Julia Stiles

Infobox actor

|thumb|Julia Stiles (2007)
imagesize = 225px
caption =
birthdate = birth date and age|1981|3|28
birthplace = New York City, New York, United States
birthname = Julia O'Hara Stiles
homepage =

Julia O'Hara Stiles (born March 28, 1981) is an American stage and screen actress.

After beginning her career in small parts in a New York City theatre troupe, she has moved on to leading roles in plays by writers as diverse as William Shakespeare and David Mamet. Her film career has included both commercial and critical successes, ranging from teen romantic comedies such as "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999) to dark art house pictures such as "The Business of Strangers" (2001).

Early life

Stiles was born in New York City, the daughter of Judith Stiles, a potter, and John O'Hara, a teacher and businessman who owns and operates a pottery business. [http://www.filmreference.com/film/98/Julia-Stiles.html Julia Stiles Biography (1981-)] ] Her father is of Irish descent and her mother is of half Italian and half English ancestry. [cite web|url=http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/film-and-tv/features/julia-stiles-thatll-sound-slutty-642622.html|title=Julia Stiles: 'That'll sound slutty'|date=2002-09-13|publisher=independent.co.uk] Stiles, who has two younger siblings, Jane and Johnny, [cite web|url=http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20133579,00.html|title=Dancing Queen |last=Miller|first=Samantha|date=2001-02-05|publisher=people.com|accessdate=2008-10-09] and an older half sister Bridget, [cite web|url=http://www.movieentertainment.ca/en/celebrities/celebrity-vitals/news425.idigit|title=Celebrity Vitals: Julia Stiles|publisher=movieentertainment.ca|accessdate=2008-10-09] was raised in SoHo.cite web|url=http://www.elle.com/featurefullstory/11049/creative-intelligence-julia-stiles.html|title=Creative Intelligence: Julia Stiles|publisher=elle.com|accessdate=2008-10-09] She started acting at age eleven, performing with New York's La MaMa Theatre Company. [cite news|url=http://nymag.com/movies/features/34988/|title=The Stiles Ultimatum|last=Yuan|first=Jada |date=2007-07-20|publisher="New York Magazine"|accessdate=2008-10-09]


Television career

After two appearances as the computer punk Erica Dansby on the PBS series "Ghostwriter" in 1993 and 1994, she appeared as a guest star on the medical drama "Chicago Hope". She has been seen in two made-for-TV movies: in "Before Women Had Wings" (1997) on CBS, she played opposite Ellen Burstyn and Oprah Winfrey in an adaptation of the novel by Connie May Fowler; and she played a teenage girl who finds herself pregnant and runs away from her unforgiving father (Bill Smitrovich) in NBC's miniseries "The '60's". ["This Time, Man, The 60's Go, Like Faster". "The New York Times". February 5, 1999. E30.] Stiles was the public face of the film, with NBC using her face, painted with a peace sign and the American flag, both in its advertising and on the cover of the soundtrack album.

Film career

Stiles' first film was a non-speaking part in "I Love You, I Love You Not" (1996), with Claire Danes and Jude Law. She also had small roles as Harrison Ford's daughter in Alan J. Pakula's "The Devil's Own" (1997) and in M. Night Shyamalan's "Wide Awake" (1998). Her first lead was in "Wicked" (1998), playing a teenage girl who murders her mother so she can have her father all to herself. Critic Joe Balthai wrote she was "the darling of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival" [Joe Balthai. "Screen Idol-escents". "The Arizona Republic". October 28, 1999.] and Internet movie writer Harry Knowles said she was the "discovery of the fest", but the film was not commercially released in the U.S. and went direct-to-video in 2001, after Stiles had become better known.

