- June 2001

 MTV Movie Award Interview 

At last year's movie awards, Julia Stiles walked away with a trophy for Best Breakthrough Performance. This year, she not only nabbed a Best Female Performance nomination for Save the Last Dance, but she also shares nominations with costar Sean Patrick Thomas for Best Dance Sequence and Best Kiss.

So you and your costar, Sean Patrick Thomas, have a ton of nominations. How do you feel about them all?

Oh, it's wonderful. I'm so thrilled. I think these are the coolest awards because they're voted for by the MTV viewers, so it really means a lot. It's not really a political thing. When you're nominated it means people like your movies, so it makes me happy.

Which of your nominations would you be most surprised or most excited if you ended up winning?

I think Best Dance Sequence, because we've got some stiff competition with Cameron Diaz -- that was a pretty hot dance scene. Or Best Actress. That would be really exciting for me, personally.

Last year you won Best Breakthrough Performance for 10 Things I Hate About You. So do you have any thoughts about being nominated for Best Female Performance? Is it a similar award, or does it have a totally different meaning for you?

No, it has a different meaning for me, because I think to follow up with [Best Female Performance] would mean that people didn't get sick of watching me. They're completely different movies and performances, too, so it would just be really exciting. And I was so shocked last year that I had won... so I think I would savor it a lot more this year. Even [at] just the awards ceremony in general I'll have a lot more fun.

So are you nervous about the upcoming ceremony?

No, I'm really excited! I've been thinking about what I'm going to wear and I can't think of anything. Whatever it is has to be good.

So how much training went into your Best Dance Sequence nomination?

I did a month and a half of mostly ballet, because I had to brush up on that, for like four hours a day. But the actual sequence that's nominated, in the club... we learned that piece of choreography literally the morning before we started shooting it.

And how much practice went into that Best Kiss?


How many takes did it take?

Oh wow, all I remember is that it was really, really cold that night. There really weren't that many takes, but there were different set-ups for the camera. Like there was my close-up and then his close-up and then wider shots, so it was quite a few times. Certainly no complaint on my part.

You have a couple of films coming up -- O and The Bourne Identity. Can you tell me a little bit about those and your role in them?

O, I'm really, really excited about. That's coming out in August, and Mekhi Phifer's in it, and Josh Hartnett, Martin Sheen, and Rain Phoenix. It's an adaptation of [Shakespeare's] Othello, and I think it's a really, really good movie... I play Desdemona. It doesn't use the old language, but it's a pretty close adaptation to the play.

It's set in modern times?

Yeah. It's also one of the movies I've been in that I'm most proud of. And then The Bourne Identity... it's not really done. I have no idea what to expect when it is done, but Matt Damon is in it, and he basically plays a CIA operative who is in an accident and has amnesia and is trying to figure out who he is. And I'm sort of a pawn for the CIA to try and track him down and catch him, because they think that he's going to do bad stuff. But I'm involved in the big climax at the end.

Let's say you win in every category that you're nominated for. How will you celebrate?

I will certainly celebrate there at the parties afterwards, but... I will either take a bunch of my friends to Magic Mountain or Great Adventure, because I've been meaning to go to those. I love amusement parks... Or I'll just take my friends out somewhere and celebrate.

And where do you keep your golden popcorn from last year?

Oh, I have it actually in my bedroom up on top of my dresser. And my little brother -- he's really into hockey -- and every day before he has a hockey game, he comes in and asks if he can touch my golden popcorn for good luck. [laughs] I don't know why he thinks it's good luck, but he does.

Originally published at - Posted on June 2001