Actress Katie Holmes Transforms Into Miss Meadows
The tall and lanky Katie Holmes has enjoyed an unusual 35 years on this planet most recently culminating the lead of Miss Meadows — a story centered on a a prim and proper — almost perversely childlike elementary school teacher who moonlights as a vigilante avenging crimes with a gusto that verges on bloodthirsty.
After a subdued period, the gorgeous former Ohioan is now stepping back into the spotlight.
This Q&A is culled from a recent Apple store appearance in New York City
YRB: This is one twisted little movie — a lot of fun, really dark, and funny. How did you come to it?
KH: I had the script sent to me, read it, and was very taken by Miss Meadows, because she felt like such an original character. She is funny, and very childlike, but she also does carry a persona, and is a person who uses it. I just thought the challenge of creating a character who is truthful in both realms: of being a teacher, and also this vigilante killer, was going to be this huge challenge, and one I thought could be a lot of fun.
YRB: What about her spoke to you? Do you have an inner vigilante that you’ve been wanting to let loose, on film or maybe in real life!?
KH: When I spoke to writer/director Karen Hopkins for the first time, she said when she was expecting her baby girl — who is now 12 years old — that she saw a newspaper article about a little girl who was abducted out of her bedroom window. Of course, it scared her. She said,
“That’s when I started thinking, ‘I wish there was a character out there who could save all these kids, who could go out and handle it and right the wrongs of society.”
That’s where Miss Meadows originated from. I have to say, her actions are very extreme, but I think that instinct to protect innocence is definitely something we all have, so it was fun to use that instinct for the performance.
YRB: There’s something not quite right about her. How did you approach that aspect of this character? Because you play her as a little off-kilter, do you see her as mentally unhinged?
KH: Miss Meadows really believes in everything she does. She’s very specific in the way she views life, manners, and has a bit of a control… I think she holds on to manners as a way to control things in her life but she’s also very free. She is a little quirky, but she had to be, in order to get to the place where we reveal why she does what she does. She is a little bit off. I guess I could’ve just said that.
YRB: Quite late in the film, we learn why she does what she does. Had that not been in the script, do you think you would’ve taken on this role?
KH: I don’t know, because I think what attracted me was this slow unfolding of this character. You get an impression of someone, who slowly, over time, gets this way; you come to understand why they behave the way they do.
That’s why I act, and why I love good books and good movies. I really liked seeing the revelation of her, but also the journey she takes through the film. This is a character who is very stuck in time, in a lot of ways; we get to watch her fall in love for the first time, and get engaged. Everything’s happening for the first time, right in front of you, and I thought that was fun to play, and important.