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- Maureen Callahan Interview -
( The Wonder Boys )

When you read a role like Hannah, do you think, Oh, here's yet another Hollywood version of the young girl falling for a man who's old enough to be her father?
There is the typical Hollywood role of, you know, "the pretty woman" or whatever, but I guess I thought this was more complicated. It wasn't just a crush because he's this good looking guy. And throughout the film she realizes that this person that she spends all this time admiring is not that great. It's what I think a lot of people go through - you put people on these pedestals, and then you kind of take the blinders off. I was really attracted to the role because she's very sophisticated and intelligent.

Did you find parallels with yourself now, as opposed to two or three years ago as Hannah?
I remember having dinner with [Wonder Boys director] Curtis [Hanson] when I first got to Pittsburgh to start the movie, and I was freaked out [laughs] and told him I was, I guess he saw a lot of me in the character without really even knowing me and I was like, "No! [laughs] You're wrong, I'm not wise beyond my years and not sophisticated." But I guess in the way that I used to relate to Joey's naivete - and still do, to a degree - I've up a little bit since I started three years ago.

You keep describing Hannah as sophisticated - are there things about her that you aspire? Or do you see her as pretty flawed and naive? I mean, she is a girl who falls for a fifty-year-old-man.
Well, what I guess what's flawed about her is her inexperience. She is naive in the sense that you can be so intelligent and wise at twenty-one and yet you're limited by your experience. So everyone can tell you - and you can know in the back of your head it's true - that this is absurd, but you have to go through it. And I guess that's what charming about her, that contrast.

Do you see yourself the same way?
I guess I'm pretty conscious of it. I got the opportunity to take a shot at something that I really love to do, but with that comes a lot of responsability and a lot of pressure that you put on yourself. You find yourself trying so hard to be older that you are.

Do you think your upbringing affected that? You come from a very tight-knit family, you went to an all-girls Catholic high school--
Sheltered, sheltered, sheltered.

Do you feel even more sheltered than a kid who goes to a public school with boys-
Exactly! And I first started [acting] I was like, Oh, everyone is so nice and this is so fun and OK, OK, OK [as if calming herself down]. And you start to get a little more comfortable in your own skin.

Did your parents really want you to go to an all-girls Catholic school, or was it a choice you made?
I had to go to a Catholic high school, but I chose. I like it because it alleviated a lot of pressure. I woke up five minutes before leaving each day, threw on my uniform, and didn't have to worry about anything except my schoolwork. Then when you get out, you're a little socially inept. [laughs] You get around a boy and it's, OK, we have to talk now like you're a normal person? But you're a boy! I'm not used to that! I guess it kinda put off that growing up process a little bit.

What were the dances like? Did you have them once a month in the gym?
Oh, yeah, we had the obligatory Christmas dance and homecoming. It was a pain cause we all had the same group of friends and it was, like, a rotation of guys. [laughs] The best part was getting a new outfit.

Did you feel as socially awkward once you graduated and started working?
Because I'm the youngest in my family, I'm used to being around people older that I am. Still I just took it all in and tried not to say much. I still do that because I really don't have much to bring to the table. It's like - I'm twenty-one, you're forty-five- I'll just sit here cause I'm pretty boring. [laughs]

Are you worried that you'll be pigenholed as this sweet, naive, quiet girl?
[nods]

With the exception of Disturbing Behavior and Teaching Mrs. Tingle, you seem to be avoiding the typical teensploitation roles - like the girl who's about to lose her virginity. You play more complicated characters.
Right.

There must be fierce competition for those parts.
[laughs] Yeah.

So why do you think you get them?
[embarrassed] I don't know.

Based on your upbringing, is there anything you wouldn't do onscreen?
Um... I don't know. I love trying to be different people and I don't want to limit myself with certain standards I guess.

But you don't worry about what your parents will think?
Well... I mean I'm not going to lie[laughs]. I was raised Catholic, so you have the guilt and the fear, my parents are really supportive. However, I know that they don't want me to, you know... [trails off]

They wouldn't be psyched to see you do a nude scene or shoot heroin?
Probably not. But I would LOVE to play a heroin addict! I think it'd be fun. Don't write that.

No, that's great.
I mean, I want to be on Prozac. In a role.

