June 23, 2005 08:25 AM

Tom Cruise, with his War of the Worlds director Steven Spielberg at his side, met the press in New York on Wednesday. As might be expected, his fiancée and his religion were hot topics of conversation, though, for once, Katie Holmes was nowhere in sight.

About halfway through the 45-minute Q&A session, Cruise was asked if he had set a wedding date.

“That’s great – 20 minutes went by before that question was asked,” responded Spielberg, laughing.

Replied Cruise: “We haven’t decided on the wedding yet. I don’t know.”

Another question for the star, about the alien adventure that he and Spielberg have made: “I was wondering what resonance that had with you as a Scientologist?”

After Cruise asked “In what way?” the journalist went on to say, “Well, in that some of Scientology deals with aliens on this planet.”

Cruise, demanding to know what paper the journalist represented (one in Boston), finally answered: “That’s not true. … It has no resonance whatsoever. There is absolutely no relation to that at all. If you are interested in Scientology, you should read Evolution of a Science. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that, but that will give you a greater understanding of Scientology.”

Cruise also batted aside assertions that his very public romance with Holmes might impact the movie’s performance at the box office. “I do my work, I live my life, and it’s never affected anything before.”

On a lighter note, in a studio statement Cruise announced that next Monday, two days before War of the Worlds opens to the American public, he will host a private screening for fans at Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

“I’m thrilled to be hosting this screening for the fans. I’ve received so much support from them over the years and it feels great to have the opportunity to share the movie with them personally,” says the statement, which adds that no tickets will be sold for the event and that hundreds of military guests and webmasters of fan sites (who have supported the film from the very beginning) have already been invited.

Other fans can win tickets to the event through radio giveaways.

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