Sunday Life - July 14, 2004

 The prince and the pauper 

How we all love a love story -- it's the weather that does it -- and specially so if it's a love story with a prince and a pretty girl.

In The Prince and Me, the pretty girl is New Yorker Paige, played by 23-year-old Julia O'Hara Stiles, who falls in love with a Danish prince, played by Luke Mably.

Explains Stiles: "He is out of the ordinary as far as princes go because he refuses to follow the usual traditions of his parents and has come to the USA to follow his love of rebellion.

"Paige and her handsome prince come from two different worlds, but there is a strong attraction between them and love blossoms."

Paige, adds Stiles, is "a free-spirited American college student and motorcycling fan, who's starting her education at university, where she meets and falls in love with one her classmates ... but doesn't know that he is a real-life prince.

"He's hiding out disguised as a regular guy."

It's all a bit lightweight, but it does give us a chance to see Stiles continue to build her screen career as one of Hollywood's hottest young stars and 'Most Beautiful' listers.

She took to the role because she saw Paige as a go-getting female: "Even though she loves her Prince, she is still determined to get her degree. She doesn't simply abandon all her dreams and ambitions because she's fallen in love. She's not prepared to let him become her entire life."

Stiles is currently combining a growing acting career with gaining a Columbia University degree in English, with college classmate, Oscar-winner Anna Paquin.

"I'm dedicated to my education because I don't want to become just another Hollywood brat.

"I want to be thought of as somebody with a bit of maturity.

"Anyway, I have never felt the need to get into the Hollywood thing, to make a display of myself. Like, I won't ever consider doing a nude scene.

"I don't want people to think my career was built on only being a sexy bimbo. I'd feel I'd cheated on myself and on audiences, if I took that path."

She also, of course, knows that looks count in the world of the movies and while she's determined to keep her feet on the ground she is aware of how beautiful she is... though she modestly pretends it's just a quirk of luck.

"My work is important to me, far more important than me looking what other people think of as sexy."

She has been in such films as I Love You, I Love You Not, 10 Things I Hate About You, O, and Save the Last Dance, and will be seen in the upcoming sequel to The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy.

Earlier in her career she just lost out to close friend, Kirsten Dunst, for the role of the child in Interview with the Vampire and she has also been appearing in writer David Mamet's controversial play, Oleanna, at London's Garrick Theatre.

She has lined up alongside Dunst, Julia Roberts and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Mona Lisa Smile, and you can throw in stars such as Brad Pitt, Ethan Hawke, Josh Hartnett and Matt Damon as past co-stars.

Ms Stiles is clearly on her way. "I sort of fell into acting," says Stiles. "When I was 12, I joined a drama group as something to do after school and my parents, who run a New York ceramics company, encouraged me.

"I started doing commercials and then moved into films. But I do want to gain as much good experience to help me become a better actress. I enjoy acting a lot."

Oddly enough, she doesn't currently have a boyfriend.

Indeed, though she's worked with some of Hollywood's hottest hunks, they haven't tried to date her or flirt with her: "Maybe they don't think I'm attractive enough." Or maybe they're just devoid of good taste!

Article by Colin McAlpin
Originally published at Sunday Life - Posted on July 14, 2004