Interview with Julia Stiles
We're both in Vancouver right now on this day, but I think she may know more about the city than I do. I'm from Victoria, on Vancouver Island. To get over to Vancouver to do the interview is an interesting one, and all you need is your feet. This isn't a trip that I'd have to get on a plane and fly over, but rather get on a ferry and travel over to Vancouver. Add to this, the trip is a luxurious and beautiful one.
We (that is myself and my friend/assistant/whipping boy/picture taker Mark McLeod, one of my very best friends who lives in Vancouver) met Julia at a little cafe called the Coco Ricco which was pretty easy to find. And although I don't drink coffee that often (I'm caffinated enough as a spirit as it is; I only get tired when I'm bored) it seemed all good to me. We met just around 5pm, as Mark and I were looking casually up and down the street. Julia then appeared into the dusk street light walking up the street, and we made eye contact. Although she hadn't seen a picture of me before, she waved to me and I waved back. I then realized we're the only people standing outside of the cafe, so it wouldn't have been hard to pick us out. Then (gasp), as many Vancouver residents to, especially on Robson, she jaywalks across the street to me. Oh, the brave woman she is.
"Hey! You look familiar to me, where have I seen you before?" were the first words out of my mouth as we shook hands and I introduced myself. "Sorry I'm a few minutes late, I was just watching Gosford Park," she told me. At least she was watching Altman, so this girl is in my good books already. It was hard to actually LOOK at her for the first few minutes, but eventually I opened up to her. The fact that just the same afternoon I watched her play a bitchy office worker in The Business of Strangers (which would land her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, however I don't think enough Academy members have actually seen it) sort of had me in a complex state of nervousness.
As we ordered coffee, we just fired back and forth stuff, about what I did for a living and how it's good we didn't meet at a Starbucks, because there are far too many on Robson alone. In fact, in an amusing anecdote, I mentioned the Christopher Guest film "Best in Show" where Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock meet at diagonal starbucks, which is true for Robson street (I don't have the number off the top of my head, but I seem to recall there's one every three blocks, or about 15 on the street alone). Oh, my coy witticisms.
We sit down and about five minutes pass before I turn on the tape recorder, as we just continue or "getting to know each other" chat as I get everything set up. Mark's left right around this point to fix a film problem with the camera (there will be some references to this in the transcribe, but let's just say I will never set foot in the London Drugs on Robson Street again). I then told Julia, out of complete nervousness, that she looked really beautiful. And then I told her I was nervous, which I'm sure she could tell. A moment later, I got the tape going.
The Part Where I Start The Tape Recorder:
Read the following like a conversation. Whenever you see a "-" the next line is most likely said at the same time, etc. I've taken the liberty of removing all the "Uh's" and "y'knows" for clearer reading, so this isn't verbatim. You'll be thankful that it isn't!
Julia: ...you like Julia Stiles.
Jason: Yeah. (I then notice I started the recorder halfway through her line) Hey, hey hey hey! This is Jason Whyte and... hang on. Ugh. Cut. (Stops recorder, then I hit record properly) This is Jason Whyte coming to you from the Coco Ricco Cafe on the corner of...
Julia: Robson and Jervis.
Jason: Robson and Jervis! I have a little help there. It is Saturday, January 19th, 5:16 and 3 seconds at night. I'm talking with Miss Julia Stiles, one of the most beautiful women I've ever sat across from this -
(Julia blushes, laughs)
Jason: -Coco Ricco Cafe and had a conversation with.
Julia: I'm blushing, you're (with sexy Elisabethan accent) flattering me. (laughs)
Jason: Yes, and she puts it with her little Elizabethan accent, which I love. Oh, and you can't look at ANY of these notes.
Julia: I won't, I won't.
Jason: So, these are... hopefully we're picking that up (the recorder)
Jason: Ok so just start yelling into it or something, I don't know.
Jason: So this is how it will work, whatever you say will go into the tape recorder and I'll work on it later. I just basically have questions about some of your movies, couple of questions from the website, the visitors -
Julia: Oh dear, are you then gonna play this or, or are you gonna transcribe it.
Jason: I'm just going to transcribe it -
Jason: Because on Ezra's interview, you said that you didn't want anything wrongly written, and, I'm a good writer so-
Jason: I, I, I won't mess anything up.
Julia: Oh, ok good, cuz y'know-
Jason: Although I've been known, I've been known to write the occasional bad writing, but-
Julia: No, I think I've stuck my foot in my mouth enough where I would mess it up-
Jason: Don't! You're Julia, you get away with it.
Julia: (amused) Oh, ok!
Jason: See, I don't get away with anything. So...
Julia: Ok, shoot.
Jason: Some of them are from me, some are from... a lot of them are from me (reading notebook) "Openers, Anecdotes"... what do you think is the best film you've ever seen in your entire life... best movie ever. Without thinking about it just say it.
Julia: Ok, Clue. I know that-
Julia: Yeah, what I mean by that is... I mean there's a real difference between really amazing films that are real superb-
Julia: And then entertaining films-
Jason: For example, Fellini on one end and Kevin Smith on the other.
Julia: Right! Splendor In The Grass is a real good art film-
Julia: But Clue is one of my favorite movies of all time.
Jason: What we could do is I could ask you yours and then I could tell you what my favorite is, I dunno if you care...
Julia: Ok! Sure!
Jason: Ok, best film I've ever seen is Apocalypse Now.
