Julia Stiles: the new shrew
Julia Stiles stars in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, the latest update of The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare and a newer take on Kiss Me Kate. But don't listen for Cole Porter music in this high-school comedy. The "Kate" in this version is a social misfit named Kat Stratford. (For Stratford-upon-Avon. Get it?)
"Kat is totally a fish out of water," Stiles tells CBS This Morning. "She is kind of antisocial. She doesn't like going to parties, and she doesn't like dating or anything."
According to Stiles, it was Kat's sheer independence that sold her on the role.
"You see so many ditsy girl characters in the horror movies, or they're the girlfriend who runs around in a towel and bats her eyelashes," explains the 18-year-old actress, "so I was very relieved to have such a positive female role."
At 15, Stiles became the envy of many of her peers when she secured a role in The Devil's Own opposite Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford.
"It was amazing," Stiles recalls. "It was surreal, because I remember standing on the set and looking around, and I was, like, 'There's Harrison Ford' and 'There's Brad Pitt,' and I was just amazed."
Next month, Stiles will appear on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine as part of its salute to Hollywood's hottest young stars, but New York is her real home. "Hollywood or Celebrityism isn't the most important thing to a lot of people here. They don't really care, at all. So it's great."
10 Things I Hate About You isn't the end of Shakespeare for Stiles. She recently completed filming Hamlet, in which she plays Ophelia opposite Ethan Hawke.
Originally aired on March 30, 1999 on CBS This morning