Empire Online - September 9, 2002

 Toilet tips wanted 

Having appeared in last week's The Bourne Identity and launching the second wave of her box-office assault in this week's O, you wouldn't be egregiously out of line to suggest that hot young star, Julia Stiles, has fame pouring out of her ears. However, starring alongside Julia Roberts in her upcoming project, Mona Lisa Smile, Stiles feels that she may be able to pick up a few pointers on what it means to be more famous than the Pope.

"I sort of marvel at her level of fame," Stiles told Empire Online. "She seems like a very sane, together and centered person and I wonder how anyone can do that with the amount of fame that she has. I'm kind of curious to take notes and ask things like 'so, when you're on the toilet and someone asks you for an autograph, how do you respond?'"

Mona Lisa Smile sees Stiles, alongside Kirsten Dunst, as a student at Wellesley college in 1953. Taught by a free-spirited graduate, played by Roberts, Stiles and her classmates are forced to weigh feminist ambitions against the traditional demands of a woman's role. "It's really interesting -- especially for me because I'm going to be finishing school and I'm going to have to deal with this eventually -- these women in college deciding whether or not they want to get married and raise a family or whether they want a career. It's at the beginning of a big feminist movement and Julia Roberts' character is very pro-career -- she left her husband to become a professor. I play this girl who gets into law school but decides not to go so she can get married and raise kids, and Julia doesn't approve of that."

While no toilet-orientated wisdom was on offer, Stiles also managed to learn a few things on the set of A Guy Thing, a film she's recently finished work on. Playing a dancer who wakes up in bed with Jason Lee's soon-to-be-married man the morning after his bachelor party, Stiles is in wholehearted agreement with Empire Online that Lee is one of the funniest men in movies. "Absolutely! I'd be at work at 5 o'clock in the morning after working all night. I'd be fading and he'd crack some joke and make me laugh. There's actually a scene in the movie where we're talking and I burst out laughing, but me bursting out laughing is actually from him just making me laugh in one of the outtakes as opposed to me actually being in character. He's hysterical -- I stole all of his jokes and took them back to school with me and made everyone think I was really funny."

Originally published at Empire Online - Posted on September 9, 2002