'All We Had' Clip: Katie Holmes Plays a Tough Mother in Her Directorial Debut (Exclusive)

Yahoo Movies

Nearly two decades after Dawson’s Creek, Katie Holmes returns to small-town life in her feature-length directorial debut All We Had. Adapted from the novel by Annie Weatherwax, the film follows nomadic mother and daughter Rita (Holmes) and Ruthie (Stefania LaVie Owen) as they attempt to give up their vagabond ways and put down roots in the tiny burg of Fat River. A new home, of course, means a new school, which doesn’t exactly thrill the 13-year-old girl. In this exclusive clip from All We Had, which opens in theaters and on VOD on Dec. 9, Rita attempts to tamp down Ruthie’s first day of school jitters as only a mother can. “You’re gonna do great,” she says. “You go in there and you kick some ass.”

Rita’s pep talk will likely sound familiar to any parent and reflects one of the reasons why Holmes wanted to bring this story to the screen. “I really felt connected to [the characters], and I felt others might, too” the mother of 10-year-old Suri Cruise told Deadline in April, following All We Had’s world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. “They were all survivors, and there was a poetry to each one.” And even though the film deals with some heavy subject matter, Holmes’s onscreen daughter revealed that the director kept things light on set. “We were dancing to Beyoncé and Amy Winehouse all the time,” Owen said in the Deadline interview. “Katie would pull so much out of every actor, and we ended up doing things we never thought we could.”