In "Touched with Fire," Holmes plays a manic-depressive poet who becomes involved with another writer suffering from the same condition, against the wishes of their families. Yes, it's a tough topic, one that doesn't lend itself to catchy punchlines or cute quotes. But, says Holmes, "This is just a very special movie. I'm really happy that people are seeing it and responding to it."
The reviews have been positive. And much of the film centers around Holmes' raw performance. It extends to the physical as well. Vanity had no place there.
"I was doing the no-makeup makeup. I really have no feeling about it. I was concerned with being true to this character. Makeup is so wrong for this person," she says. "I have my group of – my hair and makeup people who are my good friends. I knew they had my back. I didn't even have to think about it. I work really hard. But I do have that good team around me that I trust."
She also produced it, something that makes the film even more meaningful. For Homes, who broke out as fresh-faced Joey on "Dawson's Creek," being active behind the scenes is crucial. "I love working. I'm reading books to option. I'm having a good time. There have been so many women in our business that have made such an impact. When other people are doing well, it pushes you. I'm really happy," she says.
Holmes and daughter Suri, from her marriage to Tom Cruise, split their time between both coasts. The child, 9, enjoys more privacy in Los Angeles, but mom and daughter love heading back east. That said, being away from the paparazzi here, says Holmes, "has definitely given us a break and some space, which has been a relief. But it's great to come back to New York. It's also our home."
In person, Holmes is thoughtful and introspective, with a restrained sense of humor. But, she admits, she's got the same obsessions that plague all of us social media fiends. She just Instagrammed a few photos. "I'm going to check the number of like while I'm doing this interview because it makes me happy. I'm not immune," she laughs.
Next up for Homes is the TV miniseries, "The Kennedys After Camelot." She plays Jackie Kennedy in her later years, after Bobby Kennedy's death. "I'm going to direct one of the episodes. It's a cool time period, the '70s and '80s. She did also marry Onassis. It'll be exciting visually. This isn't the pillbox hat time," she says.
So given that she plays a poet, who's her go-to scribe? "Rainer Maria Rilke. I love 'Letter to a Young Poet.' I read that on every job that I'm on. It's beautiful writing."
FLASHBACK: Katie Holmes through the years
OnlyOnAOL: Katie Holmes has the same addiction as all of us
1998 James Van Der Beek and Katie Holmes star in 'Dawson's Creek..'
(Photo via AP)
Actress Katie Holmes during an interview with host Jay Leno on August 11, 1999 (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Actress Katie Holmes and mother Kathleen Holmes attend the 'X-Men' New York City Premiere on July 12, 2000 at Ellis Island in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Katie Holmes, left, and cast member Chris Klein arrive for the premiere of "American Pie 2" Monday, Aug. 6, 2001, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson)
Katie Holmes and Chris Klein at the premiere of "Abandon". (Hollywood, CA) (Star Max via AP Images)
Katie Holmes and Chris Klein at the Los Angeles premiere of "Matrix Reloaded". (Westwood, CA) (Star Max via AP Images)
Katie Holmes, left, and Chris Klein arrive for the premiere of "Ocean's Twelve," at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2004. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Actor Tom Cruise and fiancee/actress Katie Holmes leaving a midtown hotel December 14, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
U.S. actor Tom Cruise, right, and U.S. actress Katie Holmes with their daughter Suri, who became engaged in June 2005, hold hands as they leave their hotel in Rome, in this Nov. 16, 2006, file photo. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia/FILE)
Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes during Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes Sighting in Paris - October 6, 2006 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/FilmMagic)
Tom Cruise, right, and his wife Katie Holmes pose for the photographers on the red carpet prior to the Bambi media award ceremony in Germany, in this Nov. 29, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Miguel Villagran,File)
In this Nov. 4, 2007 file photo, actress Katie Holmes joins her husband Tom Cruise as he holds their daughter Suri after Holmes finished the New York City Marathon in New York. Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe said Friday June 29, 2012 that the couple is divorcing, but called it a private matter for the family. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, file)
Tom Cruise, right, and Katie Holmes arrive at the premiere of "Tropic Thunder" in Los Angeles on Monday, Aug. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actor Tom Cruise, right, and actress Katie Holmes with their daughter Suri arrive at Narita International Airport in Narita, east of Tokyo, Sunday, March 8, 2009. Cruise is here for the premiere of his new film "Valkyrie." (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
Tom Cruise, Suri Cruise and Katie Holmes visit the Plaza Hotel on December 20, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Actress Katie Holmes and husband actor Tom Cruise attend the premiere of 'The Romantics' hosted by The Cinema Society on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
In this Feb. 26, 2012 file photo, actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)
Katie Holmes during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on November 15, 2012 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Designer Francisco Costa and actress Katie Holmes attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit, "Punk: Chaos to Couture", on Monday, May 6, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Valentino Garavani, Katie Holmes, and Giancarlo Giammetti attend the Valentino Sala Bianca 945 Event on December 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
The Tonight Show Starting Jimmy Fallon: Actress Katie Holmes on July 23, 2015. (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - MARCH 28: Suri Cruise (L) and actress Katie Holmes (R) with guest in the audience during Nickelodeon's 28th Annual Kids' Choice Awards held at The Forum on March 28, 2015 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/KCA2015/WireImage)