Katie Holmes talks about her 'new phase'

It's been widely reported that Katie Holmes had been secretly planning to divorce Tom Cruise for some time before she finally pulled the trigger on June 28. And in a new interview, conducted before the split, she hints that a new chapter in her life was about to begin.

Holmes' interview appears in the August issue of Elle, on newsstands July 17, but it was conducted six weeks before she filed divorce papers to end her five-year marriage to Cruise, and moved to obtain sole custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri.

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When asked about the reality of being "Mrs. Tom Cruise," Holmes tells the magazine: "He has been Tom Cruise for 30 years. I know who I am and where I am and where I want to go, so I want to focus on that."

Holmes, 33, quickly shot down any suggestion that her career got a boost by her marrying Cruise. "Things are not handed to anyone," she says. "If anything, you work a little bit harder when you’re in such visible circumstances."

[Related: Inside Scientology: Is the church's controversial Sea Organization what drove Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes apart?]

The former "Dawson's Creek" star, who has a fashion line called Holmes & Yang, also talked about the transition from her 20s, when she was "trying too hard to figure everything out," to today. "I definitely feel much more comfortable in my own skin. I feel sexier," says Holmes, who certainly looks sexy in a low-cut top in the cover photo. "I'm starting to come into my own. It's like a new phase."

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And that new phase has begun. As reported, Holmes moved out of the New York City apartment she shared with Cruise, renting a pricey pad for her and her daughter. She fired all the bodyguards and staffers her husband had hired for her, replacing them with her own team.

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Over the Independence Day holiday, Holmes and Suri were out and about in the Big Apple. They didn't appear to have a care in the world as they smiled and laughed through an ice cream date at Sundaes and Cones in New York's East Village. Later, they went shopping at Whole Foods. "I'm all right," Holmes told a reporter on the way out of the supermarket. "Thank you." Holmes' parents are reportedly staying with her, arriving at her apartment with a cake.

[Related: Why Tom Cruise insisted on calling Katie Holmes 'Kate']

Meanwhile, Cruise turned 50 on Tuesday. After leaving the Iceland set of "Oblivion," he returned home to the Beverly Hills mansion he used to share with Holmes. According to People, the mood on the actor's birthday was "somber." An insider told the magazine: "Just very, very sad."

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