Is Katie's relationship with Tom Cruise a childhood fantasy come true or merely a publicity stunt designed to make Holmes Hollywood's next leading lady?
According to People magazine, over two-thirds of Americans think the relationship between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes is a hoax, nothing more than a strategic ploy to gain publicity for their upcoming movies (Holmes stars in Batman Begins, opening on June 15, and Cruise headlines War of the Worlds, which opens on June 29). Now, while People magazine is not exactly as credible as Forrester Research, I think the results are probably accurate. In fact, two-thirds sounds conservative to me. How could anyone with an ounce of skepticism think otherwise? Sure, it's plausible Holmes would fall for the movie star of her dreams, but what is Cruise thinking? Hollywood is full of gorgeous women and Cruise is the king; he can have any babe he wants with a snap of his fingers. Holmes is cute in a plain-jane, schoolgirl sort of way, but on a scale of one to ten, I'd give her a seven, tops. Not to mention that she's a prude, recently revealing to the press she won't have sex before marriage. So what does Cruise see in her? What makes her so cool and magnificent?
When I think of Katie Holmes, the only roles that come to mind are as the tomboyish Joey in the television teen-drama Dawson's Creek. It turns out her resume is much more substantial than that. Her first role was in the critically acclaimed 1997 movie, The Ice Storm, a performance that caught the attention of the creator of Dawson's Creek. Her role as Joey Potter in the series made her famous overnight and soon she was cast in other movies, like Disturbing Behavior, Go, Wonder Boys, The Gift, Abandon, Phone Booth,Pieces of April, and First Daughter. While many of these movies were nothing special, time and time again Holmes was noted for her versatility as an actor.
Personally, I can't remember Holmes even being in some of these movies, let alone remember anything particularly notable about her performances in them. But I will give her credit for avoiding the trap that many young actors fall into when trying to cross over from television to the big screen. Several of her Dawson's Creek costars have tried and failed to achieve her level of notoriety and success. Had she followed in the footsteps of Elisha Cuthbert (24) or Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), she might be starring in this year's silly horror movie House of Wax. Instead, with Batman Begins, she is experiencing her first Hollywood blockbuster.
So, I suppose it's plausible that Cruise really believes she is cool and magnificent and for this reason he's head over heels for her. But that doesn't mean the relationship is not a publicity ploy — at least from Holmes's perspective. The temptation is to think Cruise is in control of the situation. After all, Holmes admitted having a crush on him her entire life, ever since Risky Business, and used to dream of marrying him. Talk about dreams coming true. Cruise seems to be playing the role of the sugar daddy, flying her around the world, checking her into expensive suites and filling them with roses and Armani outfits. He is the ultimate movie star who is generously allowing some of his light to shine upon the fledgling actress. Case and point: when Cruise was a guest on Oprah last week, he went backstage to the green room and dragged Holmes onstage, where she stood blinking awkwardly like a deer in headlights. Aw . . . how cute!
As innocent as she looked at that moment, however, I think there is something cold and calculating beneath her cherubic face. Cruise gushes about her fabulous qualities every chance he gets. Meanwhile, Katie plays it cool. The pictures in the tabloids say it all: Cruise is constantly shown grinning like a man who bet on the winning horse, while she always has the sly, knowing look of the person responsible for rigging the race.
Assuming Holmes is a savvy girl and her career choices thus far have not been accident, but part of her master plan to ascend to the highest tier of Hollywood stardom, then her pairing with Tom Cruise is not the actuality of a childhood fantasy to marry her favorite movie star, but simply another strategic move. If this is true, then Holmes is displaying all the necessary skills to make it in the cut-throat world of Hollywood. We'll be seeing her as one of its leading ladies in no time at all.