Katie Holmes’ directorial debut: ‘As a woman in Hollywood, I hope to do it more’


This is Katie Holmes on the red carpet for her directorial debut All We Had at the Tribeca Film Festival last Friday. All We Had is based on Annie Weatherwax’s book about a single, homeless mom trying to raise her teenage daughter. Katie stars as Rita, the mom, in addition to directing. Reviews are just starting to come in but they are saying the film is a decent effort for a first time director. Katie is actually getting more play for her performance in the film. Before the screening, Katie sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about what it was like to take the reigns as a director.

Are you nervous to be entering the filmmaking world?
I’m incredibly intimidated because I’m doing something I haven’t done before. As an artist, I hope people connect to this story. But as a woman in Hollywood, I hope to do it more, so I hope it has some success because I want to be part of creating stories and choosing the stories that are put out there.

Who are some other female directors you admire?
I look up to Jodie Foster. Also, Sarah Polley – we did Go together so many years ago. And Reed Morano, she’s an amazing DP and has something new coming [Lionness starring Ellen Page]. I’m excited, there’s a lot of great stuff happening. Even at this festival – it’s great that one-third of the Tribeca films are directed by women. I’m looking forward to seeing some.

What do you say to those who are wary of working with a female filmmaker?
Then don’t! [laughs] But you need to concentrate on the work of the person rather than the gender. If you’re nervous about it, then figure out what you’re nervous about exactly and fix that.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

At the Women’s Filmmaker Luncheon, Katie told Refinery29 that the mother-daughter dynamic, even though not the same as her, made her feel more comfortable for her first time at the helm. In addition, Katie and Tribeca co-founder, Jane Rosenthal, who produced All We Had, spoke more in depth about the need for women to support each other in Hollywood. During her remarks, Jane said, “You should know who your sister is next to you. That’s how we’re going to keep the numbers growing in terms of women who are in front of and behind the camera and are creating the stories that are so important in our world.” To her point, Katie said that Jane agreed to produce her film without even having read the book. Judy Greer, who is also Katie’s good friend and appears in the film, said yes over the phone and offered to fly herself in. In speaking to this, Katie said, “So there was such positivity, and then you do that for other women and you keep paying it forward.” Keeping true to her word, Katie will appear in Judy’s directorial debut, A Happening of Monumental Proportions.

Katie’s next directorial effort will be an episode of the miniseries The Kennedys – After Camelot, in which she will reprise her role as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Photo credit WENN Photos and Getty Images

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70 Responses to “Katie Holmes’ directorial debut: ‘As a woman in Hollywood, I hope to do it more’”

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  1. Tpaz says:

    Hmmmm… Can a bad actor be a good director?

  2. t.fanty says:

    Allow me to translate: “as a woman of mediocre acting talent, and no other career prospects, I hope to do it more.”

    You’re welcome.

    • JWQ says:

      Yup! Agree 100%!

      Maybe she’ s better as a director. Ben Affleck is a way better director than actor, it could be true for her as well.

  3. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I don’t know why, but I just dislike her. She seems to take herself so seriously. As an artist, blah blah blah. i guess I just see her as such an opportunist and don’t find her sudden sisterhood gushing sincere.

    • vauvert says:

      Me too. For one, did she have to be the middle aged character, playing a teen’s mom? And her twee poses on the RC are getting on my nerves. But, whatever the reason for her sudden sisterhood act, if it leads to more women behind and in front of the camera, in roles other than “hot girlfriend”, I am all for it.

      • Goldie101 says:

        In the book that her movie is based on, Katie’s character is a 29 year old who had a baby at 16. So Katie is actually a good deal older than the character. Plus there are plenty of women her age who have teenagers.

        I know I’m in the minority, but I think Katie is underrated as an actor. No, she’s not Meryl Streep, but I don’t think she’s as bad as people make her out to be. She’s certainly no worse than a lot of other successful actors. She’s actually gotten great reviews for her last few films, but the films were too obscure to really receive much buzz.

      • Blueberry says:

        I agree, @Goldie101. She’s been terrible in some roles but pretty good in others.

