Actress Katie Holmes is moved to tears whenever she recalls the warm welcome she received from New Yorkers following her split from Tom Cruise, because complete strangers were so supportive of the single mother.

The Batman Begins star relocated from California to the Big Apple in 2012 to start a new life with her daughter Suri, now eight, and she admits she relied on the kindness of strangers to get her through the tough time.

She tells People magazine, "When I got to New York City, the amount of support I got from strangers... It makes me cry.

"So many people just opened their apartments to us and helped us in so many ways. In New York it's like... a big game of (playground favourite) Red Rover where people come together and won't break that bond. They have your back and you hold on."

However, Holmes, who has since bought a new home in California, insists she has moved on from that period in her life and she is urging others to as well, because she is more than just Cruise's ex-wife.

The 35 year old adds, "I don't want that moment in my life to define me, to be who I am. I don't want that to be what I'm known as. I was an actor before, an actor during and an actor now."