Katie Holmes says she tries 'very hard' to give daughter Suri a normal upbringing

Katie Holmes attends the Katie Holmes attends the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014, in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris

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Actress Katie Holmes, who plays the lead character's mother in the upcoming film "The Giver," reflected Wednesday on being a mom in real life.

"My role is interesting," she told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer of her part in the adaptation of the philosophical science-fiction novel, "because she's not only the mother of this chosen boy to receive these memories, but she's also the keeper of the rules . . . that's her job in this reality. And so the way I approached it was, you know, kind of like all mothers when a child is leaving the nest: There's a pain, because they're experiencing things that you've never experienced maybe, and there's a loss."

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Empty-nest syndrome is still years away for Holmes, 35, whose daughter Suri, with ex-husband Tom Cruise, is only 8 years old. In the meantime, Holmes said, she tries her best despite the trappings of fame to give her daughter the sort of normal childhood she herself had enjoyed growing up in Ohio, the youngest of five children.

"I try very hard because I'm very grateful for my upbringing and my parents and siblings," Holmes said. "And I try to do what they did for me for my little one. And, you know, the most important thing for me is letting her know how proud I am and that her accomplishments mean everything. And, you know, whatever I do [as a career] is just whatever. It's really just about her. And that's what I think is the most important" part of parenting.

Lauer, without mentioning 52-year-old Cruise by name, asked if she would trade the fame that accompanied that part of her life for a less tabloid-ridden one today. "You know what? I never really look back," she replied. "I always, I just approach life, I take it one day at a time. And I'm really excited about where I am right now."

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