There are two types of people in this world, she wrote hyperbolically: People who think 10 Things I Hate About You is one of history’s finest teen movies, and people who haven’t seen it yet. That film, a savvy adaptation of William Shakespeare’s dicy The Taming Of The Shrew, turns 20 this year—apologies to anyone exactly my age, who just keenly felt their own mortality—and yet it remains as bright and relevant as it was the day it arrived. It’s also just as likely to make new and repeat viewers fall in love with its charming leads: The late, great Heath Ledger, and the no less winning Julia Stiles.
It may have been 20 years since the public met Katarina Stratford (a bit on the nose, that name), but Stiles brings one of the qualities that made her so appealing to nearly every role she takes: a crackling intelligence that makes good dialogue even better. That quality can be found in abundance in Riviera, the 2017 Irish mystery series which made the leap to American airwaves earlier this year, courtesy of Ovation. In it, Stiles plays Georgina Clios, an American art curator living abroad who finds herself in the deep end of the pool, criminally-speaking, when her billionaire husband dies in mysterious circumstances.
It’s fun stuff, soapy and sunny, made all the more appealing because Stiles is such a compelling presence.
She’s even compelling when you’re asking her if a hot dog is a sandwich.
The Takeout: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Julia Stiles: No, it’s a hot dog.
TO: Why is it not a sandwich?
JS: Mmmmmm. Maybe if we had a diagram, the larger category would be sandwich, and within that would be hot dog.
JS: But no! Because we call it “hot dog” all over the world. We call it “hot dog.” It’s just one of those things that all people have all agreed to do.
TO: Thank you!