Business of strangers - Press kit

Julia Stiles (Paula Murphy)

One of Hollywood's most engaging young actresses, Julia Stiles has exhibited a rare sophistication in the characters she plays.

Stiles was last seen starring in the Paramount/ MTV mega hit, Save The Last Dance, for which she was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards. The film opened to strong reviews as well as the #1 position at the box office for its first two weeks in release breaking previous records for January openings. As a result, Paramount Pictures and MTV Films signed Stiles to an open-ended development and production deal.

Stiles has numerous upcoming films including Tim Blake Nelson's O, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, Othello. Set against the world of high school basketball, O co-stars Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett and Martin Sheen, and will be released via Lions Gate in late August 2001. Stiles also appears in Doug Liman's Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon and Franka Potente for Universal in early 2002.

Recently, Stiles co-starred in David Mamet's State & Main for Fine Line with William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sarah Jessica Parker. The film won a 2000 National Board of Review Award for Best Ensemble Cast. In addition, Stiles starred as Ophelia opposite Ethan Hawke in Miramax's contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet directed by Michael Almereyda.

Stiles previous credits include Disney's acclaimed comedy hit, Ten Things I Hate About You for which she earned an MTV Movie Award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance in June 2000 and the Chicago Film Critics Award for Most Promising Actress. Directed by Gil Junger, the film is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Stiles also made a lasting impression with her riveting performance in Michael Steinberg's critically acclaimed drama, Wicked which premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and the Prague Film Festival. Additional film credits include Miramax's Down To You opposite Freddie Prinze Jr., Alan J. Pakula's The Devil's Own with Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt, I Love You, I Love You Not with Claire Danes, and M. Night Shyamalan's Wide Awake with Rosie O'Donnell.

As a writer, Stiles screenplay The Anarchist's Daughter, was chosen as one of twelve scripts to be included in the Sundance Institute's Writers' Lab.

On television, Stiles starred in the ambitious NBC mini-series, The Sixties, with Jerry O'Connell and Josh Charles, from producer Lynda Obst. Stiles also starred opposite Ellen Barkin and Oprah Winfrey in the ABC/Harpo Films special presentation, Before Women Had Wings. Additionally, her performance as a young unwed mother opposite Isabella Rossellini in an episode of the CBS drama Chicago Hope garnered critical praise.

Stiles began her career on the New York stage, appearing in a number of plays at the La Mama Theater and the Kitchen Theater, including Everyday Newt Burman, Matthew: School of Life. Stiles also starred in Mac Welmann's The Sandalwood Box.

Most recently, Stiles shared the stage with Gloria Reuben and Mary Testa in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues in New York. Currently, Stiles is in production on Carolina, opposite Shirley MacLaine, for director Marleen Gorris.