The role that gained Stiles renown was Kat Stratford, opposite Heath Ledger, in Gil Junger's "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), an adaptation of "The Taming of the Shrew" set in a high school near Tacoma, Washington. She won an MTV Movie Award for "Breakthrough Female Performance" for the role, and the Chicago Film Critics voted her the most promising new actress of the year. Foreign critics applauded her work as well, including Adina Hoffman, who praised her as "a young, serious looking Diane Lane" [Adina Hoffman. "Good teen fun". " The Jerusalem Post". July 26, 1999.] and Martin Hoyle, who commented that Stiles played Kat "with bloody-minded independent charm from the beginning with hints of wistfulness beneath the determination." [Martin Hoyle. "Martin Hoyle enjoys a film that turns the Bard's almost unplayable comedy into a teenage coup". "Financial Times". July 8, 1999. 18.]

Her next starring role was in "Down to You" (2000), which was heavily panned by critics, but earned Stiles and her co-star Freddie Prinze, Jr. a "Teen Choice Award" nomination for their on-screen chemistry. She subsequently appeared in two more Shakespearean adaptations. The first was as the Ophelia in Michael Almerayda's "Hamlet" (2000), with Ethan Hawke in the lead. The second was in the Desdemona role, opposite Mekhi Phifer in Tim Blake Nelson's "O" (2001), a version of "Othello" set in a private boarding school. Neither film was a great success; "O" had been subjected to many delays and a change of distributors and "Hamlet" was an art house film shot on a minimal budget.

Stiles' next commercial success was in "Save the Last Dance" (2001), as an aspiring ballerina forced to leave her small town in downstate Illinois to live with her struggling musician father in Chicago after her mother is killed. At her new, nearly all-black school, she falls in love with the character played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who teaches her hip-hop dance steps that get her into The Juilliard School. The role won her two more MTV awards for "Best Kiss" and "Best Female Performance", and a "Teen Choice Award" for best fight scene for her battle with Bianca Lawson. "Rolling Stone" pronounced her "the coolest co-ed," putting her on the cover of its April 12, 2001 issue. She told "Rolling Stone" that she performed all her own dancing in the film, though the way the film was shot and edited might have made it appear otherwise. [Jancee Dunn. "Is Julia Stiles too cool for school?" "Rolling Stone." Issue 866. April 12, 2001.]

In David Mamet's "State and Main" (2000), about a film shooting on location in a small town in Vermont, she played a teenage girl who seduces a film actor (Alec Baldwin) with a weakness for young girls. Stiles also played opposite Stockard Channing in the dark art house film "The Business of Strangers" (2001) as a conniving, amoral secretary who exacts revenge on her cold boss. Channing was impressed by her co-star: "In addition to her talent, she has a quality that is almost feral, something that can make people uneasy. She has an effect on people." [Dave Kehr. "At the Movies: Understanding a Dragon Lady." "The New York Times." December 7, 2001. E8.] Stiles also had a small but crucial role as Treadstone operative Nicolette "Nicky" Parsons in "The Bourne Identity" (2002), a role that was enlarged in "The Bourne Supremacy" (2004), then greatly expanded in "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007).

Between the Bourne films, she appeared in "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003) as Joan, a student at Wellesley College in 1953, whose art professor (Julia Roberts) encourages her to pursue a career in law rather than becoming a wife and mother. Critic Stephen Holden referred to her as one of cinema's "brightest young stars," [Stephen Holden. "Creeping 1953 Feminism Without Quite Dispelling Dreams of Prince Charming." "The New York Times." December 19, 2003. B8.] but the film met with generally unfavorable reviews.

Stiles played a Wisconsin college student who is swept off her feet by a Danish prince in "The Prince and Me" (2004), directed by Martha Coolidge. Stiles told an interviewer that she was very similar to the character, Paige Morgan. But critic Scott Foundas said while she was, as always, "irrepressibly engaging," the film was a "strange career choice for Stiles." [Scott Foundas. "Not a Fresh 'Prince'." "Variety." March 29, 2004. 80, 86.] This echoed criticism in reviews of "A Guy Thing" (2003), a romantic comedy with Jason Lee and Selma Blair. Critic Dennis Harvey wrote that Stiles was "wasted," [Dennis Harvey. Review of "A Guy Thing." "Variety." January 20, 2003.] and Stephen Holden called her "a serious actress from whom comedy does not seem to flow naturally". [Stephen Holden. "A Hangover Is the Least of His Problems." "The New York Times." January 17, 2003. B31.]

