10 Things I Hate About You
Once a model for Calvin Klein, actress Julia Stiles received recognition for her
portrayal of teenager Ellie Christianson in Michael Steinberg's thriller Wicked
(1998). She was handed the KVI Film Festival award for Best Actress in 1998. The
following year, she was widely recognized after starring as spirited and
sardonic Katarina (Kat), opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in the hit 10 Things I
Hate About You (1999), a modernized retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. Stiles
took home MTV Movie and CFCA awards for her role. Additionally, she received a
nomination at the Young Star Awards.
Stiles again attracted the attention of the public and film critics when she
starred in Save the Last Dance (2001), portraying aspiring ballerina Sara
Johnson who becomes involved in an interracial romance with Sean Patrick
Thomas's character. Due to her outstanding performance, she again won a MTV
Movie award and was honored with the Teen Choice Film - Choice Fight Scene Award
(shared with Bianca Lawson).
5'7" inch tall Stiles was voted one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful
People and was once named one of Teen People Magazine's 21 Hottest Stars Under
21. She was reportedly suing her ex-production partner for allegedly conspiring
to rob her of a role in a film adaptation of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar (2005),
but she insistently denied the rumor. As for her romantic life, the big fan of
actor Kevin Kline and actress Cate Blanchett, Stiles dated 10 Things I Hate
About You costar Joseph Gordon Levitt in 1999. She was next romantically linked
to actor Joshua Jackson (dated 2000) before dating rocker John Mays (dated
Stiles has been enjoyed as she played roles in such movies as the teen film Down
to You (2000, opposite Freddie Prince Jr.), Hamlet (2000, along side Kyle
MacLachlan, Ethan Hawke and Sam Shepard), State And Main (2000, starring Alec
Baldwin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sarah Jessica Parker and William H. Macy), The
Business of Strangers (2001, with Stockard Channing), O (2001, opposite Mekhi
Pfifer and Josh Hartnett), A Guy Thing (2003, with Jason Lee), Mona Lisa Smile
(2003, along side Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal) and The
Prince & Me (2004).
Childhood and Family:
A mix of Italian, Irish and English ancestry, Julia O'Hara Stiles was born on
March 28, 1981, in New York, NY. She is the daughter of John O'Hara (school
teacher) and Judith Stiles (managed a ceramics store in Greenwich Village).
Together with her younger siblings, brother Johnny Stiles (born 1984) and sister
Jane Stiles (born 1990), Julia spent a fantastic childhood under the guidance of
Young Julia was an artistic kid who discovered her passion for acting, dancing
and writing early. As a child, she liked imitating roles, especially the
characters on The Honeymooners while she watched TV. Such behavior encouraged
her parents to send nine-year-old Julia to summer classes at the YMCA. She next
wrote a letter to the director of La Mama Theater asking for an audition.
When she was eleven, Julia's dream came true. She appeared on stage in various
productions of New York's Ridge Theater as well as the Kitchen Theater, where
she played roles in Matthew: School Of Life and The Sandalwood Box. By the time
she was twelve, Julia had an agent and appeared in several commercials for such
campaigns as Apple Jacks and Tide. She then made her acting debut in Ghostwriter
(1993,TV). During this busy time, Julia also wrote for a Children's magazines
Julia, who shares the same birthday with Reba McEntire and Vince Vaughn, went to
New York's Professional Children's School before attending Columbia University.
Save the Last Dance
Acting with the New York's Ridge Theater at age eleven, Julia Stiles was next
seen in the La Mama Theater after writing a letter to the director. She was then
seen with the Kitchen Theater at the Matthew: School of Life and The Sandalwood
Box. Following working in commercials for Apple Jacks and Tide, Stiles
eventually got her first taste in front of camera for a series when she played a
guest role in Ghostwriter (1993).
Moving to big screen movies, Stiles made her feature-acting debut as young
Nana's Friend in I Love You, I Love You Not (1996, starring Jude Law and Claire
Danes) and played Harrison Ford's teenage daughter Bridget O'Meara in The
Devil's Own (1997, also starring Brad Pitt).
