Home > Celebrities Biography > Julia Stiles Movie, Biography and Birth date/place

Julia Stiles Movie, Biography and Birth date/place

Julia Stiles

Julia O’Hara Stiles (born March 28, 1981 in New York City) is an American stage and screen actress. After beginning her theater career in small parts, she has moved on to leading roles in plays by writers as diverse as William Shakespeare and David Mamet; her film career has been both a commercial and critical success, ranging from teen romantic comedies such as 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) to dark art house pictures such as The Business of Strangers (2001). When Stiles isn’t working, she actively supports a variety of progressive and liberal issues.



Julia Stiles was born the eldest of the three children (two daughters and a son) of John O’Hara, a teacher and businessman of Irish descent, and Judith Stiles, a potter of English and Italian ancestry. She attended Friends Seminary, Quaker school in Manhattan, and was an English major at Columbia University in New York City, though she had several times interrupted her studies to pursue her film career. She graduated in May 2005, five years after entering college. Stiles is a Democrat who supported John Kerry’s candidacy for President of the United States , and her official site, which her mother helps to maintain, provides a link to Moveon.org.

Stiles has also worked for Habitat for Humanity, building housing in Costa Rica , and has worked with Amnesty International to try and raise awareness of the harsh conditions of immigration detention of unaccompanied juveniles; Marie Claire magazine, in January 2004, featured Stiles’ trip to see conditions at the Berks County Youth Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania ]. Additionally, Stiles serves on the Board of Directors of Amend.org, a New York-based nonprofit that implements childhood injury prevention programs in Africa.

Stiles is also an ex-vegan. When interviewed by Conan O’Brien, she said the word “orgasm” came to mind when she had her first cheeseburger after giving up veganism.

The actress has described herself as a feminist and wrote on the subject in The Guardian :

Ironically, the F word [Feminism] is now pejorative in the mainstream because it is seen to represent a woman’s renunciation of her femininity. It’s an issue many women struggle with today — including female studio executives. After Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, women of my generation have not employed self-censorship, but rather we challenge the notion that being a feminist is in opposition to being feminine.

Stage career

Stiles started acting at age eleven, performing with New York’s La MaMa Theatre Company, securing work by submitting photographs of herself in costume to the company and asking that she be kept in mind for juvenile roles [7]. She graduated to adult roles by performing in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and, in the summer of 2002, appeared as Viola, the lead role in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of Twelfth Night with Jimmy Smits. Reviewing the production, Ben Brantley of The New York Times saluted Stiles as “the thinking teenagers’ movie goddess” who put him in mind of a “young Jane Fonda”. In the spring of 2004, she made her London stage debut opposite Aaron Eckhart in a revival of David Mamet’s play Oleanna at the Garrick Theatre.

Film career

Stiles’ first lead role was in Wicked (1998)Stiles’ first film was a non-speaking part in I Love You, I Love You Not (1996) with Claire Danes and Jude Law. She also had small roles as Harrison Ford’s daughter in Alan J. Pakula’s The Devil’s Own (1997) and in M. Night Shyamalan’s Wide Awake. Her first lead was in Wicked (1998), playing a teenage girl who murders her mother so she can have her father all to herself. Joe Balthai wrote she was “the darling of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival” and Internet movie writer Harry Knowles said she was the “discovery of the fest,” but the film was not commercially released in the U.S. and went direct-to-video.

The role that made her a star was Kat Stratford, opposite Heath Ledger, in Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew set in a Seattle high school. She won an MTV Movie Award for “Breakthrough Female Performance” for the role, and the Chicago Film Critics voted her the most promising new actress of the year. Foreign critics applauded her work as well. Adina Hoffman praised her as “a young, serious looking Diane Lane” and Martin Hoyle said Stiles played Kat “with bloody-minded independent charm from the beginning with hints of wistfulness beneath the determination.”

Her next starring role was in Down to You, which was heavily panned by critics but was a financial success, and earned Stiles and her co-star Freddie Prinze, Jr. a Teen Choice Award nomination for their on-screen chemistry.

She subsequently appeared in two more Shakespearean adaptations. The first was playing the Desdemona role, opposite Mekhi Phifer in the title role, in Tim Blake Nelson’s O (2001), Othello set in a high school. The second was playing Ophelia in Michael Almerayda’s Hamlet (2000), with Ethan Hawke in the lead. Neither was a great success; O had been subjected to many delays and a change of distributors and Hamlet was an art house film shot on a minimal budget.

