In mid-May, the Kennedys actress, 33, sat down with ELLE magazine for a revealing cover story interview for its August issue, which hits stands July 17. And, in new excerpts from the prescient sit-down -- exclusive to Us Weekly -- Holmes drops even more illuminating hints about her impending split from Tom Cruise and her planned reinvention.
(About a month and a half after the Holmes and Yang designer chatted with ELLE, she filed for divorce from Cruise, 50, after nearly six years of marriage; the former couple settled their divorce on Monday, with Holmes getting primary custody of their daughter Suri, 6.)
The former Dawson's Creek star admits to ELLE that, as a younger woman, she struggled with her sexual confidence: "I always felt like a little girl before . . . I didn't even know what sexy was."
The secret to feeling sexy? "Anytime you feel good about yourself, you embody sexiness," the soon-to-be-single Holmes advises. "It's almost like a power or a confidence or a secret."
Just as tantalizingly, Holmes alludes to her ability to cope and address problems -- no matter how intimidating -- with adversaries.
"If something's not okay, then I make it known," says the star. "I will deal with things . . . the way my mom taught us girls how to be. She stressed listen, learn, always be strong and be true to yourself."