      • RocketMerry says:

        Agreed, Goldie. I loved her in Thank you for smoking and thought she was decent in Batman. Post Cruise I haven’t really seen anything she did, so I’ll reserve my judgement. It is possible that directing will help her visualise better how she needs to act in the scenes…

        And btw, I hate the “why did she cast herself in the lead” mentality I see in some posts; male actors/directors do it all the time, why should she not? I believe that kind of thinking stems from the idea that women need to be demure and not put themselves in the spotlight; how dare she [*snorts*]! Personally I think it’s a great risk, but if the person feels confident in the double role, god bless!

    • TippyToes says:

      I completely agree, can’t stand her. She gets tons of sympathy because of the Cruise stuff, but in my opinion she is just as responsible. She had been in the business for years so his reputation is known( hell I’m not in the business and I know his reputation) but she signed on anyway because he was going to make her a STAR. She played the game more than he did. She is a beautiful woman with absolutely no charisma or talent( acting).

    • sauvage says:

      That’s why it’s so difficult to judge acting chops “objectively”, because people respond so differently to the same performance. I actually find her good. I’ve never been “blown away” by anything she has done, but I have honestly enjoyed watching her at work. Different strokes, and all that…

      • Dlo says:

        @sauvage I agree, I like her and I have never seen one episode of Dawson’s Creek, I think that is the name

    • meme says:

      Same here. She’s mediocre as an actor at best and, we all know she married Tom Cruise for her career. Didn’t quite pan out now, did it?

      And enough with the pigeon-toed stance.

  4. Jeo says:

    Good luck to her, I hope she has some success as a director.

  5. Samtha says:

    She looks great in all those photos–much better fashion than usual on her.

    Is it just me, or has Celebitchy gotten more negative in the comments lately? Maybe it’s just because I haven’t been around much the past few months.

    • K says:

      No it has

    • paleokifaru says:

      You’re not alone. I often just stop reading because it gets really mean and not simply about the celebrity but also towards the other posters.

    • Original Kay says:

      I’ve done my fair share of snark here. But I agree, even for me it’s so much worse lately. I can barely stand any Kate thread, and the seemingly constant bickering and some people’s need to “right” at any cost raises my anxiety levels to the point I stopped commenting and even reading every day.

      Anyway I like Katie. I think she handles a terrible situation ( Tom cruise and everything about him) with grace.

      • paleokifaru says:

        I’ve been impressed that she has still kept quiet about it for so long. But it’s also a bit sad because it makes me think she must be tightly wound. That was obviously a story where everyone was digging for some dirt and there wasn’t a leak anywhere. It must be hard to be that hyper vigilant with yourself and everyone you interact with all the time.

      • original kay says:

        I agree. And even if you ever could let your guard down, people can turn on you for the slightest reason sometimes, and then your privacy is just gone.
        I think she seems like a fantastic mom, and that she was star struck, and easily manipulated. After all we know about COS, to blame this woman for falling for their manipulations just seems so wrong. Instead of putting her down, we should be, and I do, applaud her for getting out and taking Suri with her.

      • paleokifaru says:

        I think most people have had a relationship that was no good for them but they got swept up in it. Just to varying degrees of length and intensity and poor commitment choices.

      • Blueberry says:

        @paleokifaru I think she’s naturally tightly wound so it’s not a problem for her. I saw her getting Punk’d by APlusk ages ago and not knowing she’s on camera she’s exactly the same as she is in interviews: tightly wound and low key and very, very careful.

      • paleokifaru says:

        @blueberry if so it really worked in her favor for the divorce and aftermath! I’m naturally pretty tightly wound but I don’t think I would have cracked at some point with as much scrutiny as she got and still gets over it.

    • Pip says:

      This is *exactly* what’s been going through my mind over the past week or so. I used to enjoy the intelligent, sometimes snarky comment here but, from the threads I read, it’s gone beyond that recently & is just plain bitchy.

      • Joannie says:

        I agree. The royal threads are the worst in my opinion. Same group of women saying the same negative comments every single day. Obsessively hating on someone. Ugh

      • original kay says:

        Joannie I know right? How can some say the same things, every day?
        The best, imo, is when the line was drawn about her feet! Everything else is fair game, absolutely everything about her is picked apart, but the line was drawn at dissing her feet. Made me laugh out loud, literally 🙂

      • paleokifaru says:

        I did the same thing Original Kay!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree, Joannie. I don’t go to the royal threads anymore. It is just so harshly negative.

