EXCLUSIVE: Katie Holmes on how Suri influenced her directorial debut: 'I know myself better because of her'

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Katie Holmes' directorial debut,All We Had, tackles the timeless story of a mother's relationship with her daughter, which Holmes says "every mom can relate to," and is one reason she was so excited to helm project.

While this is her first time behind the camera, Holmes also stars in the emotional drama as a struggling, impoverished single mother of a teenage daughter who tries to get her life back on track by moving to a small Midwestern town.

"The mother-daughter theme [of] that unending love that you have for your mother and for your child is universal," Holmes told ET during a sit-down interview on Tuesday.

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Holmes also said that her own daughter, Suri, helped her understand the dynamic between her character, Rita, and her on-screen daughter, Ruthie, played by 18-year-old Stefania Owen --which is why Holmes honored her 10-year-old little girl with a "special thanks" at the end of the film.

PHOTOS: Katie and her daughter together

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Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise
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Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 16: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Suri Cruise, guest, Emily Pynenberg as 'Cassandra', Katie Holmes, Zac Posen, Leona Lewis as 'Grizabella The Glamour Cat' chat backstage at the hit musical 'Cats' on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theatre on August 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Suri Cruise and mother Katie Holmes pose backstage at the hit musical 'Finding Neverland' on Broadway at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre on July 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Laura Michelle Kelly as 'Sylvia Llewelyn Davies', Paul Slade Smith as 'Charles Frohman', Suri Cruise, mother Katie Holmes, Tony Yazbeck as 'J.M. Barrie' and Amy Yakima as 'Peter Pan' pose backstage at the hit musical 'Finding Neverland' on Broadway at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre on July 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Suri Cruise and mother Katie Holmes pose backstage at the hit musical 'Finding Neverland' on Broadway at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre on July 30, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 31: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise are seen walking their Chihuahua Honey with some friends on July 31, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actress Katie Homes and her daughter Suri Cruise attend the game between the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 20, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Actress Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri Cruise attend the East Regional Final of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament between the Connecticut Huskies and the Michigan State Spartans at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: Katie Holmes takes Suri Cruise on a bike ride along Manhattan's West Side bike path on August 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 12: Katie Holmes with Suri Cruise sighting on December 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Actress Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise are seen walking Chelsea on December 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Actress Katie Holmes sighted helping Suri Cruise to scooter in Chelsea on October 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Actress Katie Holmes sighted helping Suri Cruise to scooter in Chelsea on October 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise seen on the streets of Manhattan on October 4, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise (R) leave ABC Carpet on July 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: (L-R) Katie Holmes and daughter Suri Cruise sighting on July 15, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
MANHATTAN NY - JULY 12: (L-R) Katie Holmes and daughter Suri Cruise sighting on July 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise leave Make Meaning on July 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Katie Holmes picks up Suri Cruise from school on November 09, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise are seen at a playground in Brooklyn on September 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/Star Max/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Suri Cruise seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 16, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Suri Cruise plays in Bleecker Playground on August 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise visit Make Meaning on August 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: Katie Holmes (R) takes Suri Cruise on a bike ride along Manhattan's West Side bike path on August 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise visit Make Meaning on August 20, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: Katie Holmes takes Suri Cruise on a bike ride along Manhattan's West Side bike path on August 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
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"She gets a special thanks for everything, [for] every job I do, because she makes every day great and awesome and better," Holmes, 37, shared. "I know myself better because of her, so she'll always get a special thanks."

The Kennedys After Camelot star also opened up about her decision to try her hand at helming a feature film, explaining that she's "always wanted to direct."

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"It's taken a long time to take the risk," she said. "I feel fortunate because I have a wonderful support group around me."

Holmes, who welcomed Suri in April 2006 with ex-husband Tom Cruise, recently hit the town in New York City with her little girl for a weekend of bonding and Broadway performances. Check out the video below for more on the fun mother-daughter outing.

All We Had opens in theaters Dec. 9.


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