Julia: Ok, wow, I thought Apocalypse Now I didn't underst-, I mean I understood it, but... a lot of it went way over my head, but I dunno-
Julia: I'll just see it again-
Julia: Hearts of Darkness, did you see-
Jason: I haven't seen the documentary, but I read the book. The book is... WOW (amazed laughter). Couldn't put it down. It's no Harry Potter, I can tell you that-
Julia: (laughing) Yeah-
Jason: Do you have a DVD player?
Julia: I do! I was just watching Gosford Park on DVD.
Jason: I had to go to a THEATER to see Gosford Park, what is wrong here- I gotta get famous so I can get DVD screeners.
Julia: They send the DVD's to the academy, I'm not a member of the academy, but I know people who are, and can-
Jason: Oh that's right, I can't be a member, because I'm Canadian.
Julia: OH, that's right. (laughs) So, can I call you a "Canuck"?
Jason: No, because-
Julia: Or would that be purgatory-
Jason: You can only call people "Canuck," if we speak with our accents. You're listening to me talk right now-
Jason: Do you think that I have a Canadian accent?
Julia: No. Not as bad as some people do.
Jason: Yeah. Because, I don't know why. My voice just dropped when I turned twenty.
Julia: Say "Sorry."
Jason: "Sorry." (Exactly how Julia says it)
Julia: That's good. Say "Out and About."
Jason: "Out and About." (Exactly how Julia says it)
Julia: Not bad at all!
Jason: Thank you. Now I'm gonna give you: "SorrEH?" Is that Canadian?
Julia: Yeah, and there's "Sorrey..."
Jason: "Out and aboot!"
Julia: "Sorry aboot that."
Jason: "Out and aboot!" And just for the record, I'm not a lumberjack, I don't eat back bacon, bacon's terrible for you so, yeah, especially not back bacon--
(Mark walks back into Coco Ricco with correct film)
Julia (to Mark): Yeah, did you get the camera thing back?
Jason: Hey, you're back!
Mark (to Julia): I think so.
(Mark clunking around trying to weasel his way into the seat beside me)
(Mark passes Julia the camera and film and proceeds to load it herself)
Jason: The tape's ok, I HOPE. We were just talking about best movies she's-
Julia: Favorite movies-
Jason: Yeah. Clue is one, what was the other one-
Julia: Splendor In The Grass.
Mark: Oh yeah.
Julia: (imitating Mark) Oh yaah. (laughs) That's from Minnesota I guess.
Jason: Oh, Fargo, that's one of my favorites from the 90's. Do you have a favorite director?
Julia: I would say-
Jason: We'll get to the whole dream project later-
Julia: Right, right-
Jason: But director, like-
Julia: I would say-
Jason: Obviously not the director of Clue. (Jonathan Lynn)
Julia: No- The Coen Brothers, for the record-
Jason: Brilliant. Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo...
Julia: Even The Man Who Wasn't There and The Big Lebowski and-
Julia: Uhm, I think thaaaaaat... uhhhhhhh (awesome hold of note) O Brother Where Art Thou-
Jason: Oh, amazing-
Julia: One of my favorites- What else, what else... favorite directors. Oh! You were just talking about him-
Julia: No, no, no-
Julia: Best in Show
Jason: Christopher Guest.
Julia: Christopher Guest, yeah-
Jason: Have you seen Waiting For Guffman?
Julia: Yes! (smiling) I love it-I love all independent filmmaking.
Jason: (Droolific sighing) Spinal Tap is great, just great. I just have my favorite scenes that I keep telling people about over and over again, like the scene where Eugene Levy is auditioning early in the film.
Julia: (laughs) Yeah-
Jason: And he's got the big glasses and he's going "Waaaaaaaaaaaah!" (failed imitation of Eugene Levy, Julia laughs) And where he holds the "Air" at the end, y'know, "Aaaaaaaaa--aaaaaair", y'know, that's just-
Julia: And the scene where Catherine O'Hara gets really drunk at the table, and she starts talking about vagina enlargements, or penis enlargments-
Julia: "Did I ever tell you about the time about the penis enlargment"-
Jason: I got a quote for you! "It feels kind of clammy" (From The Business of Strangers when Julia's character, Paula, reaches into a man's boxers and fondles him.)
Julia: (acceptant) Yeah, yeah.
Jason: I know, I felt really uncomfortable in that scene.
Julia: So did I. Yeah, my favorite.
Jason: Us men were very violated during the film. We watched all the end credits, and we-
Julia: "No men were hurt in the making of this movie!" (laughs)
Jason: Yeah, you knew my joke, that's it, I'm a terrible joker-
Julia: No, no no no, that's ok.
Jason: I actually passed you in coffee. Check that out.
(Julia looks over and notices my coffee is about an inch lower than hers. And I'm not a coffee drinker. Meanwhile, Mark is fidgeting with camera and Julia takes it)
Julia: Okay, so now-
Jason: We are not taking pictures of Mark, I mean he's a good looking guy and all-
Julia (to Mark): You push that down until the light goes off.
Jason: You're useless!
Jason: You're fired, get outta here, I'm havin' a good time-
Mark: Yeah, but you need to sleep at my place tonight!
Jason: (bad liar) No I don't, I'm stayin' at a hotel! I could stay at my sister's place on West Broadway with two cats.
Mark: That would be fun.
