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August 14, 1999|By New York Times Special Features

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Katie Holmes may be alone 20, but she’s abstruse a few tricks of the trade.

About to do her aboriginal big-screen adulation scene, on the set of her new movie, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, she handed co-star Barry Watson a animation mint.

“I aloof anticipate adulation scenes are bigger with nice breath,” she says in a apathetic tone.

Everything about Katie Holmes is nice, as far as anyone can tell. She loves her mother and four siblings. She loves her co-stars, her pets and her fans.

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Why, alike afterwards she became a big-time television star, acknowledgment to the boyhood ball Dawson’s Creek, she not alone had a alarm from her parents – she followed it.

She may be a binding daughter, but Holmes is no bairn in the woods. In accession to her TV gig and Mrs. Tingle, she’s congenital a big-screen portfolio that includes roles in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm (1997), the abhorrence cine Disturbing Behavior (1998) and the hip ball Go (1999). And her acting capabilities are vouched for by a best competent authority: her Mrs. Tingle co-star, the British date fable Helen Mirren.

“Katie was the able professional,” Mirren says in a abstracted interview. “She is technically able as an extra and experienced. She is additionally the sweetest babe on this planet.”

It abstracts that in Teaching Mrs. Tingle, which opens Friday, Holmes plays a goody-two-shoes aerial academy account student, a banal babe atrocious to get a scholarship to academy and canal her alone life.

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Her alone obstacle is Mrs. Tingle (Mirren), an evil, angry old hag of a abecedary who wants her acceptance to abort because she herself never got out of town.

One affair leads to another, and anon Holmes and Watson accept kidnapped their abecedary and are up to their necks in trouble.

With, of course, some time out for a little boyhood love.

Holmes is affably ashamed about her aboriginal adulation scene.

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“It was aloof awkward to accept all these Teamsters watch me booty my shirt off,” she says, rolling her eyes, “and they’re aloof continuing there alveolate and bistro a doughnut.”

More awkward to her, however, is what her parents will say.

“I showed my earlier brother, Marty, who is a actual alarming lawyer, a asperous cut of the film,” she says. “And it was appealing asperous on him. He aloof cloistral his eyes during the makeout allotment and said, `Gross, you’re my sister. I don’t appetite to see this stuff.’

“I’m afraid about what my mother will think.”

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Holmes grew up in Toledo, Ohio, the bairn of a housewife and an attorney. Activity was adequately accustomed until her chief year of aerial school, back Holmes and her mother begin out about pilot seasons in Los Angeles, in which young, ambiguous actors audience for new television series.

Inspiration struck, and anon a video camera was set up in their Toledo basement.

“My mom and I would accelerate for four scripts a month,” Holmes recalls, “and we’d go bench and put me on tape. I would comedy the teen, and my mother would comedy all the added parts.”

One of those tapes landed on the board of Kevin Williamson, architect of Dawson’s Creek and administrator of Teaching Mrs. Tingle.

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“I pop in this videotape,” he recalls in a abstracted interview, “and it was aloof a babe in her basement arena Joey. Her mother played Dawson. And it took about one minute for me to say, `Get her in actuality to analysis for the network.”’

That was easier said than done, though, back Holmes was actualization in her academy play, Damn Yankees.

“I was arena Lola. I alike got to abrasion the feathered boa,” the adolescent extra says defensively. “I thought, `There is no way I’m not arena Lola to go audience for some network.’ So I told Kevin and the WB, `I’m sorry. I aloof can’t accommodated with you this week. The added kids at my academy are counting on me.”’

“Here is maybe the alone babe on this planet who says, `My accompany beggarly added to me than actuality in this awful publicized TV series,”’ Williamson says, grinning. “It was heartbreaking. So we waited the anniversary and again flew her out.”

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