"I had really good luck this past year and I had a really wonderful, amazing experience," says the actress. When asked point-blank whether that "amazing experience" was with her costar Jackson, Holmes fesses up.
"I'm just going to say that I met somebody last year, I fell in love, I had my first love, and it was something so incredible and indescribable," admits Holmes, who first broke out as a young star in director Ang Lee's 1997 film The Ice Storm.
She adds of Jackson: "I feel so fortunate because he's now one of my best friends. It's weird, it's almost like a Dawson-and-Joey type thing now."
Continues Holmes of fellow young actor Jackson: "He's been in the business so long, and he's really helped me. I respect him as a friend and as a professional."
Before marrying Cruise in 2006 -- they finalized their split last month -- Holmes dated Chris Klein for five years. Shortly after she and Klein, 33, called off their engagement in 2005, Holmes and Cruise stepped out together.