In 2005, Stiles was cast opposite her "Hamlet" co-star Liev Schreiber in "The Omen," a remake of the 1976 horror film. The film was released on June 6, 2006. [cite web|url=http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEb2EkfdQ4Xbec|title=Julia Stiles Talks "The Omen"|last=Roman|first= Julian |publisher=movieweb.com|accessdate=2008-10-09]

She returned to the Bourne series with a much larger role in "The Bourne Ultimatum" in 2007. Producer Lynda Obst was quoted as saying that Stiles was "turning into the next Meryl Streep." [Aimee Agresti. "Type A Student." "Premiere." v. 15, n. 12. August 2002. 74-6.] She will next work on a film adaptation of "The Bell Jar", which coincidentally was a book her character was seen reading in her breakthrough film "10 Things I Hate About You". Stiles also appears in the forthcoming film "Gospel Hill." She will act in the role of a woman who falls in love with her stalker in the upcoming thriller "Cry of the Owl." [cite web|url=http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEOGFRTXryIyTQ|title=Julia Stiles Has Heard the Cry of the Owl|date=2007-10-22|publisher=movieweb.com|accessdate=2008-10-09]

tage career

Stiles' first theatrical roles were in works by author/composer John Moran with the group Ridge Theater, in Manhattan's lower East side from 1993-1998. She later performed on stage in Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues", in the summer of 2002, and appeared as Viola, the lead role in Shakespeare in the Park's production of "Twelfth Night" with Jimmy Smits. Reviewing the production, Ben Brantley of "The New York Times" saluted Stiles as "the thinking teenagers' movie goddess" who put him in mind of a "young Jane Fonda." [Ben Brantley. "Wayward Currents in Uncharted Waters." "The New York Times". July 22, 2002.]

In the spring of 2004, she made her London stage debut opposite Aaron Eckhart in a revival of David Mamet's play "Oleanna" at the Garrick Theatre.Julia Stiles. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2004/jun/17/gender.world "Who's afraid of the 1950s?"] "The Guardian" (London). June 17 2004. Retrieved February 27 2006.]

Other work

On March 17, 2001, Stiles hosted "Saturday Night Live" and, eight days later, she was a presenter at the 73rd Academy Awards. [cite web|url=http://www.oscars.org/73academyawards/presenters.html|title=73rd Academy Awards Show Presenters and Performers - Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences|publisher=oscars.org|accessdate=2008-10-09] She returned to "Saturday Night Live" on May 5 in a cameo as President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush in a skit that poked fun at the two first daughters being arrested for underage drinking. MTV profiled her in its "Diary" series in 2003, [cite web|url=http://www.tvguide.com/detail/tv-show.aspx?tvobjectid=194445&more=ucepisodelist&episodeid=3735516|title=Episodes: Julia Stiles - "Diary" |publisher=tvguide.com|accessdate=2008-10-09] and she was "Punk'd" by Ashton Kutcher at a Washington DC museum in the spring of 2004. [cite web|url=http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1557348&vid=143666|title=Punk'd Season 3 Episode 3|publisher=mtv.com|accessdate=2008-10-09]

Stiles made her writing and directorial debut with "Elle" magazine's short "Raving" starring Zooey Deschanel. It premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. [cite web|url=http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2007-04-23-julia-stiles_N.htm|title=Stiles shows her New York in 'Raving' style|date=2007-04-23|publisher=usatoday.com|accessdate=2008-10-09]

Personal life

Stiles attended Friends Seminary, a Quaker prep school in Manhattan, and graduated from the Professional Children's School in New York in 1999. She then was an English major at Columbia University, though she several times interrupted her studies to pursue her career.cite news|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/entertainment/2006/06/04/2006-06-04_a_real_city_gal____growing_u.html|title=A REAL CITY GAL. Growing up in New York prepared Julia Stiles, star of 'The Omen,' for life and stardom|last=Neumaier|first=Joe|date=2006-06-04|publisher="The New York Daily News"|accessdate=2008-10-09] During her first year (2000-2001), Stiles caused a minor uproar on campus when she mocked cafeteria workers in Columbia's dining halls while appearing on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien". Stiles later apologized for her comments in the campus newspaper, the "Columbia Daily Spectator". [cite news|title=Enough Is Enough|last=Stiles|first=Julia|date=2001-02-21|publisher=Columbia Daily Spectator|accessdate=2008-10-09] She graduated in May 2005, five years after entering.

