Sexy Julia Stiles could easily make just about anyone jealous. In any day at work she might get to dance in hit movies, costar with Josh Hartnett or snog Heath Ledger. Our very own Colleen Last caught up with Julia at the Dorchester Hotel in London to find out if she really is the luckiest gal in the world!
You get to work with all the cool people. Do you keep in touch with any of your former costars?
Yeah, I stay in touch with Kerry Washington (the single mom from Save the Last Dance) because we got along really well. Rain Phoenix and I, who I worked with on O, are really good friends. Larissa Oleynik is a good friend. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actually goes to Columbia [university, which Julia attends], so we catch up for coffee pretty regularly.
What about Heath Ledger?
Yeah, a little bit. He lives in LA so he's off doing his own thing. It's weird, when you work on a movie, you develop the kind of friendship where you can see each of sporadically, and still have a good friendship. Heath and I are a lot like that.
You've kissed many cute guys like Heath and Freddie Prinze Jr. Are those scenes embarrassing to shoot?
No, it gets easier. It's not even a big deal, really. Actors understand the kissing doesn't mean anything. Certainly, the first time I had to do that, it was really nerve wracking, but now it's not so much anymore. But something else takes over, like having to do the beginning of a love story.
We have to ask, who did you prefer Heath or Freddie?
(Laughs) Oh well, I can't tell you that?
Do you enjoy being a VIP?
Sure! Yes and no. Like, on the one hand, I get free clothes, so I don't have to shop, that's wonderful. There are a lot of perks that are wonderful and I'd be the first to say that I do appreciate it and it's not a bad thing. On the other hand, it's a little weird 'cos a lot of times I'll feel almost guilty cause I don't deserve this, like staying in this hotel. It's ridiculous that I'm 19 years old and staying in the Dorchester, and it's also ridiculous that people give me free clothes, 'cos what does that mean? It means that I'm like a walking advertisement for them. But then I think, like, if it wasn't going to me it would be going to someone else, and I'm not going to change the world, so just enjoy it, as long as I don't compromise my beliefs.
I read that you were a big Eminem fan?
(Laughs) Yeah, I am.
Are you a die hard fan?
No, I'm kinda over the hype around him. Bit I think he is a really talented rapper and the controversial stuff that he raps about kind of bothers me, but at the same time I like Biggy Smalls and that completely goes against all of my feminist ideals! But the music sounds good and he rhymes really well. Oh and he's really cute! (Laughs)
How much dancing training did you do before you took the role in Save the Last Dance?
We did a month and a half of training before the movie started. I had a wonderful choreographer teaching me. The modern dance training that I did was mostly upper body stuff, positions and stuff, and not very strict.
Are you concerned that when you go to clubs now, everyone checks out your dancing?
Oh my god, yes! I get that a lot. I mean, I try to ignore it, but there's a lot of weird pressure. People always say, "Do that dance!" or I'm always thinking, "Oh they probably expect me to be a fantastic dancer", but I try to ignore it.
Is it true they wanted to use a stand-in for the hip-hop dancing scenes?
Yeah, well, they always wanna have a double, just to be safe, but I was very adamant about not having a hip-hop double because that was really, really important to me. And even if they bring her on set and use her, you never have control over what they edit. So with the hip-hop stuff, I said I don't want to have a double so that means they have to make me as good as they want me to be, cos I'm the only option, so I sort of put my foot down that way. With the ballet stuff, I can't go on point, so that was doubled, but the rest of it was me.
What can you tell us about your upcoming movies, like The Bourne Identity?
I just have a Cameo in that, I play a CIA operative who's sent to Paris to track down Matt Damon. And I'm in the climax of the movie, basically. I have a fight scene, which was great. Matt was really nice, he did all of his own stunts for the movie and he did all this training for it, so he was amazing.
Tell us about O with the very cute Josh Hartnett.
Oh, yeah, O. (laughs) I don't know what's going on with that. It's a really good movie and I was really proud of it, but I think Miramax are afraid to release it because of all the high school shootings. I don't think the movie should be rightfully associated with that , cos it's a different story, but they want to be respectful to the families.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to go to clubs and go dancing, I like to play soccer, um, and even just hang out with my friends. Since I've been here I go sightseeing, it depends on where I am but if I'm abroad I try to sightsee a lot.
Do you have a boyfriend?
No, it's a very time consuming thing, so no, I don't. I've had short term relationships but it's hard. I'm also very young and very selfish.
What about the rumours that you are dating your brother's soccer coach?
He was just someone I met through the people I play soccer with, and we did go out a couple of times, but it was nothing worth writing about. I'm not seeing anybody at the moment.
Article by Colleen Last
Originally published in the April 2001 issue of a UK Magazine