“It is important to trust yourself, to be your first support yourself”

“It is important to trust yourself, to be your first support yourself”

The actress and director was the first to participate in the Women In Motion talks at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, which highlight female personalities from the world of cinema.

For a whole generation, she is Joey Potter, the shy teenager of the series Dawson, the one whose heart swings between two boys, and whose personality asserts itself and blossoms over six seasons. But Katie Holmes is also a director and producer. In parallel with her acting career, the American has signed four feature films, including Rare Items, the story of a young woman in full recovery after a sexual assault, released in April in the United States. Thursday, May 18 in Cannes, she participated in the first of Kering’s Women In Motion talks, which highlight female personalities who drive the current cinema world. A meeting organized while the 76e International Film Festival has just started.

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Go behind the camera

The same morning, Katie Holmes announced that she was going to participate in a mentoring program for female directors in Saudi Arabia. An opportunity she seized to “help promote the expression of women around the world.” As for her, the desire to tell her own stories came to her very early: in front of The Little Man, the first film directed by Jodie Foster in 1991. “I already admired her as an actress, but I think it was the first time I saw a woman director,” she recalls. An inspiring example, which Katie Holmes followed in 2015 with Eternal Princess, a documentary short about gymnast Nadia Comaneci. Then with a first film, All we hadin 2016.

When she went behind the camera, Katie Holmes was not afraid that she would be referred to her status as an actress: “I listened to myself, and especially not what others might say. But I was accompanied by many author, director and screenwriter friends who helped me, encouraged me, gave me their point of view. Sometimes it’s difficult: when someone close to you gives you feedback on your project and suggests that you make some changes to it, it hurts a little. But you lick your wounds, and you go back to them, because you know, deep down, that your work will be better. This is why it is essential to surround yourself well. And to work tirelessly: “For me, directing is like ballet. You don’t get there right away, but the more you persevere, day after day, the more you see your progress.”

Collaborate with actresses

Today, Katie Holmes hopes that her double hat allows her to be as close as possible to those she directs: “When I’m on set, I want to say to actors: ‘I’m one of you! I understand you””. With particular attention paid to young actresses, whom she takes care to include in the creative process: “With them, I think it’s important to collaborate. To ask them what they think of a scene, of a dialogue. That their gaze also participates in the development of the film. As for the advice she would give, more broadly, to young girls today: “You shouldn’t hesitate to make your voice heard. And for that, trust each other, and always move forward. It is important to be your first support yourself.” Without putting too much pressure on his own shoulders: “This is the advice I would give to the one I was, younger: let go, and enjoy more.”

The return of Joey Potter?

Today, Katie Holmes is working on a new project that she keeps confidential for the moment, because it is only at the preparatory stage and is slowed down by the writers’ strike in the United States. A movement that she fully supports: “It’s an important strike. I am on their side. We need people who tell stories.” As for fans hoping for a reunion of the cast of Dawson , they will be disappointed: “We discussed a lot about the advisability of doing a reboot or a sequel to the series” she confided. “But Dawson, it’s a bit like a time capsule: it belongs to the 90s. Everything was different, there were no cell phones. There was a lot of innocence, too. We said to ourselves that all this would not necessarily find its place, if it were adapted to our current time. The shy pout of Joey Potter will therefore remain an eternal memory. Replaced by the frank and clear look of an accomplished actress and director.

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