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'It's a Disaster' Star Julia Stiles Discusses Being a Jack of All Trades at Apple Event With Indiewire

Indiewire By Cristina A. Gonzalez | Indiewire April 11, 2013 at 10:27AM

We last saw Julia Stiles in David O. Russell's sleeper hit "Silver Linings Playbook," although most of us remember her from her teen movies days when she starred in "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Save the Last Dance." Her latest offering, the hilarious end-of-days black comedy "It's a Disaster," has moved her into the indie film realm and affords her one of her best parts yet. In the ensemble comedy, written and directed by Todd Berger ("The Scenesters"), Stiles stars as the lone single gal in her group of friends, who shows up for couples brunch with a new date (a hilarious David Cross). The gathering takes a turn for the absurd when the group learns that outside the world's been subject to a widespread attack. All signals point to the end of the world.
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Oscilloscope "It's a Disaster"

We last saw Julia Stiles in David O. Russell's sleeper hit "Silver Linings Playbook," although most of us remember her from her teen movies days when she starred in "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Save the Last Dance." Her latest offering, the hilarious end-of-days black comedy "It's a Disaster," has moved her into the indie film realm and affords her one of her best parts yet. In the ensemble comedy, written and directed by Todd Berger ("The Scenesters"), Stiles stars as the lone single gal in her group of friends, who shows up for couples brunch with a new date (a hilarious David Cross). The gathering takes a turn for the absurd when the group learns that outside the world's been subject to a widespread attack. All signals point to the end of the world.

Stiles sat down with Indiewire's Managing Editor, Nigel M. Smith, for an Apple sponsored 'Meet the Actor' podcast at the Soho Apple store where she opened up about her career (you can watch the entire interview here). Below are the highlights from the chat. "It's a Disaster" opens in select theaters April 12 and is currently available on VOD.

On studio films vs. indie films...

Around the time I made "It's a Disaster," I had done a slew of indie films so it's so nice to finally have one that's coming out. It's hard for them to get an audience and get distribution. For me it doesn't really matter what platform I'm working in or what medium. For me it's so much more about the material and the story. If it's a big movie, a small movie, TV, a play, it doesn't really matter. I am thoughtful of the decisions I make, but sometimes I just go with the flow."

On selecting roles...

There are roles that I've turned down, there are roles that I didn't get. But I don't have any regrets about either of those scenarios. Aside from the fact that I still like to believe that everything happens for a reason, I can always see with casting that somebody else fits in that part better. If I turn something down it's because I don't feel like I can contribute more than anybody else could. I usually go for the things that I think would be scary to do.

On self promotion through social media and its value...

I'm still struggling with that. I don't want the instant thoughts that are in my brain to be publicly broadcast over the internet -- although it doesn't really matter because there's so much out there that it's like white noise. Mostly I like social media for following people that I admire and am interested in or bands that I like or because it's a good way to keep in touch with friends and family that you're not around all the time. It's something that we're all figuring out. I do feel like phone calls are going to be like what the thank you card is. A super classy act will be to make a phone call cause now we just text and Facebook each other.

On juggling theater, film and TV projects...

I feel like they compliment each other. A painter can be a photographer and a sculptor at the same time. A musician can play many different instruments. I'm so driven by materials and scripts and what kind of stories I'm interested in telling and it changes monthly. But I'll be working on a movie and I'll have this hunger to go on stage, because it's a muscle and it needs to be exercised. I'm lucky to be able to move back and forth between mediums; sort of a jack of all trades but a master at none. And things come up, I'm always pleasantly surprised. I cannot predict where my year is going to go and I can't really control it either but I kind of accept that as part of my job.

This article is related to: Julia Stiles, It's a Disaster