Jason: We're just regular people, we have no money-
(Julia and Mark laugh)
Jason: (joking) We're poor, I had enough to get on the ferry, we've just been walking around all day. We didn't go see Beauty and the Beast in IMAX, we didn't go see Business of Strangers at Tinseltown, so-
Julia: I wanna go see Beauty and the Beast in IMAX, definitely.
Jason: It's too bad you're doing your thing tonight, we should go see it.
Julia: Uhm... ok...
Jason: Joking. Where am I, I'm on favorite directors, we got all those-
Julia: Right... (looks at Jason's notebook) "Writers."
Jason: Oh, don't do that-
Jason: You can't...
Julia: Sorry, sorry, sorry...
Jason: I'm just kinda going out of order here.
Jason: And we've been talking about Gosford Park and how cool it was. VERY long movie-
Julia: I haven't finished it yet so don't give it away.
Jason: Oh, in the END, in the END...
Julia: (laughing) That's why I was late, ha ha!
Jason: Besides Gosford Park are there any films that you've seen that have totally blown you away? Like In The Bedroom... (we talked about before starting the tape recorder)
Julia: I liked In The Bedroom a LOT and I really appreciated the style of it, that it was very realistic, and the acting was really great. Some of the dialogue was stilted in my opinion, but otherwise it was moving.
Jason: Oh boy it was, and I think that Tom Wilkinson in the film was incredible, just incredible.
Jason: (stuttering) No one knows, no one knows, back, see, no one knows any film, no one knows who you are in Victoria.
Jason: Which is weird! I mean, Save The Last Dance sold out when I saw it, and no one else was seeing it because of you, I was totally seeing it because of you because of the website. I had to! I HAD TO!
Julia: Yeah, but would you have gone to see it if it wasn't for me?
Jason: Of course!
Julia: The kind of movie you'd go see?
Jason: Well, yeah yeah! I liked it, I liked it, I have the DVD. (sips coffee)
Jason: So, besides In The Bedroom is there like anything out that you like right now, or-
Julia: (long hum as she thinks) What's the last movie I saw- I saw Vanilla Sky before that, but it's a conflict of interest in my opinion.
Jason: (laughs) Yeah. I didn't like it.
Jason: Have you seen Mulholland Drive?
Mark: OH yeah...
Julia: No, but I've heard it was good-
Jason: That's like the bigger badder cousin of Vanilla Sky and the best film I've seen-
(Julia smiles away from me for a moment and waves to a few teenage girls on the street.)
Jason: (not knowing) Did Chasing Amy's Jason Lee just walk by or something? (To Mark) Go run out and see if it's Jason Lee.
Julia: No, it was just those girls. But they're gone.
Jason: Cool, people in Vancouver know who you are. (Side note: Julia was also on that day's Vancouver Province on the cover. Looks to next question) "Feel free to hit me if these questions suck" my notes say next.
Julia: Ok. Parenthesis, she smacks Jason across the face.
(Mark says something inaudible to mic)
Jason: (to Julia) Sorry?
Julia: She smacks Jason across the face. No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding-
Mark: You hit Jason and not me. I wasn't in the room.
Jason: Hey, the tape tells the truth! It's our zapruder film-
Mark: Then I should be quiet then.
Jason: Ok, is there an obscure movie line that sticks in your head?
(Beat. Julia thinks about this for a second)
Jason: Ok, I'll give you one from me. Have you seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?
Jason: There's this scene in that movie where Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro come up to a club and on the club it says "Debbie Reynolds" on the side, and Johnny Depp goes "Debbie Reynolds... sounds like a hot ticket!"
Jason: Now for some reason, I was the only one in the theater, I burst out laughing, I couldn't stop laughing for a minute. That line, that line, it just hit me for some reason. So do you think, there is any line from a movie, that no one else gets, but that you just love? That you keep repeating when you're alone -
Julia: It's much more stupid and silly than that-
Jason: I'll just stop talking now and let you answer.
Julia: Ok, no no no, it's much more stupid than that. Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls, the line "I couldn't help but overhear you say 'Equinquocha park.' Did you just refer to me as White Devil? Leave that part out from now on!" Of course, I can't do a Jim Carrey imitation, but still-
Jason: (to self) Can I do Jim Carrey?
Mark: Jason, don't try any more impersonations!
Julia: Or Ace Ventura 1 where he's pretending to be the dolphin trainer and he goes "Do you know the dolphin? Does he call you at home? Do you have a dorsal fin?"
Jason: My favorite scene from Ace Ventura is the scene where he goes backwards.
Julia: Yeah (laughs) yeah yeah...
Jason: See I didn't like either of those movies, but that scene, he just NAILED that! I mean like every single mannerism and sound, I love movies when people imitate stuff backwards, like in Good Morning Vietnam when Robin Williams does the backwards voice... thing... I don't know where I'm going with that.
Jason: Anyway... what CD are you listening to right now?
Julia: I'm not listening to a CD right now! (devilish laugh) I'm so clever!!
Jason: I don't mean right now, of course, but- (notices N'Sync is on the cafe speakers) Besides this... N'Sync?? I don't know, I hate a lot of current music.
Julia: Oh. Well-
Jason: Classic rock and jazz all the way.
Julia: The Strokes, do you like The Strokes?
Jason: Yeah. There's two different mixes of "Last Night" which I have.
Mark: I don't.
Jason: I have both of 'em, they're very good mixes.
Julia: The White Stripes are good. I've gotten into the older music like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
(Note: I'm absolutely thrilled to hear this!)
Jason: (uber-excited) Oh you ROCK!
