Paul Haggis on his interest in Scientology and defending his friends
Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis may be one of the most famous ex-Scientologists, but the controversial faith still interests him.
It's part of the reason why he was eager to watch The Master, he told CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos.
Haggis also noted that its director Paul Thomas Anderson, who drew inspiration from the tale of Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard, "is a brilliant filmmaker."
The Canadian activist, writer and director behind Crash, Million Dollar Baby and the upcoming Third Person has made headlines for speaking out against the Church of Scientology. In September, Vanity Fair released an article that alleged the organization had "auditioned" an actress named Nazanin Boniadi (then a devoted Scientologist) to be actor Tom Cruise's girlfriend.
Haggis was pulled into the controversy when he blasted the church for its treatment of Boniadi, a friend of his.
"I don’t like bullies and I felt this woman was being bullied. She was being called a liar publicly. She’s a friend of mine and I felt I should stand up for her. People should stand up for their friends," he told George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight in an interview recorded in the fall.
Haggis talks to Stroumboulopoulos about Scientology and gives an update on his charity group Artists for Peace and Justice, which is working on recovery and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. The interview airs Monday night on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.