Her next commercial success was in Save the Last Dance (2001), as an aspiring ballerina forced to leave her small town in downstate Illinois to live with her struggling musician father in Chicago after her mother is killed. At her new, nearly all-black school, she falls in love with the character played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who teaches her hip-hop dance steps that get her into The Juilliard School. The role won her two more MTV awards for “Best Kiss” and “Best Female Performance”, and a Teen Choice Award for best fight scene for her battle with Bianca Lawson. Rolling Stone pronounced her “the coolest co-ed”, putting her on the cover of its April 12, 2001 issue. She told Rolling Stone that despite rumors, she did all her own dancing in the film, though the way the film was shot and edited made it appear otherwise.

With Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy (2004)In David Mamet’s State and Main (2000), about a film shooting on location in a small town in Vermont, she played a teenage girl who seduces a film actor (Alec Baldwin) with a weakness for young girls. Stiles also played opposite Stockard Channing in the dark art house film The Business of Strangers (2001) as a conniving underling who exacts revenge on her cold boss. Channing was impressed by her co-star: “In addition to her talent, she has a quality that is almost feral, something that can make people uneasy. She has an effect on people,” said Channing. Stiles also had small roles as a CIA operative in The Bourne Identity (2002) and its sequel The Bourne Supremacy (2004). Aimee Agresti quoted producer Lynda Obst as saying Stiles was turning into the next Meryl Streep.

Her next leading role was in Mona Lisa Smile (2003) as Joan, a student at Wellesley College in 1953, whose art professor (Julia Roberts) encourages her to pursue a career in law rather than becoming a wife and mother. Stephen Holden referred to her as one of the cinema’s “brightest young stars,” but the film met with generally unfavorable reviews.

Stiles played a Wisconsin co-ed, with dreams of becoming a doctor, who is swept off her feet by a Danish prince in The Prince and Me (2004), directed by Martha Coolidge. Stiles told Leslie Goober that she was very similar to the character, Paige Morgan, but critic Scott Foundas said while she was, as always, “irrepressibly engaging” the film was a “strange career choice for Stiles.” This echoed criticism in reviews of A Guy Thing (2003), a romantic comedy with Jason Lee and Selma Blair; Dennis Harvey wrote that Stiles was “wasted,” and Stephen Holden called her “a s
erious actress from whom comedy does not seem to flow naturally.”


Stiles’ work on television has been more limited. After two appearances as the computer punk Erica on the PBS series Ghostwriter in 1993 and 1994, she appeared as a guest star on the medical drama Chicago Hope. She has been seen in two made-for-TV movies. In Before Women Had Wings (1997) on CBS, she played opposite Ellen Burstyn and Oprah Winfrey in an adaptation of the novel by Connie May Fowler. Marcia Ross, the film’s casting director, told Jeffrey Ressner “she projects an intelligent depth, she’s not girlish, and she’ll easily grow into adult roles.”

Stiles also played a teenage girl who finds herself pregnant and runs away from her unforgiving father (Bill Smitrovich) in NBC’s miniseries The ’60’s (1999), a film Caryn James dismissed as “conspicuously idiotic.” Stiles was the public face of the film, with NBC using her face, painted with a peace sign and the American flag, both in its advertising and on the cover of the soundtrack album.

On March 17, 2001, Stiles hosted Saturday Night Live and eight days later introduced a music nominee at the 73rd Academy Awards. She returned to Saturday Night Live on May 5 in a cameo as President George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna. MTV profiled her in its Diary series in 2003, and she was “Punk’d” by Ashton Kutcher at a museum in the spring of 2004.


2006 Burns Jean Armour Pre-production
2005 Edmond Glenna Post-production, due December 20, 2005
2005 Going Down Announced
2005 A Little Trip to Heaven Isold Post-production
2004 The Bourne Supremacy Nicky
2004 The Prince and Me Paige Morgan
2003 Mona Lisa Smile Joan Bandwyn
2003 Carolina Carolina Direct-to-video release in 2005
2003 A Guy Thing Becky
2002 The Bourne Identity Nicky
2001 O Desi Brable
2001 The Business of Strangers Paula Murphy
2001 Save the Last Dance Sara Johnson
2000 State and Main Carla
2000 Hamlet Ophelia
2000 Down to You Imogen
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Katarina “Kat” Stratford
1998 Wide Awake Neena Beal
1998 Wicked Ellie Christianson Direct-to-video
1997 The Devil’s Own Bridget O’Meara
1996 I Love You, I Love You Not Young Nana’s Friend Silent role

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