Thriller ‘Out of the Dark’ Gets U.S. Distribution

Vertical Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to Participant’s supernatural thriller “Out of the Dark,” starring Julia Stiles, Scott Speedman and Stephen Rea.

Out of the Dark” is a ghost story set in South America, where a young family’s new life turns terrifying when they are forced to confront ancient legends, ghosts and a family secret. It was shot on location in Colombia and is a Spanish-Colombian co-production.

Vertical is planning a release early next year. The film will be presented by Vertical in association with Participant Media and Image Nation.

Out of the Dark” is a production of Apaches Entertainment, Cactus Flower, and Fast Producciones, in association with Dynamo and XYZ Films.

Producers are Belen Atienza, Cristian Conti, Enrique Lopez Lavigne and Andres Calderon. Lluis Quilez directed from a screenplay by the team of Alex Pastor and David Pastor along with Javier Gullon.

Rich Goldberg and Peter Jarowey negotiated the deal for Vertical, with Nate Bolotin at XYZ Films and Jeff Ivers for Participant. Bloom is handling international sales for “Out of the Dark.”

Julia Stiles sells her Manhattan Condo

Actress Julia Stiles has sold her condo in New York City’s Gramercy Park neighborhood for $2.7 million.

Stiles was last seen on the big screen in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Right now, she’s starring with James Wirt in an off-Broadway play called “Phoenix.” She first listed the condo at 310 E 15th St #3B last summer. Stiles’ father bought the 2,081-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath condo in 2004, but her name is on the property records as the seller.

The unit has a private rooftop deck and a balcony off the living room. Each of the upstairs bedrooms has its own bathroom. The unit is modestly decorated, with blue subway tile in the kitchen, 2 small fireplaces and an upright piano in the living room. Stiles, 33, was a child actress who grew up in New York City.

Julia Stiles talks role in Off-Broadway play ‘Phoenix’

Julia Stiles has a fondness for the unexpected. Or so it would seem glancing at her wide-ranging resume, which includes teen romance films (“Save the Last Dance”), blockbusters (Matt Damon’s “Bourne” franchise), plus stints onstage (Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” David Mamet’s “Oleanna”), on the small screen (she played a serial killer on “Dexter,” earning Golden Globe and Emmy nominations) and the computer screen (starring in the popular WIGS Web series “Blue” and writing and directing “Paloma”).

This summer, Stiles stars Off-Broadway with up-and-comer James Wirt in “Phoenix,” a two-person dark romantic comedy by Scott Organ now in previews at the Cherry Lane Theatre (it opens Thursday and runs through Aug. 23).

The play explores the ups and downs — and the tempting yet terrifying more-than-one-nightness potential — of a one-night stand. Stiles, 33, who lives in Manhattan, recently sat down with Newsday contributor Joseph V. Amodio before a rehearsal.

I gather “Phoenix” all began with a phone call.

I knew the director — she called and said, “I had a dream we should do a play together.” Coincidentally, I was itching to get back onstage.


To get back to all the reasons why I wanted to be an actress in the first place. Compared to film or television, theater is more interactive, collaborative. And I loved the script. I actually have a very short attention span when it comes to reading. But I wasn’t fidgeting with this. It’s not cynical. It has a sense of humor — which is nice for summer. I’d read other plays about incest and … dark, dark things, and I thought, I don’t want to do that every day.

The slogan for this play is something like “Don’t think a one-night stand only lasts one night.” Which seems optimistic … or a nightmare.

I know. The play’s about our fight or flight instinct with relationships. My character’s nomadic and avoids intimacy. The guy’s thinking, “Maybe there’s potential here,” but she just runs away from it. James is funny. He’s obviously very attractive, a handsome guy, but he’s really goofy and you wouldn’t expect that. Or at least I didn’t.

You, your co-star and director are all working on a film together, too — about silent-screen star Mary Pickford.

It’s called “The First,” and deals with the way actors became celebrities back in the golden age of cinema. Lily Rabe plays Mary Pickford, I play a screenwriter, Frances Marion, and James is Charlie Chaplin.

You’re a writer yourself. You wrote and directed a short film and the Web series “Paloma.”

I really, really love getting behind a camera. Eventually I’d like to tackle a feature. I’ve been looking at screenplays others have written, and I’ve been trying to write one with a friend. At my heart, I’m a performer but the two pursuits complement each other.

Must be nice working in your hometown for the summer. You grew up in New York, didn’t you?

In SoHo.

Before it turned into a big Galleria mall.

Totally. It was industrial. Artists had taken over loft spaces. It was a new frontier.

