December 10, 2008 / 1:14 PM / in 9 years

Tom Cruise laughs about Oprah interview

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tom Cruise, publicly maligned for over-the-top behavior in two TV interviews, has admitted to People magazine he could have “handled things better” and even joked about his couch-jumping antics on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show.

<p>Cast member Tom Cruise attends the premiere of "Tropic Thunder" at the Mann's Village theatre in Westwood, California, August 11, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>

Cruise’s admission comes three years after he leapt onto a couch on Winfrey’s daytime chat show in front of millions of viewers and proclaimed his love for then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. In a separate incident, Cruise got into a testy exchange over psychiatry with Matt Lauer on “The Today Show.”

“I think I could have handled things better,” Cruise told the magazine in an interview for its December 22 issue.

Cruise called the incident on Winfrey’s show, “My year of jumping dangerously,” in a comedic reference to “The Year of Living Dangerously,” a novel turned into a 1982 movie.

The 46 year old stars in the upcoming film “Valkyrie,” which opens on December 25 and chronicles a failed German assassination attempt of Germany’s Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

<p>Actor Tom Cruise mocks his appearance on "The Opera Winfrey Show" by standing on the couch on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in Burbank, California, June 8, 2005. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello</p>

In recent years, the actor’s public image has taken hits from detractors over his vocal support for the Church of Scientology, whose adherents oppose psychiatry.

He called psychiatry “pseudo science” in his 2005 interview with Lauer, when the actor was asked about his public criticism of actress Brooke Shields over her use of medication to treat postpartum depression and reacted by calling Lauer “glib.”

On the Lauer interview, Cruise told People, “All I want is to help people. I could have communicated it in a way that was better, no question.”

People, with Cruise on the cover, features the actor in photos spanning his entire 25 years as a movie star, going back to the 1983 film “Risky Business.”

The photos show Cruise with his wife, Katie Holmes, their daughter, Suri, and his adopted children, Bella and Connor.

They also show images of actors with whom Cruise has co-starred, including Brad Pitt and the late Paul Newman, who died in September at age 83 after a battle with cancer.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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