BBC Films - April 29, 2002

 Julia Stiles - The Business of Strangers 

Julia Stiles, 21, starred in the sleeper hit Save the Last Dance, but instead of following it up with another teen romp, she chose the low-budget talkfest The Business of Strangers, in which she plays a scheming assistant to Stockard Channing.

Why did you choose this movie after Save the Last Dance?

I took this movie because I wanted to do something smaller, not just in terms of budget, but in terms of focus. That's much more interesting than some big production. I'm not really interested in maintaining some stratospheric career.

Did you enjoy playing someone so nasty?

Some people think Paula is unlikeable. But I think she is just a really good actress and there's a kernel of truth in everything she says, she's just out there. But I'm not like that in real life.

Are you worried you're going to have to dance in every movie now?

[laughs] Do I dance in this movie? I think I did a little bit.

Do you feel like you have a lot of power in Hollywood now, despite being so young?

It's very schizophrenic. Sometimes, I feel like I have a lot of power and sometimes I feel like I have no control at all over my life. But I would like to produce and I also write [a script Stiles wrote was workshopped at the Sundance Festival a few years ago]. I don't think I am ready to direct and there's no formula for it, so I just have to navigate as I go.

Article by Ben Falk
Originally published at BBC Films - Posted on April 29, 2002