Katie Holmes may have fallen for it, but Tom Cruise’s sci-fi seduction technique scared the bejeezus out of Scarlett Johansson, a source close to the actress says. Weeks before he began wooing his brainwashed bride-to-be, Cruise made repeated phone calls to the 19-year-old starlet—who was then set to co-star with him in Mission Impossible III—imploring her to meet him at the Scientology Celebrity Center in L.A. But when the actress finally agreed, the supposedly professional get-together took an oddly spiritual turn. “[Cruise] took me into this room, which was stifling hot, and was showing me all kinds of info about joining the church,” Johansson told our source. “The whole time he didn’t even offer me a cookie!” Instead, he offered her dinner—and a glimpse into the Twilight Zone.
After two hours of proselytizing, our source says Cruise opened a door to reveal a second room full of upper-level Scientologists who had been waiting to dine with the pair, at which point the cool-headed ingenue politely excused herself. Soon after the meeting, Johansson dropped out of Mission Impossible III, reportedly due to scheduling conflicts. Asked about the incident, Johansson’s momager, Melanie Johansson, referred Radar to a publicist, who did not return calls or emails seeking comment. After striking out with Johansson, Cruise reportedly turned his attentions to 24-year-old Jessica Alba, 22-year-old Kate Bosworth, and 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan, before settling on the 26-year-old Holmes. As far we know, Cruise’s War of the Worlds co-star, Dakota Fanning, was never under consideration.