After her breakout success in 1999’s 10 Things I Hate About You, actress Julia Stiles says she felt unsure about her career path.
“I felt like I was sort of jumping from job to job that I wasn’t really connected to, and worried about where my career was going,” Stiles said in a new interview with The Daily Beast.
“I think a few years ago my frustration was feeling like nobody knew what to do with me,” the actress, now 38, added. “You know, I had had some success in my twenties and now I’m in a different place in my life and I didn’t really fit anywhere.”
Stiles continued: “But a movie like Hustlers to me is such an affirmation that like I have a place in the film industry and stories that I’m interested in are being told.”
The actress is now starring in the highly-anticipated stripper film Hustlers alongside an all-star cast that includes Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo and Cardi B. The film got glowing reviews after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, and hits theaters this Friday.
“If you had talked to me two or three years ago, I might have been more nervous or more frustrated, but I’m really, really happy where I am now,” Stiles added.
The actress also addressed her role in 10 Things I Hate About You, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and is still beloved to this day.
“I don’t take it for granted that people are talking about the movie 20 years later,” Stiles said. “It’s an affirmation that even back then the things, the stories, and the roles that I was drawn to, other people were interested in as well. That was the first time I really read a female character, especially as a teenager, who was feisty and opinionated and unapologetic.”
“If you had your prom video or a home video from high school, I don’t know that I’d watch it,” she said. “I usually just look away. I’m glad that people enjoyed it and I’m glad that they’re still talking about it. I don’t take that for granted, but I look away pretty quickly.”
Of Hustlers, Stiles previously told PEOPLE that Lopez, 50, is “so riveting” in the film.
“The audience is going to be floored when they watch it,” she teased. “I would do scenes with her and it took every ounce of me to not have my jaw to the floor.”
Hustlers hits theaters Friday.