KATIE HOLMES has latched onto one of Hollywood’s hottest new hunks, but friends fear his checkered past could ruin their budding romance.
Nearly a year after divorcing superstar Tom Cruise, Katie has been spotted out and about in New York City with her tall, dark and handsome “Mania Days” leading man Luke Kirby.
The 34-year-old Canadian actor also stars in the highly touted TV series “Rectify,” and sources say he has a shocking past that includes filming explicit sex scenes, nursing a crush on one of Katie’s former co-stars, and a secret link to Cruise.
“Luke is very handsome and personable, and seems to have already swept Katie off her feet, but there’s a ton she doesn’t know about him,” a friend told The ENQUIRER.
“She needs to do a little digging into his past so she doesn’t get any big surprises later. The first thing she needs to do is to ask Luke about his friendship with Tom.”
Cruise, 50, had a hand in hiring Luke for the fact-based 2003 drama “Shattered Glass,” which was co-produced by the “Mission: Impossible” star.
“It’s ironic that Tom helped give Luke a big break – and now Luke’s dating his ex-wife,” noted a source.
In another stunner, Luke – who stripped down and showed all while starring in HBO’s racy 2007 drama “Tell Me You Love Me” – has a rabid following among gay men.
“Luke’s naked picture has popped up all over gay websites on the Internet,” said another source.
The actor also filmed several nude sex scenes with Katie’s former “Dawson’s Creek” co-star Michelle Williams for the 2011 drama “Take This Waltz,” and he admits they shared real chemistry.
“There was a kind of magic in the air,” he said in an interview. “It helped that there is something rooted in Michelle, who is so magnetic. I really had to raise my game.”
Luke also steamed up the small screen in the Sundance Channel series “Rectify,” which has been renewed for a second season. He stars as a defense attorney carrying on a lusty affair with the sister of a former death row inmate.
“Luke has a penchant for falling for his co-stars, and he had a serious crush on Michelle,” a Hollywood pal told The ENQUIRER. “Katie ought to take it slow with him.”
Since her divorce, Katie has hung out with a few male friends, including her attorney Jonathan Wolfe, and her co-stars Jeremy Strong and Josh Hamilton.
But the 34-year-old single mom – who’s raising her daughter Suri, 7, in the Big Apple – seems to be enjoying her new crush, and her chemistry with Luke has been clear to see while shooting scenes for “Mania Days.”
In the film, the two play a manic-depressive couple who meet at a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance. But even after the cameras stop rolling, they seem so happy together. On May 21, they were spotted strolling together in New York’s Greenwich Village and later enjoyed lunch at a trendy Middle Eastern restaurant.
A source says they also eat lunch together in Katie’s private trailer on the set and have holed up in her apartment rehearsing their lines.
“For Katie and Luke, it’s a case of life imitating art,” said the first source.
The pal added: “Katie really enjoys Luke’s company, and Suri’s already a fan of his. They make an adorable couple, so this could be the beginning of a beautiful romance – both on screen and off!”