Save Dakota Fanning!

Monday, July 11, 2005


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The lady doth protest not nearly enough. It's impossible, even for a moment, to slip under the halo of cartoon hearts dancing around Holmes's head—which partly explains why the media has so relished the project of puncturing her happiness ever since it was first broadcast, from the David di Donatello awards in Rome, on April 29. (Even People magazine, a typically unwavering Hollywood celebrant, has published polls indicating that the majority of its readers believe "TomKat" is a hoax.) Though Holmes's star has surely risen, its motion is more akin to the teacup ride at the fairground: a spin that brings queasiness, not thrills.

Anyone who has seen photos from the couple's June tour of European capitals in support of their summer movies will recognize the tall, cold-eyed Jessica Rodriguez, a third wheel at all of Holmes's recent public appearances. Rodriguez, 29, was described to me as Holmes's "Scientologist chaperone," and it was clear that she would be on hand during our interview despite my protests. Polite and restrained but alert to troublesome questions, Rodriguez chimes in only to offer an amen following one of Holmes's rhapsodies. ("You adore him," Rodriguez says after the actress explains that she can't keep her hands off Cruise.) But she rises from her chair when Holmes is asked how she feels about the widespread disbelief in her new union.

"The truth is, we don't read that stuff because it's just rude," Rodriguez says—referring to rumors that Cruise made a financial arrangement with Holmes (after auditioning a field of other young starlets, including Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba and Kate Bosworth). When I suggest that the televised hyperbolizing of their happiness may have undercut its credibility, Rodriguez asks, "Have you ever been in love? You just want to share it with the world." I suggest that many couples prefer to cherish the feeling privately, especially in the delicate first months. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, whatever the nature of their relationship, come to mind.

"But why can't they go public, you know what I mean?" Rodriguez continues. "Like, Brad and Angelina—that's just a shame for them. Right, Katie?"

"Yeah. I mean, I'm just so happy," Holmes says in reply as a makeup artist begins to powder her cheeks. (Holmes's skin, in contrast to the evidence of a recent barrage of embarrassing tabloid photos, is perfect.) "And I love celebrating our happiness. I can't keep it in."


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