Katie Holmes

11/07/2003 AT 01:00 PM EST

Not long ago, Katie Holmes was the Wednesday-night crush of The WB, starring for six seasons on Dawson's Creek as Joey Potter, whose life-altering dilemma was choosing between two loves, Dawson or Pacey. Nowadays, Holmes, 24, is dealing with other choices – and thanks to a busy big-screen career, she's got plenty of 'em. The actress, whose credits include Wonder Boys and The Gift, is earning her indie cred in two new movies: The Singing Detective, starring Robert Downey Jr., and Pieces of April.

In April, Holmes plays an eccentric daughter who invites her straitlaced family to Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment. She recently talked to PEOPLE about her own family's Thanksgiving, as well as her career after Dawson and life in L.A. with her boyfriend, American Pie actor Chris Klein.

Your turkey-cooking skills are on display in Pieces of April. What's Thanksgiving like with your family?
My mom would probably kill me, but last year, the turkey ... she usually puts it on the porch the night before, to keep it cold. We live in Ohio, so it's cold. But it froze. And she didn't know it. So the turkey took longer to cook than usual, and it threw everything else off, so it wasn't a good year for her.

I've never attempted to cook a turkey. (In the film) I didn't really enjoy the washing of the turkey, sticking my hand in it to pull out all the innards ... Ugh! So gross. I like to cook, but I'm not into the whole turkey, chicken kind of thing. I like fish. De-boned, easy.

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