Here's one more name you can add to the list of celebs touting their Big Apple pride: Julia Stiles. The Save the Last Dance actress — a native Gotham girl and a Columbia University coed — rejoices, "More than ever, [I'm] proud to be a New Yorker!"
About the tragic events of Sept. 11, Stiles confesses to TV Guide Online that she was shaken up over the destruction of her hometown. Stiles, whose parents live near the former site of the World Trade Center, was touched on a very personal level. "I grew up in that neighborhood, and seeing all the news footage and recognizing every street corner was really terrifying and upsetting," she sighs. "I went back to the block that I grew up on and not seeing the Twin Towers outside my window right down the street was really weird."
You'd think the devastation would drive the starlet straight to the West Coast, right? Think again! The 20-year-old thesp protests, "I always feel like the biggest, dirty scumbag when I go to L.A. because they're very health conscious there and the sun is always shining and they go and get facials and they drink bottled water and I come and I've got New York City grime all over me!"Perhaps that's why Stiles — who stars in the indie flick The Business of Strangers with Stockard Channing (opening today in New York and L.A.) — prefers the dorms of Columbia to the glamour of Hollywood. "I find that for actors, as they become more and more successful, their world becomes smaller and smaller... You can become very narrow-minded and self-absorbed and I wanted to be in a world where I wouldn't have to worry about how I look every day."