Julia: (blushing, laughing) Thanks!
Julia: Thanks a lot!
Jason: Ok, since you're now into Rolling Stones... "Gimme Shelter"?
Jason: You seen it? Criterion has a great DVD of that.
Julia: I have not seen it!
Jason: "Gimme Shelter" and "Woodstock" are the best-
Julia: Wow! Not seen it.
Jason: Ok, your favorite song of all time that is NOT by Ani DiFranco.
Julia: (gets it) Aaah! (laughs)
Jason: Ok, ok, ok-
Julia: No, I know, I actually wasn't the biggest fan of her last album.
Jason: Admittedly, I don't listen to a lot of her music.
Julia: Most males don't.
Mark: Kick him out.
Jason: Oh wait, Aimee Mann! Do you like Aimee Mann?
Julia: I do, I love Aimee Mann. I have the Magnolia soundtrack and I love it a lot.
Jason: Yeah, Magnolia is one of my favorite movies, and I can't stop listening to that CD-
Jason: I mean "One" and "Wise Up" and, that's one of my favorite songs. So...
Julia: So favorite song of all time. Uhm... (hums again, I think I'm falling in love with her every time she does that)
Jason: (to recorder) Insert dead space here!
Julia: No, no no, just off the top of my head-
Jason: No, I'm kidding, just when I write it out.
Julia: "My Sweet Lord," George Harrison. Of course, I have to admit I started listening to that when he died-
Julia: Anyway, or, I wanna say -- hmmm hmmm hhhmmm haaa hmmm hmmmm (long pause as she makes a sound with her mouth) -- something from the 80's-
Jason: So, your favorite song is (imitates Julia's sound)
Julia: Yeah, you heard that one, by-
Jason: By Da da dah dah duh... it's their cover title!
Julia: Yeah! (laughs)
Jason: Anyway, not getting into specifics, how is school?
Julia: "How is School," ok, I have to make the big statement about this one-
Julia: Ok, to set the record straight. I'm not flunking out of school, I'm going back on tuesday and starting my second semester. My first semester I have to take some finals when I get back, but, ultimately I'm getting four credits for last semester but I'm not failing. It just means that I'll probably have to do some extra- load up on credits next semester.
Julia: Yeah, so, it was not great but not bad either. I was happy to come here and work.
Jason: I was mentioning the website, as you know, I've been working on the website. I should probably tell you the history of that, but I was going to ask have you been there lately?
Julia: The website?
Julia: Not since The Business of Strangers came out-
Jason: It's probably been asked before, but, does it feel weird to have your name as a domain?
Jason: Yeah, to have someone type in your name, and-
Julia: Yes, that is a little strange-
Jason: no one has bought jason-whyte.com-
Julia: But, I'm flattered, I am flattered.
Jason: Yeah, I'm sure you would be, yeah...maybe I shouldn't be promoting myself or saying I'm super cool, but I got you on the internet.
Julia: Thank you. I really appreciate that.
Jason: Yeah, did Ezra ever tell you the history, how it all started up?
Jason: About three years ago, I was going through an Entertainment Weekly and there was a TV review of The 60s,-
Jason: And there's just a picture of you, a very small picture, and you're just very cute, leaning against a pole and, you're just kind of smiling a little, and I was just like "That is really cool." And, uh, it's like "Wow, who is this person? She's not like a super babe." I hate "super babes," it's like-
Julia: (blushing) Okay-
Jason: You know, a pretty girl to me is just completely natural. Natural beauty is the way to go. So-
Julia: So, it didn't have anything to do with my talent? (laughing) You were just taking it from a picture that you saw of me. (laughs again)-
Jason: Oh, I'm just going around the world with this story, "An Hour Later"-
Jason: No, no, at the time, I was just fiddling around with websites, and it's just really interesting, you know, making something of my own and hoping people will come to see it. And then, all of a sudden it just took off from there, I just started up the site very basic, there was very little info about you, just some stuff on Wicked, some newsgroup photos, just very little stuff. I just kind of thought-- I had seen The 60s a few days later, EW had put the review up early, etc, and so on, and I watched the show. Maybe I shouldn't tell you what I thought of the show, but-
Julia: Right, right (laughs)
Jason: No, no, I loved you, I loved you in the show.
Julia: Thank you.
Jason: Yeah, yeah, and the voice too! Your voice is incredible. I haven't seen -- everyone kind of mumbles, this is so strong, and this just made me go "Where did that come from?" You're using your whole body when you talk, it's really really amazing.
Julia: THANK you! It comes from the STAGE!
Jason: (blushes) Ok...
Julia: That was my Moviefone voice - No, but I think that's true, actually. Because I didn't even know it when I started with this theater company, and I was 12-
Jason: Yeah I remember about this-
Julia: To 17, and that is when your voice is developing-
Jason: (imitates pre-pubescent voice changing) Yee-hah!
Julia: (laughing) Yeah! But I didn't-
Jason: (joking) Again, my voice didn't drop until I was twenty! Twenty!-
Julia: It took a lot of the director going, "You have to project, Julia!"
Jason: Like "Where, where is the film projector? I don't get it!"
Julia: Yeah. (laughs)
Jason: Where the hell was I?
