K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door

Paparazzi make it a mad, mad, Mad world for Katie Holmes

By Ian Caddell

How concerned are Katie Holmes’s bodyguards about paparazzi? Enough that a window washer hired by a local hotel is asked to stop working outside a room that Holmes and her "Mad Money" costar Diane Keaton are about to enter.

According to Burnaby Central secondary school grad Roger Cross, who costars with Holmes, Keaton, and Queen Latifah in the film, the day’s events are similar to the experience he had on set. He says that bodyguards hired by Holmes would do whatever it took to protect her from outside photographers during the shooting of the movie in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“They were shaking them out of the trees when we were shooting on location,” he says. “There was one guy who thought he would sneak in as an extra, but they caught him and he was informed that he probably didn’t want to spend time in a southern jail. I don’t think he stuck around long after that.”

In the film, which is currently playing in Vancouver, Holmes, Keaton, and Latifah respectively play Jackie, Bridget, and Nina, three women who work at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. Their jobs are small but vital to the destruction of old, worn-out money. Eventually they devise a plan together to steal millions. Their only obstacle could be a smart guard (Cross) who is watching them closely.

Keaton says that for the movie to work, the audience must believe that the characters care about each other. She says they were able to find that chemistry in the one place they all had to spend some time in prior to going on set. “I always believe it starts in the makeup trailer,” Keaton says. “That is where you get to be really intimate with people that you don’t know, because there is nothing on your face just after you have awakened. So there is some intimacy that helps you get to know people. You get a better sense of how you are going to be when you get to set.”

Holmes may have enjoyed the collaboration, but she had other things on her mind during the film shoot. She has been a marked woman since Tom Cruise told the world he was in love with her. As the relationship developed into marriage and eventually to the birth of their daughter, Suri, she has become increasingly hounded by the paparazzi. She says that although it wasn’t easy focusing on the making of the film, particularly when she had set visits from both Cruise and Suri, she has been able to adapt.

“I loved having my husband and daughter on the set,” Holmes says. “Tom was really excited for me to do this movie, and it was great fun. I have never had the experience of having a young one at work with me, and it just made it even better. You are suddenly doing this thing you really love and you are thinking about these other things, and it was more fulfilling and I really enjoyed it. The paparazzi was what it was. You are always aware of it, but I was more concerned that everyone on the set was being taken care of and that it wasn’t bothering anyone else. You get used to being aware, and so you just want to protect everyone around you.”

Keaton was in the spotlight herself when she was one of cinema’s leading ladies and involved in relationships with Woody Allen and Warren Beatty. However, she says the 1970s were different and that she sees more photographers chasing celebrities through the streets now than she did when she was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

“It was very different for me compared to her [Holmes’s life],” Keaton says. “It was a very different time, and I don’t think that people with cameras were as prevalent. There was no Internet and there were no news magazines that were dedicated to entertainment. There was no Access Hollywood, none of that. It didn’t exist. There were three networks and you were totally free to do what you wanted. You would get a lot of attention if you went to a certain restaurant, but there are so many cameras out there now and they are hunting around for anything.

“In fact, the other day I almost got knocked over by one of these guys,” she continues. “He was chasing someone else and then he stopped and saw it was me and started taking pictures of me. He assumed I was just an ordinary woman walking along the street, but when I started screaming at him and said, ‘You almost killed me,’ he thought, ‘Oh, her,’ and started turning the camera on me. It was very weird.”