Elegant? Absolutely. But still va-va-voomy enough to elicit a healthy amount of slobbering from, say, the hormone-ravaged stoner-dude set. Which explains the scene in the recent pothead flick Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle where two characters discuss Holmes' brief topless sequence in Sam Raimi's 2000 psychic-uncovers-murder thriller The Gift.

Kumar: "Dude, how were Katie Holmes' tits?"
Stoner dude: "Okay, you know the Holocaust? Imagine the exact opposite."

"I thought it was a somewhat gratuitous scene," says Harold and Kumar director Danny Leiner. "I was trying to picture the conversation between Sam Raimi and her about that. 'Uh, it's really important that there's ... We have to see you naked to ... uh, get your vulnerability.' It really didn't make sense to me." But? Yeah: "I think she's really beautiful and she has an amazing body."

Holmes hadn't known about the celluloid titty tribute, and the news of it leaves her speechless (you can practically see a little slot-machine behind her eyes rolling to PISSED OFF, PISSED OFF, PISSED OFF, ding ding ding!). "Well, I guess I'll just choose not to respond," she says finally, before adding, "It kinda hurts my feelings, but I guess it's a compliment if people think you're sexy. My brother-in-law always tells me that if you're in the paper and you're not being arrested, things are going well. So maybe I should consider it a success."

If there's an internal struggle going on between cute-cousin Katie and her accidental-sexpot counterpart, so far the inner angel's got her inner devil in a fierce headlock. She's consistently denied us the opportunity to read about various adolescent exploits in the tabloids: first by staying true to a prim Catholic Ohio childhood, and later by spending her formative years at the North Carolina–based televisual reform school known as Dawson's Creek. "We were so protected, we didn't have lives,"says Holmes. "We never really had too many opportunities to go to New York or L.A. or these big Hollywood parties. We weren't exposed to a lot of drugs or anything. It was just work, work, work."

And now that she's reached prime sex-video-creating age, she foils us by utilizing that little-known Hollywood quality known as restraint. "I have a lot of privilege that fame has given me," she says, "so what I have to give in return is ... behaving. All right! I can do that."

Don't even try to get her to open up about her yearlong engagement to American Pie stud Chris Klein. When she gets complimented on the antique diamond ring she keeps tapping against the table, all she'll say (almost crossly) is, "I haven't set a date."

That's cool. We're still into our sweet, reserved, almost press-phobic cousin, but you can't blame us for praying that Holmes' devil-may-care, tits-flashing hellcat side still has a few more lives left in it.