Katie Holmes is the first to admit that she found the idea of playing one of the citizens in the sci-fi allegory “The Giver” a bit of a head-scratcher. “It was a really challenging role to play because it’s this utopian society, this alternate reality. There’s no emotion, there’s no pain, there’s a great deal of security and safety, but to play that as an actor is interesting because we like to emote,” she says. “They don’t have any emotions, but I think that they’re human after all, so I always believed that the characters were capable of love. But it was interesting. It’s interesting to be a part of this movie that does pose questions such as that.”
Of course, the pedigree of the project — based on Lois Lowry’s award-winning, best-selling young adult novel — didn’t hurt. “I heard about the project and I heard it was [director] Phil Noyce and Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep,” she says. “I was not familiar with the book, so I read the book along with the script and I thought it was a really powerful story.”
While it’s been 16 years since Holmes shot to fame barely out of her teens on “Dawson’s Creek,” the actress has no regrets about finding success so early. “I feel really lucky for all the opportunities that I’ve had. I think it’s great to start young because you learn the business quickly. It’s exciting,” she says. And she still keeps up with her co-stars, she insists. “I just saw Michelle [Williams] in ‘Cabaret.’ She’s amazing in it,” Holmes says of her “Dawson’s Creek” co-star’s current Broadway gig.
Speaking of Broadway, professionally Holmes has been a bit quiet since “Batman Begins” nine years ago — popping up in an odd mix of projects every year or two like “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” the “Kennedys” television miniseries and Adam Sandler’s dubious “Jack and Jill” — but fans closer to New York City know that she’s been keeping plenty busy with stage work, recently playing on Broadway in “All My Sons” and “Dead Accounts.” And if Holmes has her way, that won’t be the end of it.
“It’s just different. It’s a different experience, but they’re both very satisfying professionally,” she says, comparing theater and film work. “With doing theater, you’re constantly playing with other actors and you have to be really present, and that’s really good practice. So then when you go and do a film, you’re a little bit sharper — at least for me, that’s what I’ve found it’s been helpful for. And just the experience of being in front of that audience and the energy that you get from that is really quite something. It’s the experience of while the show is going on. You feel like, ‘Tonight they’re responding to this’ or ‘They’re not responding to this,’ and that changes the show.” As for potential future roles? “I’d like to do ‘the Cherry Orchard.’ I’d like to do ‘Dollhouse,'” she says.
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