What is Julia Stiles doing now? She is a huge television star in the UK

Julia Stiles burst onto the acting stage as a teenager in the late 90s to early 2000s. She had a leading role in Wicked in 1998 before starring alongside Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You. An exemplary performance in Save the Last Dance followed before Julia joined Matt Damon in the Bourne film series. 

“Her intelligence and commitment and pure talent are going to allow her to have a beautiful career, with profound respect and longevity,” Kerry Washington told Rolling Stone. Contrary to expectations, Julia’s career slowed down. 

Let’s find out what she is up to now.

Julia is still acting and is a television star in the United Kingdom

Julia Stiles never gave up acting. Since 1996, Julia has featured in a production in every year except in 2011. 

After her breakthrough, Julia enrolled at Columbia University to study English literature. She hoped that university life would insulate her from the rapid fame she’d attracted in the early 2000s. Stiles told The Independent:

“I wanted to be in the insular bubble of college. It was totally unconscious, but I wanted to be able to do all the trial-and-error mistakes that you make as you’re growing up and finding your voice in a more insular environment than just out in the public eye.”

Stiles kept acting while in college; she landed her role in Bourne Identity during her first year at Columbia. She hoped that the degree she earned in 2005 would give her an edge during auditions, but she found that directors and producers didn’t care much about her academic achievements. She told The Daily Beast:

“Academic professionals don’t really give a shit about me being in a movie or having to go to the MTV Movie Awards. But then also people in the entertainment industry don’t really care about university.”

Julia’s stint at Columbia also negatively affected her approach to acting. “In terms of being a visceral actor and reacting emotionally to things it can be an obstacle,” Julia told The Independent. “I tend to think about things too much.”

Nevertheless, Julia kept getting roles, including a stint on season 5 of Dexter. The role earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. 

Julia’s acting has picked up pace over the past several years. In 2019, she appeared alongside Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers and played Dr. Jordan Taylor in 2021’s The God Committee. Her most famous recent role is in the Sky Atlantic series Riviera

Stiles has a leading role in what was Sky’s most successful original series. It airs in the United States on Ovation, but it is much more popular in the UK. “I was on a billboard on one of those [London] double decker buses,” Stiles told IndieWire. “That was a moment for me of going, ‘Ah, I finally made it.”

Julia lives with her husband Preston Cook and their son Strummer in New York

Julia married her long-time fiancée Preston Cook in September 2017. Preston is a camera operator who worked on the set of 2015’s Blackway, where he met his future wife, Julia. 

In November 2017, the couple welcomed their son Strummer Newcomb. “Thanks and ever thanks to the extraordinary Doctors, Nurses and staff at Mount Sinai for helping to bring this utter joy into our lives,” Julia captioned a photo of the baby’s arm

The family initially settled in Vancouver before moving to New York. Julia told Where Traveler that she lives in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. 

Stiles rejected roles in rom-coms after her breakthrough in the early 2000s

Despite being very young during her breakthrough, Stiles had the intelligence to reject certain roles. At the time, rom-coms were super popular, but Julia turned down opportunities to star in them. She told The Daily Beast:

“I think there was the commercial viability of romantic comedies and that’s how people saw me. And then there was what I was interested in, and I was trying to balance both. But I was also so young and had to learn how to stick up for myself and assert what I wanted.”

Julia had control over her career, but self-doubt crept in every time she failed at an audition. “I think a few years ago my frustration was feeling like nobody knew what to do with me,” Stiles said. “I didn’t really fit anywhere.” 

Despite a frustrating end to the 2000s, Stiles retained hope that she would achieve mainstream success on her own terms. She told The New York Times in 2010:

“I think audiences, producers, and directors included, develop crushes on actors (actresses in particular) and then lose interest and move 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.”

Over two decades after her breakthrough, Stiles might finally achieve the success many expected from her. 10 Things I Hate About You is still a popular film, and even though she refrains from re-watching it, she appreciates the love she gets for her performance. She told People:

“It’s an affirmation that even back then the things, the stories, and the roles that I was drawn to, other people were interested in as well. That was the first time I really read a female character, especially as a teenager, who was feisty and opinionated and unapologetic.”