My favorite street in New York was always Greene Street.

I grew up on Greene Street. Between Grand and Canal.

You’re kidding! I love the cobblestones, and it used to have a cool assortment of funky, eclectic shops.

I remember as a preteen, they dug up the asphalt to reveal the original cobblestones, and they replaced the ugly aluminum lampposts with ones that seem more old-fashioned.

So you’re a New Yorker. And a Mets fan.

I love baseball. As a teenager, I was a contrarian, and picked the underdog instead of just rooting for the Yankees. It’s a hard team to root for, but there’s something that always keeps me hopeful. I actually love listening to baseball. I really get into the announcers. It’s almost like Valium. It totally relaxes me. I like listening to the radio more than going to the games, although I love the old stadiums, like Fenway and Wrigley Field. They’re beautiful and simple — they sell hot dogs, pretzels, beer — that’s it.

I was reading your Twitter feed, and one of your posts begins, “People!”

[She immediately starts laughing, knowing the tweet in question.]

“The spitting in New York has got to stop!” I thought, this must come from the heart.

It really did. I was reluctant to join Twitter. My biggest concern was, I don’t want these thoughts that pop into my brain to be immediately broadcast. There’s a danger in that. And also — who cares? But that tweet was a moment when I was kind of laughing at the absurdity of New York and how crowded it is. And I think somebody had just spit right in front of me. I thought, “Aaaah, I’ll tweet about it.”

Julia Stiles on Andrew Bird’s ‘Lusitania’

Actress Julia Stiles appeared in the “Bourne” film series. She will star in the off-Broadway play “Phoenix” at New York’s Cherry Lane Theater from Monday through Aug. 23. She spoke with Marc Myers.

I’m always looking for new music by artists who aren’t well known yet. That’s how I discovered guitarist-songwriter Andrew Bird in the early 2000s. When he released his “Break It Yourself” album in 2012, I loaded it onto my iPod, took it on a flight and wound up playing the song “Lusitania” over and over again. I even made “Lusitania” my alarm-clock song.

“Lusitania” is a ballad that opens with Bird whistling and playing guitar backed by this big ’60s Wall-of-Sound drumbeat. Then he sings in a deep, beautiful voice. The song is about the breakup of a supposedly unbreakable relationship, and his line, “But somehow it don’t register as pain at all,” resonated with me. Throughout the song, Bird explores how heartbreak can be murky.

None of the song’s lyrics are obvious and his sentence structures are poetic: “If your loose and libel lips / Keep sinking all my ships / Then you’re the one who sank my Lusitania.” Here, the song’s true feelings are beautifully masked by Bird’s unusual word choices and how they sound together: “You’re laying mines along your shore / Through my hull it ripped and tore / We don’t study this war no more.”

The song’s ocean motif is also appealing. I’m almost never happier than when I’m on a beach. I like the pull of the tide, which you feel in this song’s instrumental arrangement. It’s a primal thing, like a heartbeat. About halfway into the song, singer St. Vincent [ Annie Clark ] takes over, and it’s like hearing the woman’s response to Bird’s feelings. When she sings “Go ahead say something dumb boy / There’s no shame,” it sounds as if she’s trying to coax words out of him. When they sing together in duet, it’s powerful.

I often listen to “Lusitania” whenever I’m in an overwhelming situation. The melody and instrumentation are so soothing. This is particularly true on a movie set, when things get chaotic. Humming the song calms me down.

CUE & A with Julia Stiles

Film star Julia Stiles, who returns to the New York stage July 28 in Scott Organ’s Phoenix at the Cherry Lane Theatre, fills out’s questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Stiles has appeared onstage in Oleanna (Broadway), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in the Park) and The Vagina Monologues.

Her extensive screen credits include “Ten Things I Hate About You,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “Dexter,” “State and Main,” “Save the Last Dance,” “O,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Business of Strangers” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

The Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street. Visit for more information.

