Katie Holmes: I'm more than Tom Cruise's ex wife, dagnabbit!

The haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate....

That's the start of the chrous to Taylor Swift's first pop hit "Shake It Off," and it could also be part of Katie Holmes' mantra as she struggles to define herself as something other that ex-husband Tom Cruise's ex-wife.

"I don't want that moment in my life to define me, to be who I am," she told People magazine. "I don't want that to be what I'm known as. I was an actor before, an actor during and an actor now."

To prove that, Holmes, 35, signed up to reprise her role as Jackie Kennedy and star in a black comedy where she plays a vigilante school teacher.

That's right: from "Dawson's Creak" to school teacher with an axe to grind.

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    "I don't have any fear now, I don't have a lot of rules for myself, and I don't take myself that seriously," she said. "I feel ready for new challenges."

    One of her old challenges, remains -- raising her 8-year-old daughter, Suri.

    "My patience has grown, but between 4 and 6 p.m. . . . I mean, wow," she says. "Between tickle fights and glitter art, I try to throw in some manners along the way."