You sound so embarrassed by that.
Because it's lame [laughs]. My friends are going to think I'm weird. I loved Magnolia and Happiness. I liked Election. [Movies] that say somthing about relationships or humanity or that deal with feelings, instead of like thrillers. But that's women I think. We like complicated... not to rip on boys... You know what I mean.

You seem very, very concerned with offending... everybody.
I always apologize for myself. I have to stop. [laughs]

Do you feel now that you're several paces ahead of Joey?
Yeah. Sometimes you read a Dawson's script and it's like, wait, she's sixteen. So, in a lot of ways I guess I am more grown-up. But I'm not. Not at all.

Are there things about her that bother you?
Yeah. Sometimes I'd wish she'd just chill out and not be so angry all the time and give Dawson a break, and maybe even get over him. I mean, what is going on?

But the Dawson-Joey thing keeps people tuning in, don't ya think? Do you relate that at all?
Um... no. I've never really had a Dawson. But you know, it reminds me of when you start liking somebody and you flirt constantly and it's like [frustrated] Just HOOK UP! [laughs] I mean, you know, Kiss.

Because your parents are reading this, that's all you'll encourage anyone to do?
Yeah [laughs].



- Mr Showbiz Interview -
( Dawson's Creek )

 

You really do live with Kevin [Williamson] when you stay in L.A.?
Kevin took me out to dinner in L.A. I'm like his annoying little sister, I never go away. He offered me his house to stay in April — and I just left last Thursday. We have a fun relationship. We had a great summer together. He makes me cook, clean the pool, and do his laundry.

And you really got the role of Joey on Dawson's Creek by sending in a tape you'd made at your home in Toledo?
My senior year of high school I auditioned for all the pilots. My agents would send me the [audition] scenes, and we'd do it on videotape. We sent it in.

And your mom played Dawson. How'd she do?
Every now and then while we're filming, I'll go [up] to James [Van Der Beek] and say, "You know, my mom was pretty good."

The other story I've read was that when they called you for Dawson's once they'd seen your tape, you told them you couldn't come because you were doing your high school musical. What were you doing, starring in South Pacific?
Actually it was Damn Yankees, and I was Lola. I just couldn't let everyone down.

Considering your good relationship with Williamson, was it a given you'd get the starring role in Teaching Mrs. Tingle?
I'd heard about Teaching Mrs. Tingle; Kevin talked about all his movies when we shot the Dawson's Creek pilot. Then I received the script toward the end of the first season. I auditioned, and we filmed three months later. It was quite a process.



- RollingStone Interview -
( Acting Carrer )

 

Wonder Boys is the story of an English professor (Michael Douglas) who wrote a hugely successful novel when he was very young. A wonder boy. Now he suffers from the opposite of writers block, he can't stop writing and fears he will never actually finish a second book. In his spare time, he's having an affair with the university's chancellor (Frances McDormand) and nurturing the talents of a weird but gifted student (Tobey Maguire). Holmes plays Hannah Green, a beautiful and talented student writer who rents a room in the professor's house. After his wife leaves him, Holmes tries to seduce him.

"She's someone who's very well read and sophisticated and wise beyond her years," Holmes says. "It was really amazing to work with Michael and play someone who is different to Joey."

Michael Douglas was immediately taken with Holmes. "As pretty and attractive as she is, without any formal training, Katie is a natural," Douglas says of her performance in Wonder Boys. "She has an ability to make dialogue sound like it came right out of her mouth, out of her personna."

So what was Michael Douglas like to work with?
"He was just unbelievable and such a generous actor and an amazing person," Holmes says. "It was nice to be around someone who has been in this business for such a long time and has had so many successes. To see how he approached his material was very inspiring. I walked away having learned a lot about how to be a professional."

Did you and Michael make jokes about how he likes younger women?
Holmes laughs. "No, I was to intimidated to make jokes!"

He wasn't a party kind of guy then?
"Well he wasn't hitting on me if that's what you're asking." Yes, actually, I was asking that. She laughs again and repeats how totally professional Michael Douglas was. At all times.

Katie Holmes offers a quick summary of her film career so far.
The Ice Storm, 1997:
" That was my first job so it was a surreal experience, you know? I just kind of went to my mark and said my lines like I did in the audition, I think I didn't breathe the whole time I was there. It was like a dream world."