Stiles is a Democrat and supported John Kerry's candidacy for President of the United States. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20041204084746/http://juliastiles.net/news.html# - GOING UPRIVER - A Letter From Julia] . JuliaStiles.net. 26 October 2004.] Stiles is also a supporter of Moveon.org. [cite web|url=http://dailyuw.com/2004/4/1/julia-stiles-on-life-love-and-the-movies/|title=Julia Stiles on life, love and the movies|last=Ong|first=Lie Shia |date=2004-04-01|publisher=dailyuw.com|accessdate=2008-10-09]

Stiles has also worked for Habitat for Humanity, building housing in Costa Rica, [cite web|url=http://www.habitat.org/newsroom/2000archive/insitedoc004229.aspx|title=Actress Julia Stiles Builds in Costa Rica|date=2000-05-22|publisher=habitat.org|accessdate=2008-10-09] and has worked with Amnesty International to try to raise awareness of the harsh conditions of immigration detention of unaccompanied juveniles; "Marie Claire" magazine, in January 2004, featured Stiles' trip to see conditions at the Berks County Youth Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania. [ [http://www.amnestyusa.org/artistsforamnesty/feb2004.html Julia Stiles visits children in detention] . Amnesty International. Retrieved 27 February 2006.] [ [http://www.amnestyusa.org/artistsforamnesty/july2004.html On the Front Lines] . Amnesty International. Retrieved 27 February 2006.] Additionally, Stiles serves on the Board of Directors of Amend.org, [cite web|url=http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200606/20060605.html|title=Tavis Smiley: Julia Stiles (June 5, 2006)|publisher=pbs.org|accessdate=2008-10-09] a New York-based nonprofit that implements childhood injury prevention programs in Africa. [cite web|url=http://amend.org/pages/about.html|title=Amend.org: About Us|publisher=amend.org|accessdate=2008-10-09]

Stiles is also an ex-vegan. She claims she gave up veganism after she developed anemia and found it difficult to get proper nutrition while traveling. She now occasionally eats red meat. [cite web|url=http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/interviews/julia_stiles/3|title=Julia Stiles Interview|publisher=tiscali.co.uk|pages=3|accessdate=2008-10-09] Stiles has described herself as a feminist and wrote on the subject in "The Guardian".

Stiles is also an avid baseball fan. Her favorite team is the New York Mets. [MLB.com, (June 3, 2005). [http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050603&content_id=1074345&vkey=news_nym&fext=.jsp&c_id=nym Notes: Celebrities take BP for charity] . Accessed 2006-12-19.] She threw the ceremonial first pitch before their May 29, 2006 game. [Reuters, (May 30, 2006). [http://www.chinadaily.net/sports/2006-05/30/content_603892_2.htm Actress Julia Throws First Pitch] . Accessed 2006-12-19.]



External links

*imdb name|id=0005466|name=Julia Stiles
*tcmdb name|id=342479
* [http://www.slashfilm.com/2007/02/23/movie-trailer-raving-directed-by-julia-stiles/ "Raving" Trailer] directed by Julia Stiles
* [http://www.iconsoffright.com/IV_Stiles.htm Icons of Fright interview (June 1, 2006)]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1184703,00.html Guardian Unlimited interview] (April 3, 2004)
* [http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/interviews/julia_stiles.html Tiscali.uk interview] (2004)
* [http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200606/20060605_stiles.html Stiles on "Tavis Smiley"] (June 5, 2006)

NAME= Stiles, Julia
DATE OF BIRTH= March 28, 1981
PLACE OF BIRTH= New York City, New York, United States

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