If you're Tom Cruise and the eyes of the world watch your every move — both personal and private — why would you step out with your new flame (in this case, Katie Holmes) in front of a sea of photographers at a European awards show?
It's simple, according to Cruise. "When I make a move like that, I'm saying, 'This is my woman.' "
In an exclusive interview with MTV News, Cruise talked in-depth about his relationship with the actress for the first time, calling her "exceptional, special and extraordinary."
"People are going to do what they are going to do," Cruise said. "Here's the thing: You can't think in terms of what are people going to do or say. [Stepping out with her publicly is] saying, 'I want to share my life with this woman; this woman is exceptional, she is special, she is extraordinary and I have great respect for her.' And it's saying, 'I got nothing to hide. I'm happy.' I'm happy, man ... she is something else."
Despite being perhaps the most recognizable movie star on the planet, Cruise has managed to keep his personal life relatively private. While his Hollywood colleagues are often grist for the paparazzi, Cruise (and, perhaps more importantly, his children) are rare tabloid fixtures. However, his high-profile relationships (first with Nicole Kidman and later with Penélope Cruz) have generated headlines, and Cruise's recent red-carpet walk with Holmes at Italy's equivalent of the Oscars sent the Hollywood media into a tailspin.
Cruise seems undaunted by the media glare, and also by the age difference between himself (he's 42) and the 26-year-old Holmes, who returns to theaters next month in "Batman Begins."
"I'm concerned about whether or not someone can keep up with me," Cruise said. "I got a fast life. I got a lot going on."
The exchange was part of an interview for an upcoming "All Eyes on Tom Cruise" special (premiering Saturday, June 11 at 3 p.m. ET/PT), but you can catch more from Cruise — including his thoughts on raising his children, working with Steven Spielberg on the upcoming "War of the Worlds" and what drew him to Scientology — right now on Overdrive, MTV's new broadband video channel.The exchange was part of an interview for an upcoming "All Eyes on Tom Cruise" special airing on June 11.
Visit Movies on MTV.com for more from Hollywood, including news, interviews, trailers and more.