Sherlock couldn’t crack Holmes
Katie’s back on the big screen, but that charming actress with the half-smile has disappeared into the role of Mrs Cruise
ATIE Holmes aka Mrs Tom Cruise, mother of Suri, is a classic beauty of the ilk not seen in Hollywood today. She’s got a softness about her that makes you think she’s fragile. Tumbling black hair worn to the side away from her dimpled cheek, and huge violet blue eyes, brings back the image of yesteryear. But Katie is tougher than she looks; maybe because she is tabloid fodder. On becoming Mrs Tom Cruise – yes, she was the cause of him jumping on Oprah’s coach – Katie, and then their daughter, Suri, have become a staple in every magazine that covers such things. Not a week goes by without a picture of the gorgeous tot clutching the hand of her mother, as they shop, play in the ocean, and go about their lives. So maybe it’s understandable that she is reluctant to answer questions that are not movie-related.
There was a time when she was on the cusp of stardom for her work, rather than the man she was teamed with, that she addressed the press with shy eagerness. The year she and Tom became an item (2005), I interviewed her on the set of Batman (she was recast in the subsequent sequel). With her half smile and tilted glance, she charmed as she seemed to stumble over words to reveal this emerging Katie Holmes.
It was with this memory that I looked forward to interviewing her again in New York to promote, Don’t be Afraid of the Dark. What I found was a very different Katie.
Deflecting the most inane, sympathetic questions, like “How do you cope with the constant barrage of paparazzi?” A demure intake of breath, and glance at her publicist, who immediately yells out: “Can we keep it about the film?”
KCan I ask about the invasiveness of the press? “No. I’m sorry.” Katie retains her same sense of flowing style, (a soft cream chiffon blouse by Holmes n Young, and a brick-coloured bellshaped, below the knee skirt), but her personality is so far under wraps that she comes across as a Stepford persona. There appears to be no spontaneity. The degree of control was frustrating and off putting.
This is a horror movie, was it lib- erating to make and what kind of fears do you conquer? It was amazing to work with Guillermo (del Toro). The great thing about making this movie is that you have a family and characters that seem very real with real problems. You have a child no one is listening to. She has no relationship with her mother and Guillermo has said the mother is the real monster in the movie.
The journey these characters take in not running away from the monsters but conquering them;
that’s very powerful. What was your first horror movie? What makes you scared? I am a fan of classic horror movies: The Exorcist, The Birds and Rosemary’s Baby. You invest in relationships where everyone seems happy and then strange things start to happen. It’s scarier than where somebody chases someone with a knife. That’s what I find scary. As a mother how do you protect your kids? What I love about this movie is where the character realises Sally is in danger and despite her physical pain she goes to fight for her. Looking back have you taken the path that you wanted to take? I’m very grateful for all the things I’ve done and I’m very proud of this movie. I strive to find quality material. I’m finally of an age to play certain characters. You did All My Sons way in 2008? I enjoyed that: having eight weeks to rehearse a great play and work with amazing actors. You do the same thing every night, but make it different.
on Broad- What are your fears in real life and do you have religious beliefs? I love that question because that’s something that is so important for a movie like this. If you want to create fear for an audience, you have to have them believe the story. But in your personal life? What kind of fears do you have? I’m not the interest here. What works about this movie is when you care about people. You don’t have general fears, like a fear of heights? Hmmm. I don’t fear many things. I don’t particularly love spiders, mosquitoes, raccoons, and I’m hoping
that goes away. You don’t want to talk about your personal fears? My personal fear is losing the ones I love. When did you find your voice? I love that part about this character’s journey…. Let me interrupt, I saw the movie and understand her journey, I’m asking on a personal level? When I started acting I was a young girl and have been interested in telling stories creating character and every character has been it’s own journey because it’s a new voice you are creating. There have been many times in my career when its been, “Oh, this is who I am,” or “this is my voice”. I am always changing and being challenged to row in a new way. How do you spend your spare time? I like to be with my family and do mom things, crafting. Tom actually mentioned that you are good at crafting and you have all kinds of projects? Yes. there’s glitter everywhere in our house. Do you still go skydiving? We’ve all been really busy working lately, so not skydiving. Have you skydived? You recently portrayed Jackie Kennedy in The Kennedys. How did you embody her? It was an honour to play Jackie Kennedy and great fun dong all of the wardrobe fittings. She had class wisdom and leadership. It was a challenge because when you admire somebody you want to do a good job. It was fun. Do you have a beauty secret? A lot of water.
UNDER WRAPS: Katie Holmes, an interview in Cruise control