Too young for love...
...but not for a career, so says Julia Stiles
She's gorgeous, a millionaire, and about to graduate from Columbia University with a degree in English Literature. Is it any wonder Julia Stiles can't see herself getting married real soon? Despite the fact that her latest film The Prince and Me is all about falling in love with a real-life Prince Charming?
"All of a sudden, I hear about my peers getting married, and I can't even imagine that" says the 22-year-old. "But for me, I think that it's not really an option right now. I've been very career-oriented and I try to keep my life outside of my career as full as possible, but I think that marriage is a really big decision. I hate to see people making that decision so frivolously these days." Wise words from one still so young, but Julia Stiles is a woman who has been making seriously non-frivolous decisions for years. She knew she wanted to be an actress from very early on, attending New York City's Professional Children's School while actively pursuing her career. She got her first professional work at age 12, and by 18 had her first movie hit, 10 Things I Hate About You.
Nowadays, Stiles commands more than $4 million a picture, but what demands her attention is her college curriculum. She's in her senior year and talks more about favorite authors than about the process of acting.
"I feel like when I'm in school, it helps me to be a more thoughtful person that's grounded, and it keeps my head on straight and there's a lot of things that I'm curious about that I can't learn when I'm on set," she explains happily."School is really stimulating. It has exposed me to so much literature and art that I would've never otherwise been exposed to, and it's also a nice environment to grow up in.
I feel like being in college is the leap from being a teenager to being an adult, but you can do it in a safe environment." But woven throughout her conversations on Steinbeck and Kundera is the inevitable thread of her work, which brings her thoughts back to films, theater, and acting. "Sometimes, when I am in school, I feel that it's going to hinder my acting career," Stiles admits, blushing just a little.
"I just really get a lot of joy out of acting and so, a lot of times when I sit down and write a paper, I'm thinking, 'I just want to be on stage right now,' but luckily, that hasn't been the case too much. I've found through school that I really like writing, and so I love the idea of writing something for stage.
I took a playwriting class last semester and the idea of writing something for the stage is really intriguing to me."
She'll have to search to find time to pen a play, for her plate -- between classes, exams and movie making -- is definitely a full one. Stiles not only has The Prince and Me coming to theaters this year, but Romance and Cigarettes, a musical comedy set in Brooklyn, and The Bourne Supremacy, a big action thriller will both be hitting the big screen. She's also scheduled to hit London's West End, in a new stage production of David Mamet's Oleanna, starring opposite Aaron Eckhart, in April.
"I've really, really, really been wanting to get back onstage," Stiles cheers, "and I'm going to do a production of Oleanna in the West End in London in the spring. We start rehearsals in the middle of March. That was a big goal for me, and now it is happening!"
With stage, film, writing plays, and finishing college it's no wonder marriage is low on Stiles' "to do" list. She can't get married; she's just too busy.
Article by Jenny Peters
Originally published at Brentwood Magazine - Posted on March 2004