Julia Stiles looks up to nurses rather than actresses.

The 'Ten Things I Hate About You' star admits she is inspired by women who devote themselves to careers that help others and that require a lot of hard work to achieve.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, she said: ''I went to a public school until I was 13 and was then lucky enough to afford college when I became a successful actress. As a result my heroines tend to be women who have made something of themselves, like doctors and nurses, rather than actresses.''

The 32-year-old actress believes her mother taught her the importance of hard work, but she also encouraged her to let go of her mistakes and learn from them and have no regrets.

She explained: ''My mom, Judith, taught me from the very start to be serious about work but never take myself seriously. She said that I should not dwell on any mistakes.

''I used to struggle a lot with that, because I'd think about work and what I could have done better.

''She kept on saying, 'What has gone, you cannot control.'

''I have trained myself not to lose sleep over what has happened during the day.''