The Girl Next Door
Katie Holmes on Playing Jackie O, a Dawson's Creek Reunion and What's Next
By Walter Scott
Dawsonís Creek alum Katie Holmes, 38, reprises her role as the iconic tragic first lady in Reelzís second series about the famed family in The Kennedys: After Camelot, premiering Sunday night. The four-part series follows Jackie after the assassination of her husband, through her marriage to Greek millionaire Aristotle Onassis and until her death in 1994.
How is Jackie different than when you played her in The Kennedys in 2011?
She has the weight of the world on her, with the passing of her husband, and then Bobby Kennedyís death and Chappaquiddick. Thereís just so much more tragedy in this series than she experienced in the series before.
In The Kennedys: After Camelot, you have a lot of scenes as Jackie with your ďson,Ē John Junior. What kind of mom do you think Jackie Kennedy was?
From everything that Iíve read and the people that Iíve talked to, being a mother was so important to her: protecting her children, keeping their faith, keeping them grounded, giving them the best education, and helping them into the world having the Kennedy last name. I think she was a wonderful mother, and I think that that was her priority. She worked very hard at it.
We tried to show the good days and the bad days, the different challenges and how much she was a real mom like other moms. Even though they lived in such heightened circumstances, she was still dealing with a kid who ran away from home and who didnít do well at school. These are problems that other people can relate to. It was important for us to show those real human moments just to show that she was very much involved and how much she cared for her children.
Was motherhood an aspect of Jackie that you can relate to, being a mom yourself?
I think that what we tried to achieve with these four episodes was finding different points where we could relate to all of these different characters. We tried to show a family drama, a family that is affected by loss, a family thatís affected by power, and a mother trying to raise her children on her own. We tried to strip away the Kennedy part of it and show real human interaction, people going through tragic circumstances and being there for each other, then fighting with each other and trying to get through it. So hopefully when people watch it, they can see maybe some of their experiences in that.
Do you think Jackie loved Aristotle Onassis or just wanted someone to take care of her?
I felt like she was very much in love with him, and he brought her a happiness that she really needed. She had been so sad and in so much pain; I felt her feelings for him were very genuine.
You directed the third episode of The Kennedys: After Camelot. Was there a particular reason you selected that one, and why did you want to direct?
I had just directed my first movie, All We Had, and I was excited to direct again. I wanted to direct this particular episode because it was a lot about Ted and Joan Kennedy and Chappaquiddick. I was lighter in that episode as an actor, and I was excited to be a part of shaping those performances for that particular time, and I liked the storyline, so I chose that one.
What can you say about your role in next yearís all-female Oceanís Eight, with Dakota Fanning, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and Olivia Munn?
It was so much fun. I did a little cameo playing myself. I had a great time.
Are you up to revisit Dawsonís Creek for a reunion?
We get asked that a lot, and itís so flattering. Our last episode took place five years after the episode prior, so our finale was like a reunion. I think itís been done.
Whatís next for you?
Iím finishing shooting Logan Lucky with Channing Tatum, and Iím adapting a book called Rare Objects for the screen. I will direct and star in that. Also, I have a movie called Coup Díetat with Michael Caine coming out either this spring or summer.