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Why Hollywood Won’t Cast Julia Stiles Anymore

Julia Stiles was one of the most familiar
faces of the late ’90s and early 2000’s, thanks to starring roles in hits like Save The Last
Dance and 10 Things I Hate About You. But then she pretty much disappeared from
the spotlight. Why? Here’s are some reasons why Hollywood won’t
cast Julia Stiles anymore. Critical punching bag After starring in the hit 10 Things I Hate
About You, Stiles appeared in the romantic drama Down to You alongside Freddie Prinze
Jr., a film whose only memorable scene involves Prinze Jr…. drunkenly making friends with a spider? “Greatest accomplishment since I last saw
you.” “Making friends with a spider.” Critics pounced, with Entertainment Weekly
giving it an F, and The New York Post calling it both “stinko” and “brain-dead.” And reviews were similarly grim for follow
up films A Guy Thing, The Prince & Me, and Mona Lisa Smile. Box office poison We know what you’re thinking: but Stiles had
a recurring role in the wildly popular Jason Bourne films! Well, thank goodness for the hotness of Matt
Damon, because otherwise Stiles has kind of been box office poison. In fact, nearly all of her other films since
10 Things I hate About You have struggled to break even, with many becoming outright
bombs, like the aforementioned Down to You and A Guy Thing. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Typecast Her breakout hit, 10 Things I Hate About You,
was a modernization of the Shakespeare play Taming of the Shrew. And since it was a hit, Stiles was flooded
with offers to do even more Shakespeare. First was 2000’s Hamlet, and then in 2001,
O, an adaptation of Othello. She even played Viola in a production of Twelfth
Night as part of New York City’s famous Shakespeare in the Park series. For an actor, there’s nothing better than
Shakespeare, but it didn’t exactly convince Hollywood execs that she had the range to
take on other kinds of roles. The Bell Jar trap Back in 2007, Variety reported that Stiles
would produce and star in a much-anticipated adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s beloved novel
The Bell Jar. Five long years later, Stiles finally gave
up on it, saying in an interview with Gothamist: “For years, I had the rights to the book,
I had commissioned a script for it, we never got the script to the right place, because
it’s obviously a great book and we wanted to do it justice. I kind of had to let it go because it was
taking so long… To me it’s a no-brainer, but I think people
who have to give money for movies, they didn’t see that it would find an audience, or they
thought it was too dark. So… I tried, but maybe there will be some incarnation
of it.” Indeed, there will be an incarnation of The
Bell Jar — just not with her in the lead. Deadline reported in July 2016 that The Bell
Jar will now be directed by Kirsten Dunst, in her directorial debut, and star Dakota
Fanning. Behind the scenes After the straight-to-DVD release of The Cry
of the Owl, Stiles moved on to what she called the “second phase” of her career, editing
music videos, moving behind the camera to direct short films, and teaming up with online
creators. All this kept her busy, but it didn’t exactly
do too much for her star power in Hollywood. Stiles is well aware of the problem, telling
The New York Times, “I think audiences, producers and directors included, develop crushes on
actors (actresses in particular) and then lose interest and move on to the next one. There are a handful of actors who sustain
interest because it’s exciting to watch them get better at what they do. I want to be one of those actors.” Tough time with TV Stiles’ career showed signs of life again
in 2010 when she landed a pretty epic arc on the fifth season of Showtime’s popular
TV drama Dexter. The role won her rave reviews and accolades,
including a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination. But despite the newfound fandom, Stiles was
never quite able to translate that into more high profile roles. Instead, she was simply relegated to a handful
of mediocre television movies and the obscure series Blue, which you might not have even
heard of. Had she struck while the TV iron was hot,
her so-called “second phase” might have been much, much bigger. How she can turn it around Stiles has one big thing going for her: fans
still love her and seem to want her to succeed. That’s why audiences were so excited to see
her unexpectedly pop up in Silver Linings Playbook, and reprise her role in The Bourne
films. The trick for Stiles seems to be finding the
right vehicle to remind people why the fell in love with her to begin with all those years
ago. And, hey, if all else fails, she could cash
in on the nostalgia wave that Hollywood is currently riding. 11 Things I Hate About You, anyone? Thanks for watching! Click the Nicki Swift icon to subscribe to
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