Many people predicted that the young, beautiful actress would have a prosperous career in the entertainment industry. Then, suddenly, she decided to try something completely different and abandoned Hollywood’s glitter and splendour.

So, what happened to Julia Stiles? Quite a bit…

Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles’ breakout performance came in Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You, but she had already had a lot of acting experience by that point.

She began acting at 11 with the La MaMa Theater Company in New York City. She became intrigued with theatre after her parents took her to Broadway performances when she was younger.
Julia was born in New York City in 1981 and grew up in a family of scholars and artists. As the district transitioned from an industrial wasteland to an artist community, the native New Yorker grew up in Soho’s loft quarters.

Cute Julia

In the early 1980s, New York City was a filthy, drug-infested city. Growing up and playing on the nearby soccer fields required extreme caution.

“Well, you wouldn’t pick up needles, but we would. According to Julia, in 2007, when you pointed out, “There’s a needle,” a teacher would arrive.

Julia as Child
But, on the whole, she had a happy childhood. Her father, John O’Hara, was an elementary school teacher, and her mother, Judith Newcomb Stiles, was a Greenwich Village artist. Julia grew up with John Junior and Jane, another sibling who became an actress.

Julia, 15, got her first acting break in the love film I Love You, I Love You Not, opposite Claire Danes and Jude Law.

Then followed a few smaller parts.

Julia as adult

Julia finally found popularity with the publication of 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999. Julia played the rebellious Kat Stratford alongside Heath Ledger, one of Hollywood’s top male stars.
The high school comedy, which translated Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew into a story about the trials and tribulations of American high school students, was a smash hit. Teen rom-coms were popular in the 1990s, and many young, bright actresses found success.

Julia battled against celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Kirsten Dunst. She was, nevertheless, adamant about landing the job in 10 Things I Hate About You.

Julia Stiles Scene

She described her desire for the role in 2009: “I thought it was so refreshing, having a young girl be feisty and vocal and be a fish out of the water, but proudly [so],” she said.

Anyone who has seen the movie will see Heath Ledger, who plays Julia’s love interest, and Julia have fantastic chemistry. It appears that Ledger, born in Australia, was still determining if he’d get the part. There were several other candidates for the role, and Ledger’s Australian accent aroused eyebrows.

Prettiest Julia

“We put Josh Hartnett, Eliza Dushku, Heath, and Julia through their paces. But Julia and Heath had the chemistry,” Marcia Ross, the casting director, stated in 2019.

The entire film, which grossed $60 million, was shot on location; no sets were used. Julia got the MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance and was named the year’s most promising new actress.
It’s logical to imagine Julia was under much pressure after becoming famous. Because of the high expectations from Hollywood and the general public, many directors wanted the lovely, slim-eyed blonde in their upcoming films.

Julia at event
Julia eventually appeared in two more Shakespearean adaptations for a variety of reasons.
Julia played Ophelia, one year following her success with 10 Things I Hate About You. She then portrayed Desdemona in O, a boarding school-set film adaption of Othello.
“Those were coincidental events. I had no intention of making three Shakespeare adaptations. However, it was not entirely unconscious. “They came to me as independent projects that fascinated me for various reasons,” Julia told reporters at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

Stiles’ second significant commercial smash, Save the Last Dance, came in 2001. She was then cast in the Jason Bourne film series as Nicolette “Nicky” Parsons.

Julia made multiple film appearances per year during the 2000s, but by the end of the decade, she was significantly less active. She stunned her admirers by enrolling at Columbia University at the height of her fame and money as an actress.
For many years, she juggled acting with English and Latin American studies. It’s tough to say whether attending college during her thriving Hollywood career helped or damaged her.

“Academic professionals don’t give a s*** about my being in a movie or having to attend the MTV Movie Awards. People in the entertainment sector, on the other hand, are unconcerned about the university. That was extremely beneficial to me,” she told The Daily Beast in 2019.

Julia Stiles Still

Julia was able to keep her perspective because of her schooling.
“The positive thing about being in college was that others paid little interest in me because they were so focused on their dreams and tests. Also, there’s that thing in academics where making movies isn’t considered essential; it’s considered low-brow. “That was refreshing for me, and I was determined to be taken seriously,” she stated in 2007.
Julia was regularly questioned about the merits of continuing her study at the start of each semester because there were accessible film chances and appealing offers.
“I don’t want to be 50 and regret not going back. “Besides, it’s such a comfort to go back to Columbia where they don’t care what magazine cover I’m on,” she stated in 2004.

Julia at concert

Of course, there were a few odd moments when the famous young celebrity tried to blend in with the other kids.

“And then there were some very amusing, bizarre occurrences, like an MTV Movie Awards limo driving up in front of my dormitory with my name on it,” Julia once recounted.

“There are times when you’re like, ‘Oh God!’ So it’s not a huge issue.”

Her career took an unexpected turn in 2019 when she was cast as journalist Elizabeth in the crime comedy-drama Hustlers.

The film, shot on a shoestring budget in 29 days, was a box office smash. Julia thought she was back on track with Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu as co-stars.

Julia is now a successful woman in charge of her career, rather than “just” being a former teen actor. She is about to make her directorial debut and recently won praise for her portrayal in the Riviera crime drama. The core character of Julia’s British television series is a newlywed whose spouse is killed in a boat explosion.

It grew so popular in the United Kingdom that it ultimately made its way to the United States, where it aired in 2019 on the channel Ovation.
It’s no secret that it’s difficult for older women to break into Hollywood these days.

Julia Stiles has played the gorgeous girlfriend, a mother, and, more recently, darker, more complex characters. Nonetheless, she has done almost everything there is to do in front of the camera. The Manhattanite, who has labelled herself a feminist, can look back on her breakthrough in the 1990s and see how she helped to change the industry.

In many ways, Julia’s appearance as Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You was a watershed moment in her career.
Her character Kat was one of the alternative feminist protagonists during the adolescent rom-com era. The Riveria singer now says she would be “extremely thrilled” if she could “play even a small part in that growth of confidence in women.”

Thankfully, many things have improved.

“I think when I eventually got cast in that role — while I was happy — I was probably thinking at the time, ‘Well, where is my entire career going to go?'”
“we still have a long way to go, and I feel like the roles that are coming and that are available, whether it’s behind the camera or in front, are even more interesting and exciting now than what we were doing in our 20s, generally,” Julia explained.

Although I had no idea Julia was still acting, it’s clear that her professional and family priorities have shifted.

But she appears to be having fun and is a terrific actress! Julia, best wishes for the future!