Full given name: Julia O’Hara Stiles
Where you were born/where you were raised: New York
Zodiac Sign: Aries, Cancer rising
What your parents did/do for a living: They own a ceramics business. My mom makes the work, my dad sells it.
Siblings: Two, a younger brother and sister
Do you have any early mentors or people who inspired you to pursue the performing arts? My grandmother
Special skills: I’m pretty good at “name that tune”
Something you’re REALLY bad at: Going to bed early
First Broadway show you ever saw: A Doll’s House with Janet McTeer, woah!
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? Measure for Measure in the park with Meryl Streep
Current or recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends: Cavewoman with Michael Cavadias (you have to search it, cuz it’s not on Broadway and it’s always a surprise)
Favorite musicals: All things Fosse, Guys and Dolls, Hair, Cabaret, Threepenny Opera, Rocky Horror
Some favorite modern plays: Laughing Wild (Christopher Durang) and Hysteria (Terry Johnson)
Some favorite modern playwrights: Scott Organ! Christopher Durang, Mamet, LaBute, Tracy Letts
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would have most loved to perform with: Philip Seymour Hoffman. We worked together on a movie, but live performance would have been special.
The one performance – attended – that you will never forget: Fiona Shaw in Medea
Music that makes you cry, any genre: Anything with passion. A strong drum beat makes me ecstatic, a thoughtful singer makes me cry.
Your personal acting idols: Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Tim Curry, Natalie Wood (“Splendor in the Grass!”), Catherine O’Hara, Diane Weist, Amy Adams
MAC or PC? PC, What? PC, Who?
Most played song on your iPod: “I Follow Rivers” by Lykki Li
Most-visited websites: Free Will Astrology, NPR music, Literary Jukebox, Chances with Wolves
Last book you read: “All That Is” by James Salter
Must-see TV show(s): “Veep”!
Last good movie you saw: “Obvious Child”
Some films you consider classics: “Cool Hand Luke,” “Clue,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Three Caballeros,” “Vacation,” “Splendor in The Grass”
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Andrew Bird
Pop culture guilty pleasure: “Dancing With The Stars”
Three favorite cities: (aside from New York)- London, Prague, Berlin
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: “She’s So Unusual” by Cyndi Lauper
First stage/screen kiss: “10 Things I Hate About You,” with Heath Ledger
Some favorite or most memorable roles as a child or teen: “Clue,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Adventures in Babysitting”
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: As soon as I was old enough to know I had to earn a living.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: Two Bridges or Joe Allen’s in London.
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Standing in the back row of the house, breathing and stretching on the stage. I like to sing, too, it calms me down.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: Only in my nightmares
Worst costume ever: A wool army uniform for Twelfth Night. Only because it was summer in the park and about a thousand degrees.
Worst job you ever had: Babysitting, but because I had some weird allergic reaction to something in the house and when the parents came home my eyes were almost swollen shut.
Craziest audition story: Are they ever not crazy? It’s the most bizarre situation every time!
Some favorite screen or commercial roles: So many! I really marvel at the ability to make a living at playing dress up and perform. So many performers I know do something else to pay the bills. That said, I don’t really take time to look back and pat myself on the back. Should probably work on that. Or not.
What drew you to this project? The idea of two people in their thirties able to connect on deeply intellectual and primal levels, but with some carry-on baggage. The question of whether their Fight-or-Flight instincts will triumph. It’s not cynical, and yet not saccharine either.
What has been the biggest challenge so far? At this stage, just infusing the one-word sentences with meaning. I know it’s there, I know Scott Organ chose each word deliberately, but remembering why my character says “Yeah” versus “Okay” versus “Right” is a welcome challenge.
What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect of this show/character? Playing!!! Meaning, this is the first time in my career I feel like I am exploring and experimenting without feeling I have to get something right.
Most challenging role you have played onstage: Carol in Oleanna
Any upcoming or side projects you can talk about? Ask my agents.
Leading lady role you’ve been dying to play: Lady M
Leading man role you’ve been dying to play: I’ve joked with Jimmy that we should switch roles in Phoenix each night, but I don’t think the gender-bending works, generally. Men are men, ladies are ladies. That said, there are lots of fun roles for dudes. Most of the Mamet guys. And the Sam Shepard guys too.
Something about you that surprises people: I’m funny. But like funny ha ha, AND funny strange.
Career you would want if not a performer: Do teachers count as performers?
Three things you can’t live without: Music, Exercise, Water
“I’ll never understand why…” … God (or the Universe, evolution, whatever) made child birth painful. Population control?
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Focus on the story you want to tell, not the applause.

PHOENIX, Starring Julia Stiles and James Wirt, Offers $20 Tickets

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater are proud to announce that a limited number of $20 tickets will be available for Scott Organ’s dark romantic comedy Phoenix at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street).

“We passionately believe live theater should be accessible to audiences of all ages and incomes,” said producer Rian Patrick Durham, “We are offering these $20 tickets to ensure that Scott Organ’s powerful, romantic and humorous play reach as many people as possible.”

Directed by Jennifer DeLia, Phoenix stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominee Julia Stiles and James Wirt. Phoenix begins performances on Monday, July 28 and will play a limited engagement through Saturday, August 23.