Julia: You said your next question to me was about Wicked-
Jason: Yeah, but I'm not there yet, I still have to get to what happens. So 10 Things I Hate About You is coming about three months after that, and THAT is when the email started coming in. I was getting about 150 emails a day, I'm not kidding. I don't know HOW. It just started coming in. I put the site up on Geocities, the link went up on Yahoo, and I went "Oh yeah, this is cool!" I initially thought I would just leave it as is, but the email kept coming, people wanted to help out, send in pictures. So, anyway, about six months later Ezra finally got in touch with me on ICQ, and bought the domain, and uh, the rest is history, I guess.
Mark: So you didn't actually pay for the domain yourself there, Jason?
Jason: (evil look) Yes I did!
Mark: (laughs) Yes you did, evil look!
(all laugh, Jason sips coffee)
Jason: Maybe I should stop drinking coffee for a second. Yeah, Wicked, are you happy that it is finally released on DVD? Oh and you'll never hear us mention videotape, we had videotape, DVD all the way.
Julia: Yeah, I mean sometimes straight to video is not good for a lot of movies, but I'm happy it's out in stores and people can see it, yeah. It didn't really get a proper release, but that's ok because I made it five years ago, so that's fine. (laughs)
Jason: Yeah- (laughs) I've seen some pictures of it, you look VERY young in it-
Julia: Yeah, yeah-
Jason: Yeah, so which leads me to my big question, my big one, uhm. Let's say you had $100 million dollars.
Jason: And it's all given to you. You have the option of hiring five actors you want, any five actors, ALIVE, you can't pick dead because otherwise you'd just pick Peter Sellers, George C. Scott-
Julia: Right, right-
Jason: You can have anyone you want directing it, anyone you want writing it. Ok, this is probably the longest question in history, but what would be your DREAM film project, under those guidelines?
Julia: Wow, and that's great, you have all the money to do it yourself, and you wouldn't have-
Jason: Yeah, and you could do whatever you want, nothing-let's start, let's break it down, five actors.
Julia: Oh, ok-
Jason: And LIVING. And don't just pick Chasing Amy's Jason Lee or Selma Blair-
Mark: Yeah, but she should pick Chasing Amy's Jason Lee-
Jason: Oh yeah, he'd be rockin. "Mallrats."
Julia: Hmm, I guess it would depend on what kind of movie that would be.
Jason: Ok, we could do that, what kind of film would you like to make, with the dream cast maybe.
Julia: (purrs) Wow, (beat) A comedy that takes place in the 1920's (laughs)-
Jason: Gosford Park!
Julia: Wait, I saw that, it's Gosford Park! (laughs) Wait, let me think. I'd make a movie about Los Angeles and how self-absored people in Los Angeles are (cuts herself off) NO, that would be boring-
Jason: (laughs) There are self-absorbed people in Vancouver!
Julia: Of course, yeah!
Julia: (thinking) Oh god, I don't know! I hate to say I would imitate Christopher Guest, but I would. In that mockumentary style-
Julia: Let's see, actors: Helena Bonham Carter-
Jason: YES- sorry, I'll stop talking-
Julia: (laughs) Yeah!
Jason: As soon as I hear a cool movie or actor I go "YES, come on! Let's hear it!"
Mark: What happens when you hear an actor or movie you don't like, Jason? (laughs)
Julia: Right, then you go "No! No!"
Julia: Okay, so Helena Bonham Carter, Ewan McGregor-
(Jason slightly muffs hands over face to prevent praise)
Julia: Uhm, uh uh... (she holds the note AGAIN) Kevin Kline-
Jason: (Jason trying to hold back) Don't listen to me. (Julia keeps thinking, Jason slightly rubs her shoulders) You can do it, Julia, you can do it!
Julia grabs the camera and snaps a picture of herself.
Julia: I know, I know, uh... (holds note AGAIN) Frances McDormand. Am I four for four right now with you?
Jason: We need one more... do you want to pick me? I can do the movie! I can act!
Mark: (the much needed anchor) No you can't act.
Julia: And, and, and, Andy Garcia. That's a weird match, but yeah-
Julia: I really think Andy Garcia is talented. John Leguizamo, maybe. It's a weird mix, I think.
Jason: Oh yeah, you really liked John Leguizamo in The Pest.
Jason: Yes, I remember-
Julia: Wait, "The Pest"? No!
Jason: No! (laughs) I thought you said it was that movie, but everyone hated it.
Julia: No from his standup stuff-
Jason: (can't help it, cuts her off) Moulin Rouge
Julia: From his stage stuff like Freak and Mambo Mouth and, yeah.
Jason: I just have to say that immediately when I think of John Leguizamo, Moulin Rouge. Love that movie.
Julia: Will Ferrell. That's a real explosive combination. (Voice light) Imagine Helena Bonham Carter and Will Ferrell in a movie together!
Jason: Wow, that's something to think about.
Jason: (sneaking in) Chris Koch... (director of A Guy Thing)
Julia: (playfully defendant) I like Chris Koch, but I'm trying to think of people I haven't worked with.
Jason: (cough) Snow Day (cough)
Julia: (laughs) Yeah, yeah.
Jason: Oh, but I'm not making fun of him. I just said Snow Day. So yeah, any directors, I feel like I'm dying on this question-
Julia: No, no, besides the Coen Brothers, I'd work with Tim Blake Nelson in a heartbeat- (she does this amazing, amazing scroll of her eyes and pushing of her mouth. I can't believe how cute this was.) Nancy Sivoka-
Jason: (intentionally cutting her off this time) That's so CUTE! Do that again!
