Katie Holmes loved the way strangers "became friends" after her divorce from Tom Cruise.
The 41-year-old actress went through an "intense" period of scrutiny when she and daughter Suri, now 14, moved to New York following the end of her marriage to the 'Mission: Impossible' actor but she'll always be grateful for the kindness of those around her.
She said: "That time was intense. It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it.
"We had some funny moments out and about in public.
"So many people I didn't know became my friends and helped us out, and that's what I love about the city.
"There was one incredible moment when I think I actually cried. Suri was six or seven, and she was spending the night at a friend's house while I was seeing the ballet at Lincoln Center.
"At 10 o'clock I got a call, 'Mommy, can you come get me?' I got a cab and went down to Battery Park to pick her up. She was exhausted. She fell asleep on the way home, and when we pulled up to our building, the cab driver opened the door and helped me not wake her. He helped carry her to the building. He was so kind."
The 'Secret: Dare to Dream' actress recalled how she used to take Suri to the park very early in the morning to avoid scrutiny.
She told the new issue of America's InStyle magazine: "We were followed a lot when she was little. I just wanted her outside, so I would walk her around to find parks at, like, 6 in the morning when nobody would see us.
"But there's one video where I'm holding her -- she was two at the time -- and she starts waving at the cameras. She's pretty special."
The former 'Dawson's Creek' star is very proud of her daughter's focus and work ethic.
She said: "I love her so much. My biggest goal has always been to nurture her into her individuality. To make sure she is 100 percent herself and strong, confident, and able. And to know it.
"She came out very strong -- she's always been a strong personality. She'll pick an activity and work her butt off until she's really good at it. Then she's like, 'OK, I'm going to try the next thing.'
"She's very focused and a hard worker."