    • Carol says:

      It has. And contributing to the negative comments, Katie Holmes has got the worst knees. They look like my knees which aren’t pretty. To add something positive, I’m glad she is venturing out into various territories whether its going into business or directing. She’s got some money, so why try things she always wanted to do. Kudos to her.

    • Melbelle says:

      Agreed! It feels like it’s just a bunch of judgemental nastiness now.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I think sometimes if you like someone, negative comments seem meaner than they do if you dislike someone? I’ve been on here for a couple of years, and there have been times when I thought things got a little nasty and personal for a week or two, and that I might stop posting because I was being attacked personally and it was upsetting me. It usually goes back to normal after a bit. There are threads I avoid or try to avoid – Kate, Jennifer Anniston and Anglina, because of the repetitive and extremely hostile posters who don’t seem to post anywhere else. Anyway, that’s my two cents, although you were probably talking about me. 😨 but it is called Celebitchy.

      • paleokifaru says:

        I would say I’m generally pretty neutral about most of the celebs who are newsworthy. I actually tend to like the ones that don’t get much press either because they don’t seek it or their personal lives aren’t too messy or both. A lot of the celebs on here are ones that generate headlines and get covers on everything, including things they have not sought like Star, and I think that has a polarizing effect. So I get that but I think people can disagree but be polite and respect that others have different opinions. Some of the threads you mentioned and a few more I can think of (LeAnn and Brandi) seem to have a number of posters who just want to pick fights and be cruel about the celebrity and to people with a different viewpoint. The pile ons for a minority opinion are getting pretty ugly and I have seen and been subjected to personal attacks that came out of nowhere. It’s unpleasant and ruins the good dialogue I’ve enjoyed here with folks like you.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’m sorry to hear that, because I really enjoy your posts. I know that sometimes discussions get heated, and that’s fine, but I also know that as much as you tell yourself it’s the other person’s problem, it can be very upsetting if someone attacks you in a personal way. I’ve had a few instances where the person misunderstood what I meant and wouldn’t accept my explanation, but the worst are people who attack you for feeling a certain way. I had one poster tell me I was weak and stupid because I was upset by my divorce. Anyway, I will try harder to be positive and I hope you all stay with us. ❤️

      • paleokifaru says:

        I think some people confuse an occurrence that is common in general within the population as being common personally. I found that when I miscarried there were a number of people (and not just the insensitive medical professionals I dealt with) who told me it’s very common so I should be over it soon. I was appalled and I say that as someone who has been very conscious of not wallowing in it because I watched some family members and friends do so and alienate others. A lot of folks just (in the words of JA) lack a sensitivity chip.

    • Kath says:

      Yup, it has. While the Aniston stuff has gotten better (thank goodness), the William and Kate stuff will take your head off.

  6. Fiorella says:

    I’m surprised (honestly) that it wasn’t considered a flop. She seems to have a lot of flops lately , and then there was Holmes and yang..
    She is more of an entrepreneur than I would have guessed though ! I’d consider catching this on netflix

  7. Lucy2 says:

    I’m very happy to hear there are more actresses moving into directing films, and especially that Judy Greer is doing one. Aisha Tyler is as well and has a Kickstarter for some of the fundraising.
    Not a huge fan of Katie’s acting, but hopefully she shows talent as a director.

  8. Miss M says:

    I like Katie. Good luck as a director!

  9. Tash says:

    Best of luck to her…hope the movie is good and does well. On a more superficial note, she looks lovely in these pics.

  10. Magnoliarose says:

    I have never been one way or the other about her except during the strange Cruise years. Now if she shows she’s capable then I can only wish her success. It’s not enough just to be a woman, it’s important to produce quality work as well.

  11. Chetta B. says:

    Perhaps I’m in the minority too but I love her acting, and not Dawson’s Creek. I never saw that, lol. I like her acting and her intelligence, even more so since she “blew” Scientology. I never got a dum-dum vibe from Katie Holmes at all. Also love her fashion line. Multi talents. And she runs, too. I mean I can’t do all that!

