Katie Holmes Is Taking Acting Lessons From Her (Fictional) Son

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katie_embedPhoto: REX USA/Erik Pendzich.
The long-awaited screen adaptation of Lois Lowry's The Giver is finally (finally!) nigh. Among its star-studded cast (um, hello, Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges) is Katie Holmes, who plays the mother of Lowry's protagonist, Jonas.

Her last role as a tap-dancing vigilante in Miss Meadows was made for her: dainty with a flair of menace. It's a shame the movie never made it outside of the art-house scene. The Giver will, however, reach a much wider audience and remind everyone that Katie Holmes is more than just the pretty face of Bobbi Brown and all-star mother to Suri. Though, she may be taking cues from her younger cast members. Read on to find out why.

If you were living in The Giver’s fictional world, would you choose ignorance or knowledge?
“What this movie does is pose all these questions we should be asking ourselves — especially in this technological age we’re living in. When Jonas is going through this journey — really living for the first time, experiencing snow for the first time, sledding and falling in love — you, as the audience, are reminded of these wonderful human moments we typically forget. We let so much life slip past us. It’s really disturbing. But, on the other hand, they have no war and no pain.”

Was it challenging to play a character who’s so emotionally neutral?
“It was really challenging to play this character because, you know, she is a part of this society, and she’s responsible for keeping the rules. And yet, her son is the one who’s breaking all of that and experiencing something she doesn’t know and can’t advise him; can’t really control. I think, as a mother, that’s very odd, and as someone in her position — in her work — that’s very strange. As an actor, it’s hard to not show too much emotion.”

What’s one memory you can vividly recall?
“Well, I grew up in the Midwest, and I have such fond memories of every single Christmas. So, what really hit me in this movie was seeing Jonas go sledding, because I remember that so distinctly in my childhood; that sense of freedom, wonder, and awe. [Laughs] It usually meant a snow day and just so much fun.”

Brenton [Thwaites] is obviously on the cusp of this huge career. Did you give him advice?
“Brenton is so talented and kind and thoughtful and mature. He’s already so experienced and is going to do so well. It was a real pleasure working with him. He’s going to do great. He’s working with great people, staying inspired, and doing what he loves. I actually think I am learning from him!”