(Julia repeats it, but KNOWS that she is doing it, so it's funny to watch her)
Jason: Now you did it "acting," You didn't know you were doing it before, that's brilliant. You're not a natural actress, Julia! I'm sorry.
Julia: (amused laughter) Ok. Nancy Sivoka. Tim Robbins is a good director.
Jason: Ok. Which one of your characters would you most likely be best friends with and why?
Julia: Kat. Kat Stratford. I could see myself being friends with the character I'm playing right now in A Guy Thing
Jason: Ok. Wow. Sorry, I'm just thinking of something to say there, I'm suddenly nervous again.
Julia: But, but, but, yeah. Ok. Keep going.
Jason: But, yeah, ok. I guess we got that one. "Kat." Correct me here, or confirm this for me, you did a DVD audio commentary for O. You did a commentary for that, correct?
Julia: Like, an interview?
Jason: No, a DVD audio commentary.
Julia: But that's an interview that they put on the DVD, right?
Jason: No, it's-
Mark: It's where you talk over the whole movie-
Julia: I know what a commentary is, ok!
Jason: (laughs) Yeah, just when I got the official press release, it told me it had a commentary track by Tim Blake Nelson, Mehki Phifer, and you. (beat) Think I'm drawing a blank here.
Julia: No no, they do these press junket things where you do seven billion interviews and they throw the commentary in there on the DVD somewhere.
Jason: Ok, and maybe they edited that back into the movie or something. Well, I guess that scratches my question. (beat) Well, do you like listening to audio commentaries on DVD?
Julia: Yeah! The Matrix, it was a really fascinating film-
Jason: Amazing- so the commentary on that you liked?
Jason: Some of my favorites would be Paul Thomas Anderson on Boogie Nights, John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock; Altman on Nashville is excellent.
Julia: The guy who directed Legally Blonde, have you heard the commentary-
Jason: I know this one, I know this one, Robert....
Jason: Luketic! There it is. Wasn't the biggest fan of Legally Blonde, but if you talk to Selma Blair, I liked the movie. (laughs)
(Jason accidentaly bumps the table with his leg. He's too tall for the table)
Julia: Hey, stop shaking the table! (tape recorder falls into Julia's lap) Did that just jump off the table?
Jason: Oh, probably got your heartbeat. We could sell Julia's heartbeat on Ebay. Anyway, you haven't been in any guest spot TV work have you? I should probably know that, but-
(Side A of tape stops here)
Julia: Besides "Saturday Night Live" and all the talk shows-
Jason: Which, you were great in, by the way, SNL-
Julia: Thank you... but, not as much as when I started out acting, stuff that I don't choose to reflect on-
Jason: Before Women Had Wings which-
Julia: Oh that was good, that was-
Jason: Admittedly I have a copy of it, but haven't watched it yet.
Jason: Would you be interested in appearing on something like "Everybody Loves Raymond"? Or-
Julia: Yeah! I really wanted to do a guest spot on "Strangers With Candy" before it got cancelled.
Jason: Yeah, what about Freaks and Geeks, that would be my favorite show EVER-
Julia: Sorry, haven't seen it-
Jason: Yeah that only lasted a season, sadly-
Julia: You know what would be INCREDIBLE, actually, is, I guess she isn't doing the show in the US anymore, but in Canada she is. "The Tracy Ullman Show"-
Julia: Is absolutely brilliant-
Julia: And so much fun to see, how, the way Julie Kavner comes on to-
Julia: What's the name of that guy who was in all of those Christopher Guest movies-
Jason: Which one, there's Eugene Levy-
Julia: Not Eugene Levy-
Jason: Maybe it's... Mich.-
Julia and Jason: (together) Michael McKean!
Jason: I saw, I saw Michael McKean at Paramount, he's really cool! Anyway, ooh! Have you ever considered doing a guest spot on "The Simpsons"?
Julia: Yeah, it's my favorite-
Jason: That has to be my favorite show of all time, yeah-
Julia: A lot of cool guest spots on that show. John Goodman's always good on it.
Jason: Would it be scary to see yourself animated on screen?
Julia: (laughs) Yeah, yeah-
Jason: Have Homer walk up to an animated Julia Stiles and-
Julia: Well what I would want to do is go on and play a character that's not me- like when John Goodman goes on, and you can always recognize his voice-
Jason: Yeah, I remember him from "The Emperor's New Groove" or "Monsters Inc," you can spot him a mile away, yeah.
(Brief pause as Jason looks over his notes which lead to A Guy Thing. Jason quickly peeks at Julia as she looks down at Jason's notes)
Julia: You can ask about A Guy Thing. I'm ready to embark on that.
Jason: (joking) Stop looking at my notes, Julia!
Julia: I know you are skeptical, but I'm ready to defend it.
Jason: Well, no, just if you'd like to tell us a little bit about the film, I mean we've already made fun of Chris Koch, so-
Julia: Well, (joking) I think you're going to be criminal-
Jason: No, no, I promise when the movie comes out, I will see it.
Julia: Well, Chris Koch is a really good director, he's a real funny guy. Anyway, he's been working on a soundtrack for the movie and playing stuff from the past, he doesn't want to do a typical teeny-pop soundtrack, and he gives good direction, he's very very funny. And the movie is kind of a farce. And it's probably not going to be called A Guy Thing when it comes out, we're already looking for a different title. And Jason Lee is very funny, and Chris is very funny-
Jason: Chasing Amy's Jason Lee?
Mark: Oh, yeah.
