The Girl Next Door
Holmes discusses debut as director in Maumee
By Geoff Burns
Toledo native actress Katie Holmes walked on stage at the Maumee Indoor Theatre and took a seat Friday night.
A sold-out crowd came to watch a showing of Ms. Holmes’ film directing debut All We Had.
“I prepared for about a year in advance every day and hired great people to put around me. So they made me look better,” Ms. Holmes told the audience, which laughed in response.
Sam Johnson, executive director for the theater at 601 Conant St., said in the four years he’s worked there, the evening was the first time he’s seen the facility sold out from a movie it has sold tickets for.
Mr. Johnson said the final ticket was sold at 1:45 p.m. Friday, a sold-out show of 494 people.
“I think it says a lot,” Mr. Johnson said, adding the idea came from Ms. Holmes after she drove past the theater during Thanksgiving and became interested in doing a Q&A after a showing.
Ms. Holmes’ family attended the special occasion, including her father, Marty, who is a lawyer in Toledo. While Mr. Holmes could not remember the previous time his daughter made a public appearance in the Toledo area, he said when she does make it back to the area, it’s usually not made public so she can relax and the area acts as a “safe haven for her.” Ms. Holmes refused media interviews Friday.
One of the most recent times Ms. Holmes was involved in a public event was in 2001 when she participated in a Toys for Tots collection inside Franklin Park Mall.
“We’re just so excited for her,” Mr. Holmes told The Blade. “She loves the Maumee theater and there is always something about this place that has always intrigued her and it’s wonderful for the support she’s been getting.”
Based on a novel by Annie Weatherwax, All We Had was shot in and around New York City during the summer of 2015, and tells the story of a struggling single mother and her teenage daughter during the 2008 recession.
Following the showing was a Q&A, and audience members asked Ms. Holmes about her film and experience as a director. Questions from the crowd included if Ms. Holmes was involved in the cast selection, what actors do in their lives when not working on a film, and whether it was difficult for her to get into directing.
“I would have a lot of notebooks of ideas for myself as an actor and then ideas for what I wanted as a director to keep it all straight,” Ms. Holmes said when it came to switch from acting to directing. “It really did require people to be really supportive of each other and encouraging.
“It’s not easy to get a job and not easy to get roles that you want and you have to create them for yourself and I also like to get my way and see things a certain way, so I really wanted to be in something that I could control the outcome.”
Ms. Holmes spoke about the knowledge she gained after directing a 30 for 30 episode on Nadia Comaneci for ESPN and the inspiration she gained after reading Ms. Weatherwax’s novel.
“I was very moved by this story and the struggle that all of these characters were going through, each one had their own struggle but they had such a resilience,” Ms. Holmes said. “That just felt very true and inspiring to me because I’ve met so many people that have hard times but they get through it and I felt like that was an important message that I wanted to put out into the world.”
One question Ms. Holmes was asked was how her family handled the actress working on the film, to which she mentioned her father’s heavy support. She remembered calling her father while stressed during the filming.
“It was really fun to be able to give to the other actors what I have learned and watch them try things and find something in a scene they didn’t necessarily think they were going to find,” Ms. Holmes told the audience. “My family is always super supportive and I’m so lucky.”
Friday’s crowd included Sue Popovich, 69, of Toledo.
Ms. Popovich said Ms. Holmes’ grandmother and her mother grew up together in the south end of Toledo.
“Her family is such a great family in the Toledo area,” she said.
Royine Chamberlain, 69, of Toledo said the showing was her first time seeing the movie, which the theater has shown for two weeks.
“It’s neat that a girl from Toledo that went to Notre Dame [Academy] had such a fabulous life and is bringing some of that goodness back and that she likes this little theater,” she said.
Ms. Holmes said the film cost about $3 million to make, which is cheaper than most movies, which cost between $80 million and $100 million. She said the movie was shot in 24 days and about four to five scenes per day, which according to Ms. Holmes “is like sprinting.”
“You really have to be self-disciplined and go after things and work really hard,” Ms. Holmes said.