Julia Stiles recently opened up about the early days of her career, including that time she worked with late actor Heath Ledger on 10 Things I Hate About You.
Speaking to the PEOPLE in the ’90s podcast, Julia described Heath as “gracious” during filming and someone who always allowed her to shine.
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Referring to that iconic scene where her character recites a poem, Julia says: “I remember Heath Ledger was so gracious about the whole thing. I appreciate this so much more now having worked more.”
She adds, “he wasn’t trying to compete with me. He stood back and he was like, this is your scene.”
“When they did his reaction shot, he didn’t well up. He didn’t go, ‘Okay, now I have to do something with my side of the camera.’ He was just like, ‘That was beautiful and this is your scene.'”
Julia goes on to describe how rare that is in the industry:
“You know, he had his amazing moments in the movie too – the singing and dancing and running up and down those steps. But he was confident enough, even just starting out, to be like, ‘I’m handing over the stage to you.’ And I learned way later in life that that doesn’t always happen.”
During the interview, Julia shared a hilarious story about being at college while her career was taking off:
“And like yeah, people would go, you’re in that movie right? But I think very quickly, I was able to focus on school. It would put things in perspective a lot. So my peers were all studying to become doctors, and that’s humbling. And then yeah, there were some really funny weird moments like a limo for the MTV movie awards pulling up at my dormitory with my name on it. Where it’s like, you’re like oh GOD!”
You can listen to the full podcast HERE.
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