Boston Herald - February 11, 2004

 As film roles build up,
     Julia Stiles to graduate Columbia by degrees

Ivy League It Girl Julia Stiles is just as comfortable on the college campus as the red carpet, the Hollywood up-and-comer tells Cosmopolitan maggie.

The 22-year-old actress tells the Feb. 17 Cosmo she fits in just fine at Columbia University -- that is, when she's actually enrolled.

"People don't really treat me differently," Stiles says of being resident movie star at the prestigious New York City school where she has one year to go. "I mean, nobody talks about it with me. When I first started school, it was a little awkward, but now I've moved off campus and I have my friends."

But what with Tinseltown calling constantly, Stiles says she hasn't yet found a way to "balance" school and acting.

She took off a semester to do Mona Lisa Smile, spent the summer filming the romantic comedy, The Prince and Me, and has taken off the current semester to appear in Oleanna in London.

"At the rate I'm going, it looks like I probably won't graduate college until I'm about 30 years old," Stiles joked, "but that's OK."

Julia most recently drew praise for her role in Mona Lisa Smile, which starred Julia Roberts as a forward-thinking art history professor raging against the stifling complacency of 1950s-era Wellesley College.

The flick, christened a Dead Poets Society for chicks, featured Stiles as a hyperachieving Wellesley gal with her heart set on an MRS. degree.

During the filming of the flick, much of which was shot on the Wellesley campus, Stiles said she made friends with fellow actresses Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst.

"When we started shooting at Wellesley, we all lived in a dormitory, which was really fun," Stiles said. "We ended up becoming friends, and I still talk to both of them."

As to her taste in the boys, Stiles admits to being peeved by guys "who say they want to date smart, strong girls, but then they always end up with these ditzy, anorexic ones. It makes no sense."

Originally published at - Posted on February 11, 2004