Stiles, known for 10 Things I Hate About You, the Bourne series with Matt Damon, and David Mamet’s Oleanna on Broadway, will be joined by James Wirt, who also stars in DeLia’s directorial debut feature film Billy Bates, due out in theaters in November. Stiles and Wirt will co-star with Lily Rabe, Michael Pitt, Billy Magnussen and Louisa Krause in Julie Pacino and Jennifer DeLia’s upcoming film The First. A film adaptation of Phoenix, under the direction of Amy Redford is currently development.

When Bruce (James Wirt) and Sue (Julia Stiles) meet four weeks after an uncharacteristic one-night-stand, Sue has this to say to him: one, I had a great time with you that night and two, let’s never see each other again. Thus begins a 4,000 mile journey well beyond the confines of their carefully structured worlds. Bruce is fueled by an overwhelming but undefined compulsion to join her in Phoenix. Sue is reluctantly charmed by his persistence, but steadfast in her resolve to keep him at bay. Both are forced to consider a whole new world of possibility, though not one free of difficulty and loss. Phoenix is a one-act dark romantic comedy.

PHOENIX premiered at the 34th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville on March 5, 2010, and received its Off-Broadway premiere produced by The Barrow Group Theatre Company on April 10, 2010.

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Julia Stiles Interview 2014

Moving to a new home is said to be one of the most stressful events you can endure — up there with death and divorce — but Julia Stiles has just done it and looks radiant.

The Emmy Award- and Golden Globe-nominee sat down before rehearsals of her new play only hours after moving from her longtime three-bedroom apartment on 15th Street to a new one-bedroom East Village space.

“I feel great about it. Downsizing. Simplifying. I gave away lots of stuff. It feels like shedding your skin,” she says. “It was time for a change.”

Gone were books she’d already read. Gone was most of her furniture she’d accumulated over a decade. She even donated her piano to a music school. A lot of stuff went out on the street. “I had to be brutal,” she says.

Change is not something Stiles is uncomfortable with, having jumped into projects as diverse as William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” to being a serial killer on “Dexter,” to her own scripted show on YouTube.

“I’m such a child that I just want to show up and play dress up. I’m not very good at the long term plans,” she says. “I’ve kind of embraced that my work is always in flux.”

This summer, the flux has put Stiles at the intimate Cherry Lane Theatre for a production of the one-act dark romantic comedy “Phoenix” by Scott Organ, which the actress calls “really charming and really romantic.”

Stiles and co-star James Wirt play one-time lovers who meet several weeks after a one-night-stand to discuss the consequences. “I thought it was refreshing that it’s not cynical,” she says.

Stiles, 33, had been looking for a play that she and director Jennifer DeLia could work on together. They wanted something small and something downtown — where the actress began her career with the tiny Ridge Theater company.

“For me, it makes sense because it’s getting back to my roots and also why I wanted to be an actress in the first place,” Stiles says. “At its core, it’s very simply what I find delightful.”

Rising star Wirt, who was a fan of Stiles from “Dexter,” soon rented “10 Things I Hate About You” to learn more about his co-star. He says her love of acting is clear in her decision to pick a 180-seat theater to showcase a new playwright.

“You see it just to do this play. This little play, in the summer, in the West Village, for the love of the game,” says Wirt, who also stars in DeLia’s film “Billy Bates.” ”That’s what it is: For the love of the game. Period. That’s a joy to be around.”

Stiles’ credits also include being in the “Bourne” franchise with Matt Damon, David Mamet’s play “Oleanna” in the West End and Broadway and the films “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Mona Lisa Smile.”

More recently, Stiles has been among the first A-list actresses to embrace online storytelling, starring in the hit WIGS web series “Blue” as a mother juggling raising her son with being a high-end escort, and writing and directing “Paloma,” another WIGS series which stars Grace Gummer navigating modern life. Both are available on YouTube and Hulu.

“Years ago, it seemed like the content wouldn’t be as sophisticated as a proper TV show or proper movie, but I could feel that was changing,” said Stiles. “I feel like my decision to do that without being able to predict the future was rewarded because it was for the right reason.”

On the horizon is a movie directed by DeLia about silent film star Mary Pickford in which Wirt will play Charlie Chaplin and Stiles will star as Frances Marion, one of the top screenwriters during the early 20th Century.

“My work is a little bit of a hodgepodge,” says Stiles. “My career has been this conglomerate of all these different mediums. I’m believing more and more in that expression, ‘You don’t pick the part. The part picks you.'”