  12. K says:

    I really liked her answers, and personally I always liked her (got a little confused during the Mrs Cruise years) and while yeah she isn’t Helen Mirren here she isn’t a terrible actress. She is good, every bit as good as Lawrence IMO.

    and let’s be real she could have just taken the money from Tom, and done bad rom coms and kept herself front and center in the camera (cough garner cough) but she isn’t she is trying to stretch and do more. She is challenging herself doing Broadway and indie films and keeping her kid out of the public eye.

    Does she talk out of the side of her mouth? Yeah. Are a lot of her answers boring? Yeah but I really think the good out ways the bad with Katie.

    • Ashley says:

      @K So true,I agree with everything you said. People in this comment section is just being mean.I loved her in ray Donovan,last season.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I thought she exploited her daughter for publicity and sympathy during the divorce even though it was clearly very disturbing to her child. And no one made her marry Tom Cruise. Although no one made me marry my first husband, either and he was a total tool, so I don’t really have a strong case there.

      • paleokifaru says:

        GNAT you’ll appreciate that whenever my hubby’s ex dates someone and he worries about he’ll be a nutter like she is I point out that SHE actually has a better track record than HE does. It earns me the stink eye but also a laugh and calms him down a bit.

        I sort of remember them both wielding Suri as a shield during the divorce and aftermath and then Tom quickly dropped out of spending time with her. At first I thought maybe he realized he should take her out of the spotlight but it seems that he’s not seen her at all. There’s also been some speculation that Katie HAD to use Suri as paparazzi bate to keep the COS at bay. I’m not sure what I think about that.

  13. Pandy says:

    Ugh, that dress! Otherwise, don’t care about her. She’s boring. She always makes this crinkly face … does anyone else think it’s starting to “stick” on her?

  14. Sophia says:

    I want to know if she’s married to Jamie.

    • Goldie101 says:

      Me too! A lot of people are still talking about her marriage with Tom, but I’ve gotten bored of that. It’s been dissected to death. I’m more interested in her rumored relationship with Foxx. Don’t believe they’re married but I do think they’re dating. Wonder if they’ll ever go public.

      • Blueberry says:

        They were definitely dating, but I think they might have broken up. She needs to pick a winner. Foxx won’t even take her out in public. I think once you get fairly serious, you’re prepared to deal with the public BS that might come with. He’s not.

  15. Cannot stand her smirk

    • Jayna says:

      She has a crooked smile. She can’t help it. Although, I swear she didn’t have it when she was young on TV.

      • paleokifaru says:

        I just started rewatching Dawson’s Creek on Hulu (I cannot recommend this enough because I forgot what a soapy train wreck it was and who were minor characters on there) and she did have the smirk and lopsided smile. We were just all rooting for her the first season and found it endearing!

      • lucy2 says:

        Agree, it’s a crooked smile (and she’s never said she’s had Bell’s Palsy). I think she’s always had it, as have I. I can smile evenly, but naturally one side goes up higher than the other.

    • mayamae says:

      I believe Katie had Bell’s Palsy, which can leave one with facial paralysis. My cousin was left with a “crooked smile”, and asymmetrical eyelids.

  16. Jayna says:

    Jodie Foster is such a good director. I think I’ve loved every movie she’s directed.

  17. Saks says:

    Good luck to her, I hope she turns out to be a good director

  18. India says:

    Yes, the smirk is irritating. And when she was married to Cruise, she got a nose job which was a bit over done. Maybe because of it, she does the smirk to hide its deficiencies.

  19. Pabena6 says:

    FYI, it’s “take the reins,” not “take the reigns,” in case you want to edit that.

  20. gen says:


  21. Blueberry says:

    I love all three outfits she’s pictured in in this thread: suit, dress, lacy thingy. I like Katie and I hope she keeps doing well, ice cream endorsements or not. She deserves it after escaping from No. 2!

  22. MD says:

    Outside of Dawson’s Creek, Katie Holmes’s two biggest events in her professional life was marrying Tom Cruise and ditching Tom Cruise (the latter being the most commendable performance of all). I think her acting abilities are as sensational as cold oatmeal so I don’t expect much but, having said that, I do wish her the best in her career endeavours. At least she’s free to make her own choices now. A “meh” directorial debut is still better than any “win” in Scientology. Most important of all, she has her daughter Suri and the rest of her family at her side. There’s nowhere to go but up. Her ex-husband remains a tin-foiled, manic douchebag.