To say that Julia Stiles has an impressive resume would be an understatement. The “10 Things I Hate About You” star was a role model for all girls of that generation and her talent and intelligence has lead her to becoming an admirable woman.

Stiles is still a role model today, the actress is also a university graduate and mother and her down to earth nature made her a pleasure to speak with.  

Her latest project “Hustlers”, which has the likes of JLo, Cardi B, Constance Wu appearing in the film comes out today.  

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Imagista: I know that so many girls have looked up to you, what was it like being such a big role model during a time before the social media madness and during your formative years?

Julia Stiles: I never really thought of myself as a role model. I guess hearing other people describe me that way made me kind of feel like I was. Growing up throughout my formative years I was becoming more recognizable as an actress. I guess part of me decided that I was going to live my life without trying to become too self-conscious despite the fact that I had more eyes on me.

I also went to university, which helped keep things in perspective.

Imagitsta: How would that work? Would you take a lighter course load?

Julia Stiles: I didn’t do both at the same time. I would either commit to going to school for a year or a semester, then takes time off to work, or I would work in the summertime. My school was accommodating so I was grateful for that.

It did take me a little longer to graduate but I did it! 

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Imagista: Do you think you can pinpoint the project that was your “big break”?

Julia Stiles: I think it was “Save the Last Dance”. I feel like my big break in terms of working more was “10 Things I Hate About You”, which was my first big part in a studio movie. However, in terms of strangers coming up to me on the street I could see a palpable difference after save the last dance.

Imagista: Do you remember what made you want to be an actress?

Julia Stiles: Initially it was just a childish, interest in playing dress up. I didn’t have long term career goals in mind because I was too young to even think that way. I just really loved playing pretend and I had started working with a theater company that was off Broadway and I really loved going after school and being on stage, I fell in love with pretending.

As I got older, especially throughout university, I started to think about what I would do if I wouldn’t stay in this field and I couldn’t think of anything outside of this industry, it really always came back to acting.

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Imagista: Do you have a preference between movies and theater?

Julia Stiles: They compliment each other in my opinion. Each of those gives you something different. Theater is like going to the gym for actors because you are much more in control of yourself. It also depends on who you are working with and the story you are telling.

Imagista: What is your personal approach to acting? Does is vary with each role?

Julia Stiles: It has changed over the years. I think when any actor starts out you just want to work. I go back and forth between how much control we as actors have over our careers. I think for me specifically, in my twenties, I chose roles more in regards to how I wanted to spend my time not so much thinking in terms of strategy or career. Now it is more about how I want to spend my time and which projects I want to devote my time to.

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Imagista: I would love to know about the projects you have been recently devoting your time to now?

Julia Stiles: Riviera is something I spend half of the year working on and I am so lucky to be starting season 3 soon. I spend a lot of time with this character as well as with the people creating the show. You can never predict if a show is going to last or not, which is one of the most stressful things about being part of a show. I was really struck by the premise of Riviera and the setting and intrigued by my character Georgina. Now, three years later, I am so happy I took that risk because it has been incredibly rewarding.

Imagista: I feel like on television you are really able to develop your character, what has playing Georgina been like for you? Has she taught you anything?

Julia Stiles: The world that she runs in and the circumstances that she deals with are pretty elevated and heightened, so I am not sure if there are any similarities to my own life. In terms of storytelling, what I learnt from her is that you shouldn’t worry if a character is likeable. They can be strong or weak but that doesn’t mean that either way they can’t be vulnerable.

She is a character that dives face first into the fire. I think there is a saying in French called “L’esprit d’escalier” which literally means spirit of the staircase. We as regular people get to play out all the things we can’t in real life, on screen, especially the things we can’t say. She is a force to be reckoned with in ways that I would like to be in real life. That being said, maybe I learnt to speak my mind more because of her.

Dress by Nili Lotan @nililotan. Coat by Sally Lapointe @sally_lapointe. Earrings by BAKTI @baktijewelry. Bracelet by Ashley Zhang @ashleyzhangjewelry 

Imagista: You have a really cool movie coming out called Hustlers, what was that experience like?

Julia Stiles: That was a no brainer to me. I am so proud of the movie and so proud to be part of it. It is an affirmation that my instincts were right because I had read the article that the movie is based on when it came out. Then my agent sent me the script and I saw that it was based on that and I was intrigued.

My agent told me that it wasn’t the flashiest role as it was not one of the dancers but I really wanted to look at it. I was so impressed with the adaptation that I told my agent I didn’t care what I had to do, that I would make sandwiches, sweep floors, I just wanted to be  part of this.

Imagista: What is your role in the film?

Julia Stiles: I play the journalist and I find the role is incredibly interesting as she is the eyes and the ears to the audience and she really grounds the story. I was so eager to be part of it. It is a fascinating story in terms of what actually happened but it is also so well done and so exceptionally created.

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Imagista: Do you feel like you were part of something special?

Julia Stiles: I did. It was getting a lot of attention on social media. Forget the internet, every time I would describe the story to anyone, you could see how interested they got.  I knew from the start it was a special project and I am very grateful I was able to be part of it.

Imagista: You have managed to stay so private even though you have been in the spotlight for so long, how do you do that?

Julia Stiles: I have made some mistakes; it has been a bit of trial and error. I have always had a bit of weariness about giving too much information or opening a door too much to my personal life. In terms of where to set those boundaries it has been a work in progress.

I have always thought that the most compelling actors were the ones you don’t know as much about because then you can believe them more on screen. Now, of course, it’s impossible to not divulge some of your personal life. Being an actor, half of my job is to go out and promote what I am doing and I feel like they are always interested in what is going on in my life.

I feel like throughout my career major life moments have happened coincidentally whenever I am promoting something. When I started college, Save The Last Dance was coming out and every article I did was about going to college. When I got engaged, or married or had a child, everything happened while I was working on something else and those are things you can’t really keep to yourself.


Dress by Rosetta Getty @rosettagetty

Imagista: Where is your happy place?

Julia Stiles: Definitely with my son, when he is giggling or when we are hugging. I would also say anywhere by the ocean or by the beach, that seems to be very calming for me.

Imagista: What is something our readers can’t find about you on google?

Julia Stiles: This is really specific and random but I am really good at self-mimicking. I spend so much time having to get wired for microphones and I have very little patience for it and end up almost always doing it myself, then I rip it off at the end of the day. You need to somehow hide the microphone in your clothes and I have gotten really good at it.

When you get into googling anyone, I think we forget that I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else. People forget that we all have vulnerabilities. I have to go to the grocery store and I need to buy deodorant and pay bills, just like everyone else.

Photography by Tina Turnbow @tina_turnbow
Styled by Jared Depriest @jareddepriest & Cristina Ehrlich @cristinaehrlich
Hair by Nathan Rosenkranz @nathanrosenkranz using KMS Hair products
Makeup by Tina Turnbow using Ogee
Styling Assistant Andria Bush @easthartzwest 


Shot on Location at The Williamsburg Hotel , Williamsburg, Brooklyn.