The Girl Next Door
Katie Holmes Talks Reinvention, Growing More Confident With Age and Ignoring the Internet: ''I Think It's an Ugly-Maker''
by Talia Weisner
Katie Holmes stuns—and surprises—again.
More Magazine's February cover girl not only reveals her nearly makeup-free self for all of us to admire. In the issue, on newsstands Jan. 26, she also talks reinvention; her feature directorial debut, All We Had, about a mother-daughter relationship; and her increasing desire to take risks.
It's a new year, after all, and it seems we can expect quite the variety of work on the actress' plate. "I feel more creative. I feel ready," Holmes says. When she was a teen actress, "I had no life experience. I felt, 'I don't have anything to bring. I don't know what it's like to be, say, really angry. I'm doing the best I can.'
"But with age I've gained confidence. I understand the kind of stories I want to tell. I have more experience in the business. I feel more certain."
And with the confidence comes an increased willingness to take more risks—creatively, at least!
I like to be around people who make me learn something. I gravitate toward people who are doing things I don't know how to do," Holmes continues in the interview. "[Being intimidated] is a waste of time. Just ask if you don't know something. Ask. You're probably going to make a mistake. Get over it … Some problems are never going to be solved. So dance them off, and you'll feel better."
Now that is a resolution we can get behind. And given Katie's confidence, we have zero doubts in the Ray Donovan star's ability to bring it behind the camera. I understand the kind of stories I want to tell," Holmes explains.
Asked about her experience directing herself (not to mention everyone else) in All We Had, she recalled, "[It] was like a marathon, but I didn't have time to second-guess myself. And it wasn't going to do anyone any good if I did. I stay calm. 'Oh, we only have one camera today? I thought we had two. OK, adjust.' It's similar to, 'We have no food at home, and you have to eat something soon. I have crackers in the bottom of my purse—that'll buy me 20 minutes.' Ha! You keep going, no matter what.'"
Holmes also talked about her experience playing a bipolar character in Touched With Fire, which is due in theaters Feb. 12.
"I gained a greater empathy for people who are struggling with mental illness," she said. "Before the movie, I'd hear something about it and think, 'Wow. But that's over there.' Unfortunately, we're quick to judge, especially in this day of social media and the Internet—which I think is an ugly-maker. Everybody looks ugly when they're on the Internet. But I wouldn't want to live a flat life, with no pain."
And Katie's far more interested in focusing on what's beautiful, especially the not-so-obvious gifts in life.
"You've got to keep going," added the mother of almost-10(!)-year-old Suri Cruise. "In every part of your life. Focus on the positive. Stay creative. Go to things that interest you. Do work that's fulfilling. Challenge yourself. What's amazing about the human spirit, there are so many people doing inspiring things. If you focus on that, it makes your life richer."
As for her personal life, Holmes, 37, admits she's not quite as advanced. The single mother has kept her dating life completely private since she split from Cruise.
"That's not something I want to answer ... [I don't] have a five or 10-year plan," she said of dating. "I feel like I'm still a teenager in a lot of ways. I do a lot of things I did then. I paint, I color. I cook sometimes. I still feel like a girl. I don't quite feel like a woman, maybe because I'm the baby of my family. I'll probably be 90 and feel like, 'Not a woman yet!' Ha!"