Julia Stiles

  • Birthdate: March 28, 1981
  • Birthplace: New York
  • Best Franchise: Bourne
  • Best Series: Dexter

Julia Stiles has had quite the career from roles in teen comedies, action movies, a hit Amazon show and much more, it feels like she has been around the acting industry and the big screen forever. Recently, she took a starring role in a horror movie and we could be seeing a major comeback for the actress.


Julia Stiles in Orphan: First Kill

While it wasn’t always part of her acting bag, Julia Stiles has been known to dial into the horror genre from time to time, and that’s exactly what she’s done with her latest movie. The actress is starring in Orphan: First Kill which acts as a prequel to 2009s Orphan.

In the movie, Stiles plays Tricia Albright, a mother who has lost her daughter and thinks she’s gotten her back. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and who she’s actually bringing “back” into her home is Isabelle Fuhrman’s Esther Albright who we met in the first film. She’s a psycho adult who looks like a kid and that’s going to spell bad news for everyone in the family.

Julia Stiles and Orphan: First Kill released on August 19th and has done well with critics, scoring 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also managed to pull in about $15 million at the box office as of this writing.


Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles career started when she was but 12-years old. Her first role was on the TV series Ghostwriter which lasted two seasons. From there she took on guest roles in Promised Land and Chicago Hope, then started moving into feature films with The Devil’s Own, Wicked, and Wide Awake.

All of this was the lead up to her big breakout role in 10 Things I Hate About You. But winning the breakout role didn’t come without competition. Josh Hartnett was up for the role Ledger eventually landed. Eliza Dushku was one of the actresses up for Stiles’ role as Kat. So was Katie Holmes and Kate Hudson.

10 things
Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You

According to the movies casting director, via The New York Times, “We screen-tested Josh Hartnett, Eliza Dushku, Heath and Julia. But Julia and Heath just had the best chemistry together. I loved Katie Holmes. She was about to get “Dawson’s Creek,” and we had to make a decision really fast. The other person I loved was Kate Hudson. But her mom [Goldie Hawn] didn’t like the script for her, so she passed.” Chances are though, Stiles would have jumped higher faster if she had nailed the role in a certain vampire movie.

Before her star rose, Julia Stiles was up for the role in the Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt-led Anne Rice movie, Interview with the Vampire. As she told The Telegraph, even though she fared well in her audition for the role of Claudia, which eventually went to Kirsten Dunst, in the end she was deemed “too old” for the part of the child vampire by the film’s director Neil Jordan. Thankfully, Stiles did not let this discourage her from making acting her career.


Julia Stiles

William Shakespeare. It wasn’t her intent, as Julia Stiles told Entertainment Weekly, “I didn’t set out to be in three Shakespeare movies. But just because I had done (10 Things), I wasn’t going to turn down the acting experiences of my life.”

10 Things is based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Stiles has also appeared in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which she starred in with the likes of Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLahlan, Sam Shepard, Diane Venora and Bill Murray. Her third Shakespeare movie was O, based on Othello and that also starred Josh Hartnett, Martin Sheen, and Mekhi Phifer.

Julia Stiles

It’s not that Julia Stiles wouldn’t consider a horror movie script but as the actress says, ”There’s nothing wrong with a lot of them, they just seem redundant.” In fact, the director of Stiles’ 10 Things, Gil Junger even commented about Stiles, “She brings depth and understanding to a part. She’ll have her pick of roles pretty soon.” Stiles affinity with Shakespeare didn’t end with her three movies. She also has appeared on Broadway as Viola in Shakespeare in the Park’s version of The Twelfth Night. Her stage career also includes The Vagina Monologues and Oleanna, which she twice played the lead of Carol.



“The good thing about being in college was that people took little interest in me because they were so preoccupied with their own ambitions and exams.” Yes, college was the left turn that Julia Stiles took. It was in 2001, a full two years after 10 Things and a year after Hamlet that Stiles decided to take the most un-Hollywood route. She enrolled in Columbia University.

She also added about her decision to enroll in college, “Also there’s that thing in academia where movie-making isn’t supposed to be that important, it’s sort of low-brow. So that was refreshing to me and I was determined to be taken seriously.”

Julia Stiles

Determined she stayed. Julia Stiles continued to make movies while she was in college, but she did not move away from her goal of getting an education. In 2005, Julia Stiles obtained her degree in English Literature.

