Every time I see a photo of Katie Holmes, I can’t help but feel a twinge of pity — and not just because she’s married to Tom Cruise. This morning when Michelle Williams was nominated for her second Academy Award, this time for Best Actress for Blue Valentine, you just know that somewhere in Hollywood, Holmes was seething. Hard.
As a huge fan of soap operas, I love a good girl-on-girl rivalry, both onscreen and off, so I’ve always imagined that behind the scenes on Dawson’s Creek, Holmes and Williams secretly hated each other and had a frosty relationship that was even more contentious than the ones their TV alter egos occasionally had. Sometimes, in my wildest dreams, I even throw in a good catfight or two.
While Williams gets Oscar nominations and juicy roles opposite big capital-A Actors like Ryan Gosling and Leonardo DiCaprio, Holmes gets stuck with Channing Tatum and Adam Sandler (more on that later) and has to settle for playing Jackie O in the American History Channel TV miniseries The Kennedys. Oops! The American History Channel just announced that they will not be airing The Kennedys, leaving the miniseries without a netowrk home. Interestingly, in My Week With Marilyn, the upcoming feature film, Williams will play Marilyn Monroe, who had an affair with U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Jackie’s first husband.
Then there’s Williams’ Brokeback Mountain costar Anne Hathaway, whom Katie is reportedly furious with for so perfectly lampooning her recently on Saturday Night Live. Not only will she co-host the Oscars on February 27, but she just won the role of the female lead — Catwoman, no less — in the next Batman film. (Let’s not forget that Batman himself, Christian Bale, just got his first Oscar nod for The Fighter.) Holmes must still rue the day she gave up her part in The Dark Knight to make the flop comedy Mad Money, or because Tom Cruise said to, depending on which story you believe.
Finally, there are Tom’s A-list exes. Nicole Kidman, his former wife, will compete against Williams in the Best Actress category for her performance in Rabbit Hole, and a pregnant Penelope Cruz, the ex girlfriend who has an Oscar and three nominations of her own, no doubt will show up on the arm of her husband, Javier Bardem, a Best Actor nominee for Biutiful. Now that is what I call marrying well.
Fortunately for Holmes, her career forecast doesn’t call for non-stop rain: She’ll play Adam Sandler’s love interest in the upcoming Jack & Jill. It’s nice work, and I’m kind of surprised that she was able to get it, considering that she’s not known for intentionally illiciting laughs from moviegoers. Still, that thankless role, in which Patricia Arquette, Winona Ryder, Emily Watson, Marisa Tomei, Tea Leoni and Salma Hayek all have been cast, and which Jennifer Aniston soon will try on in Just Go With It (due February 11), hasn’t done much for anyone’s career since Sandler and Drew Barrymore teamed up for The Wedding Singer way back when in 1998.
At least Holmes will get the bragging right to say she’s co-starred with Al Pacino — twice (in Jack & Jill and in the Channing Tatum vehicle Son of No One, which just premiered — and reportedly bombed — at Sundance 2011). Not even Tom Cruise can use that one.