer also took a moment to clear something up: He and Cruise remained friendly following their TV debate.
"There was no animosity," Lauer said. "As a matter of fact, at the end of the interview, we got up and shook hands and put our (arms) around each other."
In October, Cruise made a surprise cameo at a Friar's Club roast of the "Today" show host. He joked that Lauer had given him some advice before his couch-jumping episode on Oprah Winfrey's talk show: "Go crazy. Trust me. Trust me. People will love you for it."
Cruise is making the rounds on talk-shows to promote his new movie, "Valkyrie."
He stars as a would-be assassin of Adolf Hitler in "Valkyrie," which is to be released Dec. 25.
NBC is owned by General Electric Co.
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