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LAFF: Exclusive First Look & Poster For Julia Stiles' New Film 'It's A Disaster'; Actress Talks Comedy, Career Choices & 'Bourne'

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | The Playlist June 13, 2012 at 1:01PM

Julia Stiles has had a long and varied career since her breakout role opposite Heath Ledger in "10 Things I Hate About You," the '90s high school adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew." Since then she's been a Jason Bourne accomplice, danced with death on TV's "Dexter," delivered David Mamet dialogue on stage, and currently has a spate of new high profile film roles coming up. We caught up with the New Yorker on the phone on the eve of the world premiere of her latest flick "It's A Disaster," an apocalyptic dramedy that will debut next week at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

"It's a Disaster" isn't a straight comedy, it's a delicate balance of tone between serious relationship and life issues with more absurdist situational, character-driven comedic moments. But it's definitely a step in a new direction for Stiles, and she is rewarded with some of the best lines in the film. She referred to this new direction saying, "one of the reasons I really liked this comedy is because it's a different style of comedy, it's not very broad, there are characters that are broad, but I thought it was the perfect set up for a situation. It was very character based, so each character is responding in their own weird way." With a varied career crossing mutiple genres, she described her process in choosing films as "it doesn't really matter the medium, it doesn't really matter the size of the movie, if it's a studio movie or an independent film, it doesn't matter if it's a web series or a play, for me my focus is on the material and working with the directors. I feel like a lot of the work that I've done, may seem, dare I say, eclectic, or all over the place, but that's only a reflection of my mood, one minute I'm interested in playing a girl who is brutally raped and then exacting revenge in 'Dexter' and it's very dark and serious, and then the next minute I want to do something lighter. One minute I really am in awe of filmmakers and I want to be working in film, and then the next minute I get the itch to get back on stage."

Speaking of choices in projects, we asked Stiles about what she had coming up next. She told us, "today, I just did a web series that Rodrigo Garcia wrote and directed called 'Blue' " and also mentioned her roles in "Silver Linings Playbook" ("I play Jennifer Lawrence's sister") and the new John Crowley thriller with Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall, which she just shot in London ("it's a political thriller about a bomb that goes off in London and I play a journalist"). Of course, with "The Bourne Legacy" coming out soon, we had to ask about her character's role (or lack of) in that reboot of the franchise in which she starred in three installments. Stiles said, "Once Tony Gilroy ended up writing and directing it, I think that really changed the whole scope of the story. I was at a screening of the movie and Tony came up to me and was very apologetic, but also explained to me that he wanted to find a way to fit in my character, but it didn't work and it's largely because she's so tied to Matt Damon's character." With so many films coming out in the next year or so Stiles won't be far away from theaters near you, but she's also got "the itch to do a play again," so don't be surprised if she's treading the boards again soon.

"It's a Disaster" premieres at LAFF, which starts this week. We've got an exclusive still from the film with Julia Stiles and David Cross up top and the exclusive poster for the film below.

It's A Disaster, poster

This article is related to: Julia Stiles, Los Angeles Film Festival, It's A Disaster