OnlyOnAOL: How 'Jason Bourne' changed Julia Stiles' life

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Julia Stiles On "Jason Bourne"

By: Donna Freydkin

Back when "The Bourne Identity" hurtled into theaters in 2002, and became a surprise hit, Julia Stiles was a eye-eyed government operative who played by the rules.

My, how things have changed for Nicky Parsons. In "Jason Bourne," fourth in the series, Parsons has sided with renegade agent Bourne and is hellbent on sharing confidential CIA data with the world. The film has earned $72.2 million to date.

Playing Parsons changed Stiles' life "so much," she says. "I had to put extra pages in my passport because of these movies."

See more: OnlyOnAOL: Matt Damon reveals his ultimate 'deathbed' meal

For Stiles, who broke out as a take-no-prisoners high schooler in 1999's "10 Things I Hate About You" and went on to earn an English degree from Columbia University, "Nicky has evolved organically just because of the passage of time. It's so exciting that she's out of the office. She's disillusioned with the CIA and what it's done to Jason Bourne. It's a very different turn for her."

Stiles, too, has grown up. Now, she's engaged to her camera-assistant boyfriend, Preston J. Cook. But she felt as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning when director Paul Greengrass told her he and Damon were making another "Bourne" movie together. "I was so happy when I got the call that they were going to make another and I had a part in it. I really liked what I get to do this time around. It was a nice reunion," she says.

Parsons no longer plays it safe. And she's out of her cloistered government office. "She has nothing to lose at this point. She's been running for her life. She gets to be quite tough," says Stiles. "I'm really proud to be part of an action movie franchise that's so current and relevant and set in a world that we recognize."

She means a world where so much of our lives are open books, shared with the world on social media. "Bourne" examines the fallacy of privacy and what it means.

Stiles, too, has Twitter and Instagram accounts, but she doesn't sweat it.

"I don't really have much to hide. I'm not so much on display. I don't worry about that. What the movie is commenting on is more on a bigger scale -- the government and the military," she says. "What I tried to access in filming was NIcky's ideology. I was trying to relate to her idealism. She's been through so much but she feels she can make a change. Being able to assert yourself comes with growing up."

28 PHOTOS
Julia Stiles through the years
See Gallery
Julia Stiles through the years
Photo by: Peter Kramer STAR MAX, Inc. �2000 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 1/17/00 Julia Stiles at the premiere of "Down to You". (NYC) (Star Max via AP Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 18: Actress Julia Stiles is on hand at launch party for the movie 'Down to Earth' at the club Chaos. She's in the film. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Julia Stiles sitting in class in a scene from the film '10 Things I Hate About You', 1999. (Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images)
Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles at swing in a scene from the film '10 Things I Hate About You', 1999. (Photo by Buena Vista/Getty Images)
Photo by: Peter Kramer STAR MAX, Inc. - copyright 2000 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 5/2/00 Julia Stiles at the premiere of "Hamlet". (NYC) (Star Max via AP Images)
Actress Julia Stiles poses for a photo in New York, Jan. 3, 2001. When she's not studying psychology or international politics among her classmates at Columbia University, the 19-year-old actress appears in an all-star cast in the latest David Mamet film, "State and Main." Her latest experience is trying out her moves in the film "Save the Last Dance," sort of a cross between "Dirty Dancing" and "Jungle Fever," which opens Friday. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper)
Photo by: Peter Kramer STAR MAX, Inc. - copyright 2001 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 3/25/01 Julia Stiles at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. (CA) (Star Max via AP Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1971 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Julia Stiles during an interview with host Jay Leno on January 2, 2001 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Actress Julia Stiles accepts her award for Choice Movie Actress for "Save The Last Dance," at the Teen Choice Awards 2001, in Los Angeles, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson)
Cast members Josh Hartnett, left, and Julia Stiles meet as they arrive at the premiere for their film "O," a modern teenage adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello," Monday, Aug. 27, 2001, in the Los Angeles. The film's release was delayed for two years after the 1999 shooting deaths at Columbine High School in Colorado. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson)
Photo by: Peter Kramer STAR MAX, Inc. - copyright 2002 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 12/8/02 Julia Stiles at the premiere of "Maid in Manhattan". (NYC) (Star Max via AP Images)
Photo by: Lee Roth STAR MAX, Inc. - copyright 2003 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 1/14/03 Julia Stiles at the premiere of "A Guy Thing". (Westwood, CA) (Star Max via AP Images)
Photo by: Walter Weissman/starmaxinc.com �2005 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 5/5/05 Julia Stiles at the Whitney Museum Art Party. (NYC) (Star Max via AP Images)
Actors Julia Stiles and Lawrence Fishburn present the award for best featured actress in a play at the 2005 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Sunday, June 5, 2005. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Liev Schreiber, left, and Julia Stiles pose for photographers as they arrives for a special screening of their film "The Omen" in New York, Wednesday, May 31, 2006. The film is scheduled to open on June 6. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Universal chairman Marc Shmuger, left, actress Julia Stiles, center, and Universal co-chair David Linde are seen at the premiere of "The Bourne Ultimatum" in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Actress Julia Stiles attends the Chanel "A Night of Diamonds" dinner at The Plaza, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Julia Stiles arrives for the Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actresses Julia Stiles, left, and Kristen Bell attend the Tracy Reese Fall 2010 collection on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Actress Julia Stiles arrives at the 63rd annual DGA Awards on Saturday Jan. 29, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Julia Stiles arrives at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actress Julia Stiles attends the premiere of "Silver Linings Playbook", to benefit the Tribeca Film Instituteâs Tribeca Teaches Educational Programs, at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Monday Nov. 12, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Actress Julia Stiles arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jennifer Lawrence, left, and Julia Stiles attend The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night at Spago on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for The Hollywood Reporter/AP Images)
Actress Julia Stiles attends a screening of "Closed Circuit" on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Julia Stiles attends the premiere of "Eden" at the IFC Center on Monday, June 8, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Actors Julia Stiles (L) and Ben Foster (R) attend Urban Arts Partnership at the 15th annual The 24 Hour Plays On Broadway after party at BB King on November 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Urban Arts Partnership)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

From Our Partners