Having started acting at age 11, Julia Stiles eschewed any semblance of a normal childhood in pursuit of a stage and screen career. After appearing for several years in avant-garde theater productions in her native New York City, Stiles made her first significant film appearance in the politically themed thriller, "The Devil's Own" (1997). But it was her starring turn in the dark and comic thriller about suburban dysfunction, "Wicked" (1998), that served as the young actress' breakthrough performance. From there, she reached mainstream success with the moderate hit, "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), a contemporary take on William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew." In between two more modern adaptations of the Bard's work, "Hamlet" (2000) and "O" (2001), Stiles had a shining supporting performance as a manipulative teenage girl in the laidback show business satire, "State and Main" (2000). She reached new plateaus with "Save the Last Dance" (2001), a rather surprising box office hit that helped expand her fan base exponentially. Though she appeared in all three movies of the "Bourne" franchise, her role as a CIA assistant failed to reach full fruition until the third film, "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007). Because of her ability to move from light-hearted comedies to biting satires to action thrillers, Stiles made her mark as one of the most versatile young actresses working in the business.