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Actress Julia Stiles is best known for her roles in films like Save the Last Dance, 10 Things I Hate About You and The Bourne Ultimatum.
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In 1999, Stiles earned a leading role opposite Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew set in a modern high school. The film proved to be an enormous success, quickly becoming something of a modern teen classic and earning Stiles an MTV Movie Award (for breakthrough female performance), a Teen Choice Award,
the "Most Promising New Actress" designation from Chicago Film Critics, and a legion of adoring young fans.
After appearing in the 2000 romantic comedy flop, Down to You, with Freddie Prinze Junior, Stiles starred in another modern day Shakespearean adaptation, playing Ophelia alongside Ethan Hawke in Hamlet (2000). Having established herself as the go-to actress for modern takes on Shakespeare's strong-willed female characters, Stiles was the obvious choice to play Desi, an updated Desdemona, in the 2001 film O, a modern spin on Othello. That same year, Stiles turned in her most memorable performance to date in 2001's Save the Last Dance. She played a white, Midwestern girl and aspiring ballet dancer who transfers to an inner-city high school and falls in love with a black student, played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who helps her train by teaching her hip-hop dance. Stiles again won a Teen Choice Award and several MTV Movie Awards (for best female performance, best dance sequence and best kiss) for her performance.
However, Stiles was not wholly satisfied by her life as an actress, and in the fall of 2000, she enrolled at Columbia University to study English literature. Stiles later said that, at first, it was difficult to be a celebrity on a college campus: "In the beginning, it was a little hard," she said, "because ... I wasn't even really fully aware of what people were saying. ...I would get people coming to my door, and knocking on it in the middle of the night. But it pretty much died down." Stiles frequently took time off from school to pursue her film career, but graduated from Columbia in 2005, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
In 2002, Stiles starred opposite Matt Damon, playing Nicky Parsons in the hugely popular trilogy of films, The Bourne Identity, and went on to perform in The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Between Bourne filmings, she took on a diverse range of projects: She appeared in the movies Mona Lisa Smile, It's A Guy Thing, The Prince and Me and The Omen; the New York theater productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, and Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park; and wrote and directed Revolving, a short film starring Zooey Deschanel, a collaboration with Elle magazine.
In 2010, Stiles took on a new challenge when she turned to TV, signing on for 10 episodes in the Showtime series Dexter. Her performance earned her a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, and a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actress in a TV series.
Not long after, Stiles began working on the film Between Us (2012), alonside Taye Diggs, as well as other films.
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