K A T I E   H O L M E S :
The Girl Next Door

Exclusive: Katie Holmes: I Don't Feel "Like a Little Girl" Anymore

Us Weekly
By Justin Ravitz

Get ready for Katie Holmes 2.0.

In mid-May, the "Kennedys" actress, 33, sat down with ELLE magazine for a revealing cover story interview for its August issue, which hits stands July 17. And, in new excerpts from the prescient sit-down -- exclusive to Us Weekly -- Holmes drops even more illuminating hints about her impending split from Tom Cruise and her planned reinvention.

(About a month and a half after the Holmes and Yang designer chatted with ELLE, she filed for divorce from Cruise, 50, after nearly six years of marriage; the former couple settled their divorce on Monday, with Holmes getting primary custody of their daughter Suri, 6.)

The former "Dawson's Creek" star admits to ELLE that, as a younger woman, she struggled with her sexual confidence: "I always felt like a little girl before . . . I didn't even know what sexy was."

The secret to feeling sexy? "Anytime you feel good about yourself, you embody sexiness," the soon-to-be-single Holmes advises. "It's almost like a power or a confidence or a secret."

Just as tantalizingly, Holmes alludes to her ability to cope and address problems -- no matter how intimidating -- with adversaries.

"If something's not okay, then I make it known," says the star. "I will deal with things . . . the way my mom taught us girls how to be. She stressed listen, learn, always be strong and be true to yourself."

In previously released quotes from the interview, Holmes snapped when asked about the stigma of being "Mrs. Tom Cruise."

"He has been Tom Cruise for 30 years," she said of the "Rock of Ages" star. "I know who I am and where I am and where I want to go, so I want to focus on that."

Indeed, a source told Us on Monday shortly after news of Cruise and Holmes' settlement: "She is . . . very happy. She can move on and finally live her life."