Movie Talk

Did Tom Cruise derail Katie Holmes’ film career?

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(Photo: Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Before they were TomKat, she was Katie Holmes, seasoned television star of "Dawson's Creek" fame, steering her career toward the big screen.

Starring in her first major blockbuster film as Rachel Dawes in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" in 2005, the sky seemed to be the limit. But now that seven years have passed, the fact remains, Holmes has yet to star in a film on that level.

The question must be asked: Did Cruise's influence stunt Holmes' budding film career? Let us review the evidence:

Before she began dating Cruise, Holmes was making risky — but wise — indie films. She starred in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival hit "Pieces of April" as a punk girl trying to reconcile with her estranged family. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone noted: "It's Holmes who holds Pieces together . . . [she] nails every laugh without missing the dramatic nuances."

Holmes also appeared with Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire in "Wonder Boys" -- based on the funny and engrossing Michael Chabon novel of the same name — and Jason Reitman's critically-praised "Thank You for Smoking," opposite Aaron Eckhart. ("Smoking" was released after she began dating Cruise, and word spread that he demanded a topless scene featuring her be cut from the film. The movie's director denied this.)

Holmes became so engrossed in her romance with Cruise that she then took a three-year hiatus.

[Related: Tom and Katie: The way they were]

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Holmes with Christian Bale in 'Batman Begins' (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

When Holmes came back to work in 2008, she arguably made her biggest career misstep. She starred in a comedy which flopped at the box office, "Mad Money," with Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah (the New York Times called her character the film's "weakest link"). It was released the same year of Nolan's "Batman" followup, "The Dark Knight."

We don't know the whole story behind why Holmes didn't reprise her role as Bruce Wayne's longtime love, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the role in the second film). But in an interview that year, Holmes indicated the decision was hers and not director Christopher Nolan's:  "I chose to do this movie ['Mad Money'], and I'm really proud of it." "Mad Money" didn't recoup its budget, grossing only $20.7 million. By comparison, "The Dark Knight" has now grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

Also in 2008, she turned to Broadway, starring in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons," but it failed to get her noticed (she received mostly mixed reviews; the New York Post described her as "coltish").

She went on to star in a string of indie flops — "The Romantics," "The Extra Man," and 2011's "The Son of No One" (which reportedly prompted walk-outs during its Sundance debut because it was so bad). Her venture into the horror genre, 2010's "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," also failed to make much of an impact at the box office.  Her performance in last year's Adam Sandler comedy flop "Jack and Jill" also earned her a "Worst Supporting Actress" Razzie nomination (the awards celebrate the most terrible movies of the year).

[Related: Katie Holmes files for divorce]

Although she made waves for a few TV appearances (she had stints on "So You Think You Can Dance" and "How I Met Your Mother"), nothing ever took off on the small screen, either. She got panned by critics for playing Jackie Kennedy in the miniseries "The Kennedys" (which was pulled from The History Channel and later aired on Reelz).

Holmes has a few films on the horizon, in the early stages of development and production. Perhaps her newly found single white female status will reinvigorate her career.

Watch Katie Holmes in a clip from 'Mad Money':

'Mad Money' Clip: This Particular Secret

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