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10 Things You Didn’t Know About ’10 Things I Hate About You’

Heath Ledger did WHAT NOW?!
10 Things I Hate About You

Picture it: a young Heath Ledger with dark, curly brown hair, a typical American high school filled with girls dressed head-to-toe in quintessentially 90’s fashion, cheerleaders, underage drinking and a musical number. What else could it be than everybody’s favourite teen romance film 10 Things I Hate About You? While you may know that it’s one of your favourite films, you definitely *won’t* know these 10 unexpected facts about the 1999 rom-com. 

1. Julia Stiles *actually* cried in THAT final scene

Yep, that’s right, actress Julia Stiles (who plays antisocial ‘shrew’ Katarina Stratford) burst out into *real* tears whilst performing her 10 Things poem at the end of the film. According to DVD extras, there was only one take of this scene, and Stiles’ crying and running out of the room was completely unscripted. How’s that for method acting? 

2. The original script was *very* different

According to the 10th anniversary cast commentary, the films original script was much darker than the one we have come to know and love today. In the original, Kat’s best friend Mandella (played by Susan May Pratt) frequently talked about wanting to commit suicide so that she could join her ‘love’ William Shakespeare. Wow. Just wow. 

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really speaks French

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays the goofy, love-struck high school student Cam, actually speaks fluent French in real life. In the film, Cam learns French in an attempt to teach it to and simultaneously impress his love interest Bianca. 

4. Julia Stiles was the brains behind *that* musical number

According to actress Larissa Oleynik, who plays Bianca Stratford in the film, Julia Stiles was the one who suggested Heath Ledger should perform ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ to win Kat back. Ledger was originally supposed to perform the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You.” Julia Stiles, we salute you. 

5. Heath Ledger improvised the fire scene

When the audience are first introduced to Patrick through the eyes of Cam and Michael nervously discussing his ‘bad boy’ reputation, Patrick can be seen casually playing with fire in the chemistry lab before pulling out a cigarette to smoke it. According to director Gil Junger, Heath Ledger completely improvised this wickedly clever moment for his character. 

6. Julia Stiles is younger than Larissa Oleynik

Actress Julia Stiles, who was 18 during the filming of 10 Things I Hate About You, plays Larissa Oleynik’s older sister Kat but Oleynik is almost two years older than Stiles. 

7. True love blossomed on set

According to the 10th anniversary commentary by the cast, actors Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles began dating during filming. They reportedly broke up in January 2000. Our hearts *seriously* can’t handle…

8. Julia Stiles can’t stand watching the film

In a 2015 interview with Cosmopolitan, Stiles compared the experience of watching back 10 Things I Hate About You to watching home movies of yourself. She revealed: “…I don’t really like to watch it. If you could imagine a home video of your seventeen-year-old self, broadcast for all the world to see, you might feel slightly uncomfortable, too. I was such a baby.”

9. The title of the film was inspired by real events

According to director Gil Junger, the title 10 Things I Hate About You was inspired by one of the film’s screenwriters, who was going through her high school diary when she discovered a list she had made of all the things she hated about her then-boyfriend! 

10. We nearly had a different Patrick

Although we simply can’t imagine the film without Heath Ledger’s good looks or Aussie accent, it is true that Ashton Kutcher and Josh Hartnett were both considered for the role of Patrick Verona. 

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