Julia Stiles isn’t sure if obtaining her degree helped her or hindered the furthering of her acting career, but she has no regrets. She spoke to the Daily Beast about it, “Academic professionals don’t really give a sh*t about me being in a movie or having to go the MTV Movie Awards. But then also people in the entertainment industry don’t really care about university. That helped me a lot.” It gave her the grounding that she felt she needed.


As we mentioned, Julia Stiles continued to work even while in college. She was seen in the critically acclaimed Save the Last Dance opposite Sean Patrick Thomas, and then jumped on board the Bourne franchise.


In the first film, 2002’s The Bourne Identity, her role in the action movie was small, playing operative Nicky Parsons. That role was expanded in 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy and when 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum came a calling, she was pretty much co-lead with franchise star Matt Damon. Her Parson’s character was also brought back in the 2016 film Jason Bourne.


Julia Stiles

Now 39-years-old Julia Stiles married camera assistant Preston J. Cook in 2017 and they have one son together. She continues to make feature films, though she is pickier about her roles, but the actress has also crossed over to the TV side of the business.

On the movie side, Julia Stiles has appeared in Silver Linings Playbook, Closed Circuit, Out of the Dark, Blackway, as well as the aforementioned Jason Bourne. Her last big feature was in the 2019 critically acclaimed Jennifer Lopez film Hustlers.

Julia Stiles in Hustlers

Her transition to the TV side includes the series Blue which she led for three seasons. She was also seen on The Mindy Project, Inside Amy Schumer, and she is leading the way in the series Riviera, which just so happens to have been created by Neil Jordan who, as mentioned earlier, had passed on Julia Stiles for Interview with the Vampire.

To Julia Stiles credit, it’s not all about Hollywood. She does plenty of charity work, builds houses in Costa Rica for Habitat for Humanity, as well as working with Amnesty International to help raise awareness of the horrible conditions of the immigration detention of unaccompanied juveniles.


Fans of the Jason Bourne franchise know that Julia Stiles’ character Nicky Parsons didn’t make it to the finish line. Though she ended up reappearing in Jason Bourne her character was killed by one of the assets. It was a brutal scene in that Nicky probably didn’t deserve it based on what she was trying to do, though it for sure added significant gravity to the franchise in its closing moments.

Not to worry though, you can still see Julia Stiles in the Jason Bourne franchise, but you’ll need to go to Universal Orlando to make it happen. It’s all part of the Bourne Stuntacular attraction at the theme park. As part of the event, Stiles-as-Parsons “greets” the guests who are about to embark on an adventure through the eyes of Jason Bourne.

It’s not totally clear whether this attraction is supposed to be part of the Bourne “canon” so to speak considering Parsons is presumed dead in that timeline. But as with all spy movies, there’s always a chance someone actually made it out alive in the end. This could be following the events of that final movie.


It had been a couple of years since Julia Stiles made her way into the movie world, having last appeared in the aforementioned 2019 flick Hustlers. Though she had some television work in the interim, it wasn’t totally clear that movies were still going to be in the bag for the actress. But last summer she cleared some of that away with a movie that ended up crushing on Netflix. It was The God Committee in which she starred alongside Kelsey Grammer.

The movie focuses on the world of donor transplants and the difficult decisions doctors and committees must make when factoring in who should receive a new organ or not. In it, Julia Stiles plays Dr. Jordan Taylor who is relatively new to the practice. During the film, she runs up against all of the bureaucracy and heartbreaking choices needed to make in this high-stakes practice.

The God Committee was originally supposed to release in 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic changed those plans and the limited release saw barely a box office murmur. But it found new life on Netflix where is became one of the streamer’s best offerings during its initial couple of weeks on the platform.


julia stiles the lake

The latest series for Julia Stiles is The Lake on Amazon. In it, she plays Maisy-May, the stepsister to Jordan Gavaris’s Justin who has returned to the family vacation house in order to reconnect with his daughter. But he comes at odds with Stiles’ Maisy and their personalities do anything but mesh.

Julia Stiles and The Lake earned solid marks in its limited reviews for the streamer. It’s a comedy and the somewhat irreverent style of the coming-of-age show plays well with certain audiences. And it certainly, once again, highlights the talent of Julia Stiles who’s shown the ability to play all kinds of roles throughout her career.

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