Julia Stiles, lips glazed mauve, eyes iced blue, is 17 and starring in a film referred to as 10 Issues I Hate About You, a rom-com based mostly on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, set to the music of Letters to Cleo. It will be a reasonable monetary success, failing to crack the highest 50 highest-grossing movies that 12 months, however would ultimately change into a cultural touchstone. To name it a cult traditional can be not solely reductive but additionally incorrect — cults are tiny teams with area of interest pursuits; 10 Issues is a canonical coming-of-age movie, and one which has held up remarkably nicely over the a long time.
2019: Julia Stiles endures interview after interview, at the very least one with a reporter who’s shoveling hummus into his mouth at a determined tempo, about an expertise she had for just a few months 20 years in the past.
“Did you notice it was going to be such a success?” I ask. “No, I did not,” she says. “And the minute you begin pondering that, then it is over.” After I ask if she’s uninterested in speaking about it, she does not smile a lot as press her lips collectively: “No, it is good when individuals say that they bear in mind it and that they prefer it. If I weren’t working now, possibly I’d be like, ‘Hey, can I transfer on from that?’ However I am completely happy.”
If 10 Issues had been to be reshot tomorrow, Stiles might swan-dive again right into a pair of low-rise denims and we the individuals can be none the wiser. The one factor that has modified about her face between now and 1999 is our language to explain it: Her pores and skin now not shimmers; it glows. Her highlights are now not chunky, however balayaged within the downtown custom.
In 1999, Stiles was chosen to play the platonic very best of an American teenager — the clever weirdo who’s inexplicably attractive. Immediately, she is the platonic very best of the brownstone-Brooklyn mother, discussing her favourite David Foster Wallace descriptor (“bovine”) and carrying a flimsy however kind of insouciant cotton shopper to and from press appointments. (She asks me to explain it as a Birkin bag within the textual content, which I’ll do!)
And her profession has weathered 20 years of zeitgeists. This fall, she stars with Constance Wu and Cardi B in Hustlers, based mostly on the New York journal story by Jessica Pressler a few group of unique dancers and different strip membership staff accused of drugging and robbing a few of their male patrons in 2013. The movie capitalizes on American tradition’s obsession with feminine grifters (sparked by Elizabeth Holmes’s Theranos).