In her new film, The Prince & Me (opening Friday), Julia Stiles plays a normal college student whose life becomes a fairy tale when she meets and falls in love with a real, honest-to-goodness Prince Charming. Given that actors are pretty much treated like royalty, the gig couldn't have been much of a stretch, right? Wrong.
"I don't think that actors are like American royalty," says the 23-year-old actress, who juggles life in the spotlight with her role as a Columbia University senior. "I really think there is a difference. Prince Charles has an equerry who knows what he is going to be doing [every] minute for the next two years of his life. For me, I made the choice to become an actor, whereas with royalty you are born into it and you have no choice."
Well, Stiles may not be a princess, but she's the closest thing Columbia has to a queen. "Whenever I had to do something movie-related or press-related while I was living in the dorm that was weird," admits the Mona Lisa Smile star, who has since moved off-campus. "Having to get dressed up for a premiere and walk through campus or having a limo pick me up outside of the dorm was really awkward."
That was nothing compared to the time a male student pulled a prank on her on the night of the MTV Video Music Awards. "[MTV] sent a huge stretch limo to wait for me outside of the dorms and it had my name on it," she recalls. "Some guy thought it would be funny to dress up in a tuxedo and come knock on my door and say, 'I'm ready for my date.' It was just like a big joke or whatever." Or not.