March 31 marks the 20th Anniversary of the beloved rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You.
The popular romantic comedy starred a young Heath Ledger as bad boy Patrick Verona, and Julia Stiles as outsider Kat Stratford.
Patrick is paid by slimy Joey Donner to woo Kat, so that Joey will be allowed to date Kat’s sister, Bianca. Patrick takes Joey’s money, while also helping the sweet, shy Cameron to win Bianca instead.
Predictably, the whole plan goes pear-shaped when Patrick genuinely falls for Kat.
Here’s a few fun facts about the film.
1. 10 Things I Hate About You is a modern-day retelling of a Shakespeare play.
The movie was inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew. This is referenced by the naming of a few characters and locations in the film.
Kat and Bianca’s last name, Stratford, is a reference to Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Avon. Patrick’s surname, Verona, refers to the hometown of his Shrew character, Petruchio, which also serves as the main setting of Shakespeare’s most famous play, Romeo & Juliet. Padua, the town in which Taming Of The Shrew takes place, became Padua High School.
A few lines from the play also made it into the film, such as Cameron’s ‘I burn, I pine, I perish!’, when he first falls for Bianca.
2. Heath Ledger arrived on set two weeks after filming began.
By this time, the rest of the cast had already built up quite a good camaraderie. David Krumholtz, who played Michael, said that they were initially concerned about Ledger’s arrival, and how he would fit into the group dynamic.
They didn’t need to have worried though. Ledger slotted in perfectly, bringing new energy and fun to the cast.
3. Patrick was not supposed to be Australian.
However, the film’s producers and director were won over by Ledger’s accent.
Patrick’s story about staying with his mother in Australia was added to explain why an Australian teenager was attending school in America.
4. The Tabletop Dancing Sequence helped Julia Stiles career.
While used as a catalyst to start Kat and Patrick bonding, Kat’s drunk tabletop dancing proved a great boost for Julia Stiles.
Two years after she starred in 10 Things I Hate About You, Stiles was cast as the female lead in Save The Last Dance. Stiles has credited Kat’s dancing for helping her win the role.
5. Patrick was supposed to sing a different song to Kat.
The sequence in which Patrick hires the school marching band to help him win back Kat is one of the film’s most memorable moments.
Patrick was originally going to serenade Kat with ‘I Think I Love You’ by The Partridge Family. This was changed to Frankie Valli’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ as it was more band appropriate.
6. Kat’s monologue was completed in one take.
Kat breaking into tears in the scene was also unscripted. This was a decision made by Julia Stiles.
7. The film spawned a short-lived TV Series.
The series, also called 10 Things I Hate About You, starred Lindsey Shaw as Kat, Ethan Peck as Patrick, and Meaghan Martin as Bianca. Larry Miller reprises his role as Kat and Bianca’s father from the film.
The series ran for a single season between 2009-2010.
8. The film almost got a sequel… kind of.
10 Things I Hate About You’s ‘spiritual sequel’, 10 Things I Hate About Life, began filming in 2013.
The movie, which would have starred Evan Rachel Wood and Thomas McDonnel, was to follow a couple who meet when they are both intending to commit suicide.
Unfortunately, the production was plagued with budget and legal issues. While a rough trailer exists, the film was never complete.
Thankfully, the original film never suffered such issues.
Happy Anniversary, 10 Things I Hate About You!