Katie Holmes on Directing 'Rare Objects' and Returning to Broadway

By Rebecca Rubin

Katie Holmes is impressively meticulous when it comes to her craft.

Over coffee at Sant Ambroeus in SoHo, she’s discussing the importance of pacing in “The Wanderers,” an Off Broadway play in which she portrays a movie star named Julia Cheever, who becomes intertwined with one of the show’s two central and seemingly very different Brooklyn-based couples.

“When we were rehearsing, our director Barry Edelstein was like, ‘The play works at one hour and 37 minutes or one hour and 38 minutes. If you hop up to one hour and 40 minutes, then you aren’t faster than the audience. Your thoughts have to be faster than the audience,'” she recalls.

“You were there on Tuesday, right?” she asks me. “We were, like, one hour and 38 minutes that night. The other weekend, we were at one hour and 37 minutes, and immediately, we had this overwhelming response.”

The attention to rhythm (and her astounding memory) also serves Holmes well as a director. “It’s so applicable to film,” she says. “When you’re editing, you think, ‘Oh, that moment is so good.’ But sometimes, we don’t need it.”

As she returns to the stage in “The Wanderers,” Holmes, an enduring presence in Hollywood since “Dawson’s Creek” catapulted her to fame in the late ’90s, is about to release her third directorial effort, “Rare Objects.” IFC is releasing the film in select theaters and on demand on April 14.

Based on Kathleen Tessaro’s novel, “Rare Objects” tells the story of a young woman named Benita (“American Rust” actor Julia Mayorga) who works in a New York City antiques shop while recovering from a traumatic event. Holmes plays troubled Manhattan socialite Diana, who forms an unlikely friendship with Benita after meeting her at the mental health facility where they both stayed.