Here’s why Julia Stiles disappeared from the spotlight, and what unexpected projects she returns with…

After her breakout performance in “10 Things I Hate About You,” Julia Stiles was catapulted into the elite ranks of Hollywood. It was anticipated that she would play every role a young star could possibly play, from rom-coms in her 20s to edgier material in her 30s to mom roles in her 40s and beyond. Whether on purpose or not, Stiles hasn’t taken this tried-and-true route. Where is she now, then?

Stiles, who is of English, Irish, and Italian ancestry, was born on March 28, 1981, in New York City. She started performing at the age of 11 with the La MaMa Theatre Company in New York before making her big-screen debut in the 1996 blockbuster “I Love You, I Love You Not,” starring Claire Danes and Jude Law. However, Stiles’ career trajectory began to take off in 1999.

In “10 Things I Hate About You,” a film adaption of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” she portrayed the disobedient Kat Stratford. She acted as the antagonist to her younger sister Bianca’s romantic aspirations, who was portrayed by Larisa Oleynik. New student Cameron, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, devises a scheme to match Kat with Patrick Verona, played by the late Heath Ledger, so that Kat can begin dating Bianca, who cannot date until Kat does.

The movie became a high school rom-com classic and an instant blockbuster, making Stiles and Ledger desirable Hollywood property. For the part, Stiles outperformed celebrities including Kate Hudson, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Kirsten Dunst, as reported in 2009: “I thought it was so wonderful to watch a teenage girl be feisty and outspoken and be a fish out of water, but proudly so,” said the actor who desperately wanted the play.

What then has Stiles been doing since then?

In addition to “O,” “Save The Last Dance,” “Down To You,” and “Mona Lisa Smile,” Stiles acted in more Shakespearean adaptations after “10 Things,” including “Hamlet” and “O.” She told NME that “10 Things” was responsible for many of the unusual opportunities that were given to her.

If there is one thing that has remained constant, it is that I have consistently been cast in roles that need a lot of strength. That, in my opinion, began with Kat. There were numerous teen comedies and romantic comedies that followed. But as I grew older and that pattern changed, everything started to alter for me as well.

She would play one of those characters in the suspense drama series “The Bourne Identity,” appearing in all three episodes.

Stiles made the decision to go to college as well, enrolling at the esteemed Columbia University to study English literature. She spoke to The Independent in 2007 about her time at the Ivy League school, saying:

The benefit of being a college student was that people were less interested in me since they were focused on their own goals and tests. Additionally, there is the notion in academia that filmmaking isn’t all that significant and is somewhat demeaning. I found that to be reassuring, and I wanted to be treated seriously.

As she said, “I believe I ended up taking a sabbatical just as my career was taking off,” Stiles was also aware that studying might not have been the ideal career choice for her. In my 20s, slowing down a bit was a good thing. When I was in college and after I graduated, I wasn’t as certain of what I wanted to accomplish. Now, though, I take my career and the wider picture into a little more consideration when choosing what projects to concentrate on.

There was a family there in the wider picture. Preston Cook, a camera assistant, and Stiles met on a movie set after their past romances with co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and actor David Harbour. She was carrying her first child, Strummer, when the couple got married in 2017. Arlo, their second child, was born on January 26, 2022.

After having children, Stiles realized her options were more constrained. In 2019, she stated to the Daily Beast:

“I believe that a few years ago, I was frustrated because I believed that no one knew what to do with me. I was successful in my twenties, but now that I’m in a different stage of life, I don’t really fit anyplace.

She was chosen to star in “Hustlers,” a Jennifer Lopez film about female criminals. They could have produced five different versions of this story, Stiles said of the film, which received great marks from critics. ‘Striptease’ might have been the case. Showgirls might have been the culprit. But in order to help us understand why these ladies did what they did, (director) Lorene Scafaria emphasizes on their sisterhood and collaboration.

Stiles made a comeback to television in 2022 with “The Lake,” in which she played the evil stepsister Maisy-Mae. Since “nobody really thinks of me in comedy that much, even though I have done a bit of it, and I was very anxious to do something with this sense of humor,” Stiles told Elle that she was interested by the concept of performing comedy. I have to demonstrate that I’m not just good at acting in plays.

“Orphan: First Kill,” which will be released in August 2022, also stars Stiles.

Fans will not only get to witness new aspects of Stiles through these endeavors, but potentially even more of her in the future.

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Here’s why Julia Stiles disappeared from the spotlight, and what unexpected projects she returns with…
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