Disturbing Behavior, 1998:
"I had a really great time doing it and it was really nice to play someone different than Joey."

 

Go, 1999:
"I thought the script was really funny and smart. I thought Doug Liman was really interesting and a strong director and I had most of my scenes with Sarah Polley who I have a tremendous amount of respect for."

Teaching Mrs. Tingle, 1999:
"That was one of my best summers ever because I'm good friends with Kevin [Williamson, director of Teaching Mrs. Tingle and creator of Dawson's Creek] and I met Marisa [Coughlan] and Barry [Watson] and we right away clicked and became really good friends which is really a wonderful thing and every day we laughed a lot, had lots of fun. I'm really glad I got to do that."

Wonder Boys, 1999:
"That was one of the most challenging experiences and probably the hardest because I was travelling back and forth between Wilmington and Pittsburgh, sort of doing it simultaneous with the show. But it was one of the most amazing experiences and again, I walked away with some really great friends. It was just an unbelievable time."

The Gift, 2000:
"It was kind of the same story, doing it simultaneously with the show, I'm excited that I got the opportunity to play a challenging character. It was scary every minute because i was trying to survive with these really wonderful actors. I hope I turned out OK and again I learned so much and all the nights with no sleep and travelling were worth it."

The boy back at the pool table in Sydney wants to know if Katie Holmes is aware of her oozing sexuality on Dawson's Creek. Does she have any idea that she appears both sexy and vulnerable?
"Well, I don't know," she says "I guess I'm kinda aware of that, but that's the way Joey's forming and has always been. I think a lot of 16-year-olds are very vulnerable but interested in their sexuality. You're kind of caught, you want to go for it, but then you don't. That's what Joey's about. She wants to make the right decisions, she's very intellegent and she's not going to give that part of her up to just anyone. I guess that's sexy."

Do you think Joey is dying to lose her virginity?
"I think she just want's to be happy. I don't think it's about her virginity, that's not on her mind, it's about her heart.'

At 21, do you feel like you want to explore characters that are more sexually assertive than Joey?
"I want to be able to play a plethora of different characters and sexuality is just one part of yourself. I think every character has their sexuality, but it's not like, 'OK this year I want to find somebody that is very sexy because I think I should play this role.' If a good character comes up and it challenges you and it forces you to deal with a part of yourself really don't want to, I say go for it. And I just want to make sure that I'm constantaly challenged."

Give me one word to describe each of your co-stars on Dawson's Creek
"James is very precise. I would say Josh is - we're going to see a lot of him, a very talented actor and very fun to work with. Michelle [Williams who plays Jen] is a mysterious sweetheart. She's wonderful, I love her. Meredith is hysterical and also great to work with. Kerr is...he's very...I would say very subtle and polite."

Joshua Jackson once said you were going to be the next Meryl Streep
"Oh...he's a...that was very nice of him to say. i think he was a little off. You know I just want to continue to learn because there's just so much I don't know. And watching people like Cate and Michael and all these big movie stars, I always work to emulate them. I would love to be at that level one day, but it's one step at a time. It was very nice of Josh to say that, but I think he's crazy."

What was your New Years resolution?
"I hung out with friends and we lit firecrackers in my neighbourhood in Wilmington. I just want to have a very well balanced life, that's my resolution."

Do you think that's easy to achieve?
"No, you have to work hard."

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
"I hope I have a career."

In acting?
Well, acting would be great. I hope that I will be well educated, and, you know, it would be nice to have someone special in my life in 10 years, but if that doesn't happen it's OK. i hope to have a lot of control in my life and just be happy and that's all i can really hope for."

Do you have anyone special in your life now?
"Uh...yes I do."

Do you want to talk about him?
"No."

(OK, she doesn't want to talk about her current love, which is well known to be Chris Klein from "American Pie". The girl has a right to a little privacy.)

Is there somewhere you'd like to be living in 10 years?
"I'd really like to live in New York City for a little, but I don't know if I could handle it for a long time. It's very different from where I grew up. I don't know if I'm ready for that fast pace, but we'll see."

Are you looking forward to college?
"I'm definitely looking forward to college and there are times when I wished I could go immediately, but at the same time I'm so grateful for my opportunity to do this and it seems like it was supposed to happen. But in the meantime, I'll read my books."

 

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