Jason: Yeah, sorry, from the "Mallrats" commentary, which is classic.
Julia: But anyway, about the plot. The movie starts at Jason Lee's bachelor party. And I'm one of the tiki dancers at the bachelor party, which is like a hula dancer, like a watered down version of a stripper. But I'm not a very good stripper, so I'm in this skirt here, high heels, tripping all over the place, and uh, the next scene, he's waking up in bed next to me, and he gets a phone call from his mother-in-law, and so on, and he spends the whole movie trying to get out of this lie-
Julia: And it takes place a week before his wedding. And he's getting married to Selma Blair! And it turns out, Selma is my cousin-
Jason: (joking) It always seems like you're ready to talk about your new movie. (laughs)
Julia: NO, heh, it doesn't sound like I practiced this, did I? But this is really fun for me, because it's a farce-
Julia: And comedy is really fun, and I get to play this sad girl who is running from job to job. She's a tiki dancer at the beginning, then a toll-booth operator, then a bartender, then working in a record store-
Jason: And in the END, and in the END. Just kidding!
Julia: (laughs) But anyway, the thing that I like about Chris is that he steered it away from being a silly comedy-
Jason: Yeah, yeah-
Julia: And I really think they're trying to make it more intelligent. So there's my defense in it (laughs).
Jason: Yeah-there's no qualms about the age difference in here between you and Lee?
Jason: Not of course like Woody Allen and Soon-Yi, Anna Nicole Smith and the old guy, the dead old guy-
Julia: No, ew, no, uh, I mean he's not that much of an older man than I am, he's 31, but he's very down to earth. And it's not like a typical romantic comedy, although people are going to expect that we get together at the end, there are more grey areas than that.
Jason: Now, does Chasing Amy's Jason Lee have any big monologues here? The thing that I like about the guy is he's the one with the monologues, the one who talks. Like in Chasing Amy, or Almost Famous.
Julia: Yeah, he does, it's really funny, everyone kind of winks at the camera and makes fun of themselves-
Jason: Yeah, yeah (laughs). And Jason Lee is the best actor alive who can yell "Son of a bitch!" Owen Wilson would tie him for the best actor who can say "Son of a bitch," with anger, with poise. Owen Wilson is hilarious.
Julia: If you have any title ideas for A Guy Thing, although you haven't seen the movie, I'll hear them now.
Jason: Hmm, "He should marry"... what's her name? Becky-
Julia: Becky- "He Should Marry Becky!"
Jason: "He Should Marry Becky!" You should just call it "Becky"
Mark: How about "When Becky meets "Chasing Amy's" Jason Lee"-
Julia: No, noooo, we've been looking-
Jason: Do you have top billing in this film? Or is it Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, or in alphabetical order, or order of height (laughs)-
Julia: I forgot if it was written up in my contract, but Jason Lee is the star of this film, I mean, that makes sense, I'm not an egotistical actor. (Devilish laugh)
Jason: Ok, so I need to come up with a title now.
Julia: The more serious part, though, is that I make him (Jason Lee's character) realize to have fun in life, and not be on this plan, uh, that's not even proper english-
Jason: That's ok, we say "Eh?" (laughs)
Julia: Mr. Canadian (laughs) But anyway, that's why he should not get married!
Jason: Great. Hmm, maybe we should vote on what the best Julia movie is. O, three-and-a-half stars, State and Main, three and a half stars-
Julia: Out of twenty? *laughs*
Mark: Four hundred! (laughs)
Julia: Oh, and one more thing about A Guy Thing-
Julia: Is it certainly not and in no way similar to Down To You, so don't worry about that.
Jason: (embarassed) Youuuuu happen to know what I think of that movie? Or...
Julia: I probably agree with you! But-
Jason: Let's not talk about it. It's not your fault.
Julia: We're gonna move on from that, we're not going to badmouth-
Jason: It's not your fault, we'll just blame Freddie Prinze Jr.-
Julia: No, we'll move on-
Jason: You want to talk about Vancouver?
Julia: Ok, when I first got here I really loved it, I mean when you walk down Robson Street and you go "I have to buy this! And I have to buy that!" and I'm not a big shopper, but I became one here in Vancouver-
Julia: And, I like the mountains, they're very pretty, but it's pretty depressing here, it's never sunny, and it's always raining.
Jason: You came at the wrong time of the year-
Jason: You have to come in-
Julia: And I'm from New York-
Jason: Yeah, I've never been but I-
Mark: (joking) You have to come during that two day period.
Jason: Like in Seattle, in rains ALL YEAR, but wait, not 10 Things during the summer of 98'-
Jason: Exactly-what do you think the best thing about Vancouver is, in your opinion?
Julia: I went to a Canucks game, which was really fun. Even though I could go to a Ranger's game anytime, but there's something about a Canucks crowd.
Jason: I don't know sports, sorry. So you don't have a LEAST favorite thing about Vancouver, well besides Granville Street?
Julia: There's this really wonderful store on Granville called Cherry Bomb, that I think is an 80's clothing store that makes T-shirts-
Jason: I think I know where that is-I just know where the theaters are. And where to meet Julia. (laughs)
Mark: Just tell him where the Capitol 6 is, Jason can reference it. (laughs)
Jason: Oh then I can find it no problem! Association!
Julia: Oh, but you know what the best thing about Vancouver is the curfew, you can shoot until the odd hours of the morning.
Mark: Yeah but it puts a damper on outside concerts. You have to be done by ten.
