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Secrets, Love And Julia Stiles

Barely 23 years old, Julia Stiles is already a 10-year acting veteran with credits that include "Save The Last Dance," "State And Main" and "Mona Lisa Smile."

In her latest film, the romantic comedy "The Prince & Me," she plays a coed who falls in love with a fellow student who has a secret identity.

In "The Prince & Me," Paige (Stiles) is a student from Wisconsin who is pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. Meanwhile, Edward (played by Luke Mably), the Crown Prince of Denmark, is trying to escape the life of royalty. So, Edwards poses as "Eddie," a college student. As a love relationship develops between Paige and Edward, the aspiring doctor must decide what road to take -- become a princess or have a career in medicine.

Stiles tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm her character always wanted to be independent and had been "focused on her own life path. I think, in a way, she was scared to open herself up to falling in love. But she's blindsided by this guy who is charming and lovely."

And so she ends up having to make a choice between her career and marrying the man of her dreams. She notes, "The thing that I think is so interesting about the movie is that she decides to put her heart in his hands. And she goes off to Denmark to find him. And she realizes, when she gets there, that she won't have a voice or an identity. So she has to figure out how she can live her own life, but also share it with him. I think that's an issue for a lot of women who want to have their own identity and, also, have fun and be in love."

The film used real jewelry. Stiles notes, "They had to have bodyguards following me around."

But it wasn't until the proposal from the prince, holding real diamonds, that she actually hyperventilated. She says, "Not only the diamonds, but it was more about the idea of a man you're in love with getting down on his hands and knees and saying he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. I became quite a romantic."

Off screen, the actress attends Columbia University in New York City as an English major and says her student world and career world are working just fine. She says, "I hope to graduate in a year. I have two semesters left."

"The Prince And Me" is being released by Paramount Pictures, which is owned by the same parent company as CBS.

Some Facts About Julia Stiles

  • Julia O'Hara Stiles was born in New York City on March 28, 1981.
  • At the age of 11, Stiles was prescient enough to write a letter to a stage director convincing him to hire her for an avant-garde production.
  • In 1997, Stiles began her film career with a small part in "I Love You, I Love You Not" and "The Devil's Own."
  • Also in 1997, Stiles acted in the Oprah Winfrey-produced "Before Women Had Wings," after developing her own script at the Sundance Institute's Screenwriters Lab.
  • In 1998, Stiles landed her breakthrough role in the dark comedy "Wicked."
  • In 1999, Stiles had a role in NBC's miniseries "The 60s"; she returned to the big screen in "10 Things I Hate About You," a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy "The Taming of the Shrew"
  • In 2000, Stiles co-starred in the romance "Down to You"; the actress co-starred in "Hamlet;" and she co-starred in "State and Main."
  • In 2001, Stiles acted in another film adaptation of Shakespeare. This time, she played Desi in "O," a retelling of "Othello" set in a prep school; the actress portrayed an aspiring ballerina who falls in love with a black student in "Save the Last Dance"; Stiles was cast opposite veteran Stockard Channing as an ambitious (and potentially destructive) young businesswoman in the controversial independent "The Business of Strangers."
  • In 2002, Stiles had a featured role in "The Bourne Identity."
  • In 2003, Stiles co-starred with Jason Lee in "A Guy Thing"; Stiles then appeared opposite Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal as the '50s-era students of liberal-minded Wellesley instructor Julia Roberts in "Mona Lisa Smile."