The actress, 35, who stars as a mother in the summer sci-fi film, The Giver, said on Wednesday's Today show that she leans on her own close-knit background growing up in Toledo, Ohio, far from the media glare, when it comes to raising her 8-year-old with former husband Tom Cruise.
"I think, of course, you try your best," she said of protecting her daughter, even as she appreciates the opportunities she has as an actress. "I try very hard because I am very grateful for my upbringing and my parents and siblings. I try to do what they did for me for my little one."
Holmes, the youngest of five, said she also strives to keep the focus on her daughter, even as they both as well-known and oft-photographed.
"The most important thing for me is letting her know how proud I am and that her accomplishments mean everything," Holmes said. "Whatever I do is whatever. It's really just about her and that's what I think is most important."
As for how she sees her own life now, Holmes, who is based in Manhattan, said: "I'm an artist so I'm a risk-taker. She added, "I love adventures and new things."
She's also content to leave her past in the past.
"I never really look back. I just approach life one day at a time," Holmes said. "I'm really excited about where I am right now, this movie … I've had some really wonderful creative experiences. I am just excited about the future."