Jason: Okay, next: (reading from notes) Do you agree that the Vancouver International Airport is the coolest airport in the world?
Julia: I do- (laughs)
Jason: It's just a wild card (the question). I just remember thinking I walked like six miles to get to the LA gate.
Julia: I do like the little history museum that's right in the middle of the airport-
Jason: Oh, and the duty free store, right before you get strip-searched by customs.
Julia: Right, right- (laughs)
Jason: Do you think this is the best place for coffee in Vancouver?
Julia: I like the coffee here-
Jason: I like the coffee here too (to Mark) Do you like the coffee?
Mark: I'm not a big coffee man.
Jason: (looks at cold coffee in cup) This is going to be an iced latte in about 10 minutes.
Julia: (laughs) Well, another good thing about Vancouver is, even though they have a lot of chains, there's so many nice little family-owned places, like this one.
Jason: Again, the whole Starbucks thing, I'm glad we didn't meet at a Starbucks. "Which one?"
Julia: I feel like I'm being interviewed for one of those airline magazines where they're like "A weekend in Vancouver with Julia Stiles!" And you talk about the restaurants you go to; sounds like these people go for the weekend and all they do is go to restaurants. "For lunch, I went to Capone's, and for dinner-"
Jason: (laughs) Yeah, we want to know what you've been doing all day Julia. What side of the bed did you wake up on, what did you do, who did you call, did you talk to your boyfriend, what movie did you see, did you do this, did you do that, blah blah blah...
Julia: Well, I went-
Jason: No, no I was just kidding. (laughs)
Julia: (joking) I was going to say I went down to the street corner and bought a vile of crack.
Julia: But that's a joke, and that's the thing, if you make a sarcastic comment, it gets pulled as a serious-
Jason: But don't worry I won't- I'm a cool guy... I hope you think I'm a cool guy, I'm starting to fidget now-
Julia: No, no you're very cool-
Jason: I mean you've only known me for an hour-
Julia: Right, right-
Mark: You should have seen him the five minutes before we met you-
Julia: Ok, you guys are weird. I'm leaving now. No, I'm just kidding, I'll stay. (laughs)
Jason: (joking) Yeah let me put it this way: we're poor. We have no money.
Julia: So you have enough to get home, right? (laughs)
Jason: Let me check my wallet, well, I bought you a little present, Vancouver-related, which kind of wiped me out of money. You should send some of your box office reciepts my way. Would translate very well into Canadian funds with our 60 percent exchange rate-
Julia: Oh, yeah-
Jason: Our DVD's are real cheap up here though-
Julia: Yeah but Virgin Megastore jacks the prices up quite a bit-
Jason: Oh yeah. YEAH. Like a Paramount DVD for forty dollars. I call them the Chapters of music stores. Kind of like Chapters is your Barnes and Noble, yeah, like equivalents. We have a Chapters, you have a Barnes and Noble, we have a Virgin, you have a Tower records-yeah, great for tourists.
Julia: It's pretty interesting, though, you travel to different parts of the world and yet still go into Tower, Virgin and go eat at McDonalds.
Jason: Oh but I love American McDonald's. They put seeds on their buns, I dunno, I don't eat at McDonalds anymore-
Julia: Hey did you know, FYI, that at Kentucky Fried Chicken they've created a new kind of animal that's NOT a chicken-
Jason: Really? Do they take them out of the slaughterhouse deep fried? (laughs)
Julia: No, no, they grow them in a lab and they mutate them, so they don't have any feathers anymore, so it's like a genetically engineered chicken.
Jason: Ugh. (goes close to Mic) Note to self: Never eat at KFC again, as long as you live.
Julia: (laughs) But that's why they call it KFC, and they can't call it a chicken anymore. Anyways, I'm never going to be a spokeswoman for KFC that's for sure-
Jason: I, I wouldn't want to see you in a KFC ad. That would mean you've burnt out, and you're never going to burn out, so-
Julia: "Hello, I'm Save The Last Dance's Julia Stiles, and I'm here to tell-"
Jason: No, no, "I'm the star of Down To You!" I've also been in such films as Before Women Had Wings and Wicked-
Julia: (laughs) "Perhaps you've seen me-"
Jason: Just came to my mind that Hugh Grant used to be called Hughie Grant-
Jason: Yeah, saw it on Letterman once, Hugh Grant in the early 90's with the fuzzy hair-
Julia: Speaking of Hugh Grant, Renee Zellweger (cross reference to the two of them starring in Bridget Jones's Diary) is an actress I want to work with.
Jason: Oh yes, Renee Zellweger Bridget Jones ROCKS. I love that movie.
Mark: (intercepting) I like Liv Tyler. I like Liv Tyler a lot.
Julia: Oh yeah-
Jason: Anyway, anyway, last question and then we'll chat a little bit before you have to go, but:
Jason: (looks again at notes) If you weren't working in the film industry whatsoever... (notices Julia is reading right at Jason's notes. Giving up, he hands the book to Julia) Here you go. Here, read that, read that. My TERRIBLE writing!
Julia: "If you weren't working in the film industry, what would you be doing?"
Jason: You imitate me well. (In nerd voice) "If you weren't working in the film industry-"
Julia: (laughs) No, no-that's a real good question. Classic. Uhm, I always thought I would want to be a journalist.
Jason: Oh, there
Interview with Jason from julia-stiles.com
Originally published at julia-stiles.com - Posted on January 2002