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Julia Stiles says it's hard to watch '10 Things I Hate About You': 'I look away'

Stiles starred opposite the late Heath Ledger in the 1999 hit.
/ Source: TODAY

We're happy to watch the 1999 hit comedy "10 Things I Hate About You" pretty much any time, anywhere.

Star Julia Stiles, however, feels a little differently.

"If you had your prom video or a home video from high school, I don't know that I'd watch it," the actress, 38, told People magazine recently. "I usually just look away."

Heath Ledger And Julia Stiles In '10 Things I Hate About You'
Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in "10 Things I Hate About You." She says he gave her tips on how to act drunk.Buena Vista / Getty Images

Stiles wasn't yet 20 when the film, in which she starred opposite the late Heath Ledger, was released. Based on William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," the film helped jump-start her career, along with Ledger's and co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt's.

Stiles and Ledger had undeniable chemistry in the film, and as she told The New York Times in March, he helped guide her through some awkward scenes, including one where she drunkenly dances on a table.

"I hadn’t ever really been drunk before in real life. I mean, I was 17, so I remember Heath — because he was older — giving me tips on what being drunk looks and feels like," she said. "I would never have the guts to do that now. I’m glad somebody got that on film. I mean I love dancing, but sort of provocatively on the table? I was pretty guileless at that point."

Today, watching her much-younger self is not an easy task. "I'm glad that people enjoyed it and I’m glad that they're still talking about it," she told People. "I don't take that for granted, but I look away pretty quickly."

Fortunately Stiles, who's now married to camera assistant Preston J. Cook and a mom to Strummer, 20 months, is able to appreciate the film on other levels.

"The success of it was an affirmation of some of my instincts," said the "Riviera" star. "I was just so eager to get that part because it was unique at the time. I hadn't read a character that was so feisty, outspoken and opinionated so when other people responded to that it was an affirmation that I was on the right track."