After appearing in the acclaimed ABC movie Oprah Winfrey Presents: Before Women
Had Wings (1997), Stiles' break out role arrived when she won the role of Ellie
Christianson in Michael Steinberg's thriller Wicked (1998). In the film, she
portrayed a bothered youngster who becomes an overbearing seductress following
her mother's early death. Because of her good performance, Stiles won the Best
Actress Award at the KVI Film Festival.
Stiles teamed up with Dennis Leary and Rosie O'Donnell in 1998's Wide Awake
before portraying single mother Neena Beal in the ABC historical miniseries The
'60s (1999) along side Jerry O'Connell. The successful television drama helped
launch her career.
In the year 1999, Stiles experienced a huge breakthrough with the release of 10
Things I Hate About You, a modernized retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. She
starred as spirited and sardonic Katarina (Kat) opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
As soon as the film became a hit, Stiles collected legions of fans. She also
captured the attention of movie critics and was honored with the MTV Movie Award
for Best Breakthrough Female Performance and the Best Promising Actress Award at
the CFCA Awards. Stiles also received a nomination for Best Performance by a
Young Actress in a Comedy Film at the Young Star Awards. Subsequently, Stiles
was in demand and a contract with Calvin Klein jeans arrived. Her face also
graced the cover of such popular magazines as Vanity Fair.
In the new millennium, Stiles played Imogen, a New York student who falls for
Freddie Prince Jr's character in the teen film Down to You (2000). She joined a
star-studded cast of Kyle MacLachlan, Ethan Hawke and Sam Shepard for Hamlet
(2000), a film based on the Shakespeare's play. Due to her brilliant turn as the
doomed Ophelia, Stiles received rave reviews from critics. In David Mamet's
State And Main (2000), Stiles was cast as a stubborn teen waitress named Carla
who seduces a famous actor (played by Alec Baldwin). The film also starred
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sarah Jessica Parker and William H. Macy.
Stiles' next breakthrough arrived when she landed the starring role of aspiring
ballerina Sara Johnson, who becomes involved in an interracial romance with Sean
Patrick Thomas's character, in Save the Last Dance (2001). The film became a hit
and Stiles won her second MTV Movie award as well as a Teen Choice Film - Choice
Fight Scene Award (shared with Bianca Lawson).
Stiles received her first mature role when she was cast as Stockard Channing's
crafty assistant Paula Murphy in The Business of Strangers (2001). In 2001's O,
she portrayed the popular Desi opposite Mekhi Pfifer and Josh Hartnett.
After having a small role in The Bourne Identity (2002, opposite Matt Damon),
Stiles costarred in the rough comedy A Guy Thing (2003, with Jason Lee). She
next had a title character in Carolina (2003) along side Shirley Maclaine and
Randy Quaid. In the film, Stiles played the daughter of an eccentric family who
flies to Hollywood in seek success. She then teamed up with Julia Roberts,
Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Mona Lisa Smile (2003, portrayed Joan
In 2004, Stiles was cast as Paige Morgan in the fairy tale love-story The Prince
& Me (2004), a film about a pre-med student who falls in love with a Prince.
She was then seen again as Nicky in the sequel The Bourne Supremacy (2004).
Furthering her stage career, Stiles performed in New York's Central Park by
portraying Viola in 2002's Twelfth Night after taking part in The Vagina
Monologues in 2000. She also continued to play a starring role opposite Aaron
Eckhart in David Mamet's hard-hitting Oleanna at the Garrick Theatre in London
Stiles will soon be costarring with William H. Macy in Edmund (2005) before
playing Isold in A Little Trip to Heaven (2005). After joining director Mike
Figgis in Going Down (2005), she will portray Jean Armour in the forthcoming
- Teen Choice: Film - Choice Fight Scene, Save the Last
Dance (shared with Bianca Lawson), 2001
- MTV Movie: Save the Last Dance, 2001
- Florida Film Critics Circle: 2000
- Online Film Critics Society: 2000
- Young Star Award: Best Performance by a Young Actress in
a Comedy Film, 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999
- MTV Movie: Best Breakthrough Female Performance, 10
Things I Hate About You, 1999
- CFCA Award: Best Promising Actress, 10 Things I Hate
About You, 1999
- KVI Film Festival: Best Actress, Wicked, 1998