Julia Stiles shares acting tips she has learned while working in Hollywood.
While Julia Stiles had a very small role in the new Jason Bourne movie, she is a well trained and legendary actress in Hollywood. She appeared in the first three Bourne movies, and her latest movie is just an addition to the series. Despite building an extensive resume in Hollywood, Stiles reveals she is always working on her acting skills.
Speaking with Interview, Stiles talks about how her approach to acting has changed over her years as a teen actress. Stiles worked on several popular movies in the 1990s and early 2000s including 10 Things I Hate About You and O. Over time she has learned the differences in theater vs. film acting. She explains as a film actor, all of the power is in the director’s hands. She explains, “With film, so much is in the director’s hands. Once something is cut together—unless you’re in the editing room—you don’t really remember what the alternatives are. The exercise in theater is night after night you are doing the same play, but you have another opportunity to explore. It changes nightly even because of the audience and your day going into the evening of the performance. With film it’s much more controlled.”
Apparently, Stiles was no longer interested in acting until she tried working in theater and working behind the camera. She reveals, “I did a run of a play over the summer in a really tiny theater in New York and that was rejuvenating for me. I directed a short series for Hulu called Paloma and being in an editing room, I learned a lot about acting. It gave me a new bolt of energy in terms of my interest in filmmaking because it made me realize how collaborative filmmaking can be and also that you’re not just limited to one job. Actors can write and produce too. Then when I was working on Jason Bourne—having had that experience—instead of going back to my trailer and being separate from everyone else, I would sit behind the monitor and watch Paul Greengrass work and be much more included in the process. That was new for me and really enriching.”
After directing several projects, Stiles is more aware of the type of directors she prefers to work with in Hollywood. She says, “I like a director who is very observant and is watching what I’m doing and noticing what I’m doing, but is giving me time to figure it out. They don’t jump right in and give you a note before you’ve had time to really search on your own with how to do a scene. I like a director that encourages me to be playful. I don’t really like being restricted or controlled by a director.”
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