K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door
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Exclusive! Katie Holmes Talks!

Right now she’s loving her career, ignoring the tabloids and grateful that her husband (Tom Cruise—heard of him?) can cook. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be Katie Holmes, listen in.

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Glamour
March 2, 2009
by Sheila Weller

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You know the image of the Katie Holmes we always see on the red carpet: hair over one eye, tall and slim, wearing couture and looking very Posh Spice? Well, scratch that. The Katie Holmes who bounds into the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel looks more "Dawson’s Creek" than Fashion Week. Not a smidge of makeup, short hair tucked behind her ears, gray cardigan over white blouse, fitted black trousers.

Not to say she’s the same Joey Potter we fell in love with more than 10 years ago. Having effortlessly morphed from a girl from a big Ohio family into the globe-hopping wife of the planet’s hugest star, Tom Cruise, she’s on a tear workwise: The actress recently finished a Broadway run of Arthur Miller’s "All My Sons"—never missing a performance, scoring good reviews—and is about to start filming the comedy "The Extra Man," with Kevin Kline. Quickly, Katie is on her way to becoming an American icon, for her gracious working-mom flair—and, OK, for her clothes (she stars in a Miu Miu campaign and is trying her hand at designing, too).

When we meet, the lounge is bustling with deal makers (it’s Grammys week). But despite the distractions and BlackBerry texts from Tom as he flies back from Mexico (“He’s still on the plane,” says Katie), the usually very private half of arguably America’s most-tabloided-to-death couple settles right in and opens up.

GLAMOUR: So Katie, this is Glamour’s seventieth- anniversary issue, and we’re celebrating important American women. But I’d like to know, who are your icons?

KATIE HOLMES: Growing up, I always had my dreams set on being an actor, so I looked up to Julia Roberts, Audrey Hepburn. I also look up to Kate Winslet and Renée [Zellweger] and Cate Blanchett…and Diane Keaton—she’s a genius. I think it’s very inspiring to see these women attack such complex roles.

GLAMOUR: What about friends and family?

KH: I don’t know how my mom did it, raising all five of us. I have three sisters and three sisters-in-law; I have learned from them. I’m inspired by them.

GLAMOUR: You once said that your mother told you, of her life as a mom, “I didn’t sleep for 15 years.”

KH: I don’t know if she’s even getting any sleep now! My sisters and brother and I call her: “Mom, what do you think of this?” “Mom, what do I do?”

GLAMOUR: Still, you’ve come into your own. In a recent interview you said, “I’m a bit wiser.” How?

KH: Well, becoming a mother has been the most amazing experience—in an instant you become strong. You have to be a little bit wiser; it’s the most important job in the world.

GLAMOUR: Did it scare you at all? The responsibility?

KH: Of course. During the first couple of days [with Suri], we would just sleep right next to her to make sure she was breathing. And I was constantly learning on the job, but Tom was very helpful and supportive.

GLAMOUR: You are very protective of your family. You’ve said a couple of times [in response to various rumors about her relationship with Cruise, a practicing Scientologist, and speculation that Suri didn’t exist] that all of the gossip is “not OK.”

KH: Some of the stuff [people said] was such absolutely horrible things to say about a child. It was so uncalled for and so disgusting. Enough is enough.

GLAMOUR: Did Tom ever say, “Don’t worry about it” [since he was more used to media scrutiny]?

KH: Yes. We were changing diapers. He said, “I don’t want you to get upset.” And I said, “Well, I am upset.” So we approached it together. But I definitely felt like—as a woman, as the mother of Suri—I want to handle this! My mom is very strong, and if anyone ever said anything about any of us, she would be, “Excuse me? That’s my family!”

GLAMOUR: As you know, the rumor right now is that you are pregnant!

KH: Well, I’m not pregnant right now.

GLAMOUR: The people who print stuff like that…if you could say something to them, what would it be?

KH: Sometimes I think I would say, “Why don’t you come over and have dinner? See what there is to see.”

GLAMOUR: And what would they see? What’s a day in the life of Katie, Tom and Suri?

KH: We’re all together. We like to be together, so we use the house for our [business] meetings. [We] play Yahtzee, board games, Scrabble. We grill; have pool parties. We play “The Three Little Pigs” and Suri is the Big Bad Wolf. [Tom] reads storybooks to Suri, and we all laugh. When a good song comes on, he’ll break out in a dance. We’ll watch movies in bed—recently "Madagascar" and "Cinderella," for Suri. We really have a good time.

GLAMOUR: Who cooks? You or Tom?

