Katie Holmes exploded onto the acting scene at age of 19 with Dawson’s Creek, winning our hearts as the young Joey Potter. Her star only rose when she married Tom Cruise in 2006 — and rose again when she divorced him in 2012, taking their daughter Suri (then age 6) with her. Holmes fled to NYC, a city she’d always dreamed of living in, if not quite under these circumstances. Nearly a decade later, Holmes is opening up about protecting young Suri from the paparazzi in those early days — and how her daughter has impressed her every step of the way.
Holmes talked to InStyle about dealing with that media attention for herself and her daughter, noting that photos from that time still haunt her now. “I did recently see some fan site [about her] posted when she was a baby, and it was very intense. We were followed a lot when she was little,” Holmes said. “I just wanted her outside, so I would walk her around to find parks at, like, 6 in the morning when nobody would see us.”
The actress was often overwhelmed in those days, but even now, she remembers the moments of kindness that got her through. “That time was intense. It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it,” she said. “We had some funny moments out and about in public. So many people I didn’t know became my friends and helped us out, and that’s what I love about the city.”
“There was one incredible moment when I think I actually cried,” she continued. “Suri was 6 or 7, and she was spending the night at a friend’s house while I was seeing the ballet at Lincoln Center. At 10 o’clock I got a call: ‘Mommy, can you come get me?’ I got a cab and went down to Battery Park to pick her up. She was exhausted. She fell asleep on the way home, and when we pulled up to our building, the cab driver opened the door and helped me not wake her. He helped carry her to the building. He was so kind.”
Today, Suri is 14 years old and stronger than ever. “I love her so much,” Holmes told InStyle. “My biggest goal has always been to nurture her into her individuality. To make sure she is 100 percent herself and strong, confident, and able. And to know it. She came out very strong — she’s always been a strong personality.”
Even in that old paparazzi footage, Holmes sees Suri’s strength shining through: “There’s one video where I’m holding her — she was 2 at the time — and she starts waving at the cameras. She’s pretty special.”
We’re hopeful for a future where paparazzi don’t chase 2-year-old children down the street. But Suri Cruise sounds like one tough cookie — just like her mom.
Can you believe Suri’s already a teenager? Click here to see more celebrity kids who are all grown up.