Katie Holmes gets a tough question from Today's Matt Lauer, referring to his 2005 interview about drugs and psychiatry with ex-husband Tom Cruise. (Photo: ScreenCap)

Katie Holmes gets a tough question from Today’s Matt Lauer, referring to his 2005 interview about drugs and psychiatry with ex-husband Tom Cruise. (Photo: ScreenCap)

Katie Holmes appeared on the “Today” show this morning to talk about her new film “Touched With Fire,” but Matt Lauer deftly worked in a real hardball question–indirectly, of course–about ex-husband Tom Cruise’s Scientology beliefs about drugs.

Matt has never been known as a tough guy when it comes to celebrity interviews. He’s the king of the softball question.

But in at least two recent celebrity interviews both Matt and co-host Savannah Guthrie practically came across as real journalists. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a trend.

It happened last week when former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared on the show to ostensibly talk about the Iowa Caucuses and tangentially her endorsement of Donald Trump.

Guthrie asked her about the controversy involving her son Track. He was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend and brandishing an assault rifle.

Palin protested, claiming that she’d been “promised” her family would not be part of the discussion. But Matt had Guthrie’s back. He stepped in and assured viewers no such promise had been made.

Of course, Palin is nothing if not a media punching bag, so hitting her with a tough question really didn’t count for all that much. But today, Matt was back at it with a celebrity guest!

In “Touched with Fire,” Katie plays a poet struggling with bipolar disorder, who is taking drugs to ease her mood swings. Matt asked her what she thought about the role drugs can play in treating psychological disorders.

“It asks the question, is it beneficial to treat these people with drugs? You and I both remember a heated discussion I got into on that subject in this studio.”

Matt was obviously referring to his interview with Cruise in 2005.

At the time, Lauer brought up Brooke Shield’s use and promotion of Ritalin to treat her postpartum depression. Cruise exploded at the thought.

He called Lauer “glib,” irresponsible and uneducated about the topic. In keeping with Scientology’s teachings, he rejected the idea of using drugs and called psychiatry a “pseudo-science.”

Ironically, Holmes was standing off-stage at the time, watching the whole exchange.

Of course, on today’s show, Katie deftly sidestepped the issue. She said the movie allows “the audience to make that decision.”

Matt may have left her off the hook a tad too easily, but give the guy credit for having the courage to ask a tough question. Matt may have some balls after all.

Check out today’s interview below and Matt’s (hey, he had hair!) confrontation with Cruise from 2005. Let is know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest celebrity news.