KH: I don’t really cook that much—eventually I will. I do make cupcakes. And [Tom] makes his pasta carbonara for me. He knows exactly how to do it: a pinch of this, a pinch of that. He has a recipe, but he also kind of [improvises] by himself. You have to do the egg at a certain time. He did it once when we were camping.

GLAMOUR: The media’s had this perception that you were going to be overwhelmed by Tom’s life. Did you ever think that perception was off or did you just not pay attention to it?

KH: From an early age I knew that I wanted to be in this business. So I did everything I could to get here, and when I met Tom, I knew in an instant that we were going to be together, that we were going to get married. He does have a very big life. And you know, we just do it. And, as a woman, you make that transition from being single to [being] a partner. I have a teammate, and it’s like, we’re going to make this work.

GLAMOUR: There’s a 16-year age difference between you and Tom. But it seems to not be a big deal…

KH: It was never a concern. I know one would think, Now, how is that? But really, we both like to work, we both like our families. It’s being there, being supportive, being an ear. It’s not so much, “Do you think I should do this?” It’s “What do you think of it?”

GLAMOUR: What would you tell our readers about what your husband’s really like?

KH: He loves women; he was raised with sisters. He’s strong and intelligent and very, very funny. For my thirtieth birthday he couldn’t be in New York [where she was doing her play]. So he organized the whole audience at that show to sing “Happy Birthday” to me, and then he had a cake rolled out on the stage. But he’s not a dreamer—he just does it. He’ll say, “I think I like that movie,” and the next day, “I’m going to make that movie!”

GLAMOUR: You knew you wanted to marry Tom when you were a little girl, right?

KH: Yes. When Top Gun came out, my sisters were like, “Oh, my God, "Top Gun"! Tom Cruise!” And I very confidently said, “I’m going to marry him one day.” It wasn’t like, How do I get to Tom Cruise? It was just: I think I’m going to marry him. Why not? He’ll like me. I’m fun.

GLAMOUR: And then when you met him at a business meeting in 2005 and…

KH: We both knew.

GLAMOUR: Your whole experience is a wonderful affirmation of having a dream and having it come true. What is the one thing you’ve learned from all of this?

KH: It’s true. Definitely trust yourself. Work hard. Be honest with yourself. And life can be joyful. It is joyful. Just give it your all and it’s all going to work out.

GLAMOUR: And Suri, does she know that she has famous parents?

KH: She does. [If] Tom or I are on TV, we’ll watch it. And when we were in New York, we would see a lot of Valkyrie posters. She goes, “Look! There’s "Valkyrie" movie!”

GLAMOUR: Who is she more like?

KH: You know, I see glimpses of Tom and me in her. She’s really such a special girl—strong and funny. She’s her own person. She has a great sense of humor.

GLAMOUR: You’re coming up on your third wedding anniversary. Where do you want to spend it?

KH: In Rome, where we got married. It was one of the first places we went together.

GLAMOUR: Rome is so beautiful. Now, moving from love to work: Tell me about the experience of doing a play every night on Broadway.

KH: I always wanted to do theater. And that experience was better than I could have ever imagined. It was fascinating because your performance changes every night. You’re learning different things about the play and your character. It was great to have Suri come—she couldn’t come every night, but she came a lot during the week. To have my family there was icing on the cake.

GLAMOUR: What’s next for you? What’s "The Extra Man" about?

KH: It’s a very New York story. Kevin Kline plays a man who takes socialites to parties. I play a character named Mary who works at an environmental magazine and is trying to change the world one day at a time.

GLAMOUR: What other roles would you like to play?

KH: I want to do it all. Bad girl, good girl, complicated girl. Aren’t we all complicated? And I like all different genres: comedies, dramas, action, musicals. I’m taking jazz and ballet lessons.

GLAMOUR: So is there any one role?

KH: I love South Pacific. I just saw that. That would be a great role. And I’m constantly reading books. I just read one by Sophie Kinsella, who wrote Confessions of a Shopaholic. She’s funny!

GLAMOUR: She’ll be happy to hear that— there go her Amazon numbers! And what’s this about a clothing line?

KH: My friend Jeanne Yang and I have been working together. She’s got twin girls about six years old, and we both grew up with mothers who sewed. We started about a year ago, sketching different things, trying to find comfortable clothing for our daughters that is also pretty and cute. We just started, and we’ve played around with doing things for women as well.

GLAMOUR: Now you do have that big life.

KH: That’s where I am: My purse is full of Color Wonder [for Suri], scripts and calendars. I feel really, really lucky. And you know what? I feel the best response [to all those tabloid stories] is just going about my life: enjoying life, making movies, being a good mom and a good wife, and focusing on that. Because if you’re doing well, what can they say?

PHOTO SHOOT

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