10 Things I Hate About You Was Going To Have An Entirely Different Cast

3 min read

It could have ruined everything!

It was the film that catapulted one of our favourite Aussie actors to stardom. 10 Things I Hate About You starred the late, great Heath Ledger and his heart-melting smile, but there was another big ‘90s name up for the role of Patrick Verona. 

Honestly, could you imagine anyone else playing Kat and Bianca, or even Cameron? It would have been a completely different and the thought of no HEATH?!?

The gang got back together for a chat with The New York Times to celebrate the film's 20th anniversary (good to know we're old AF now) and they split some tea on the casting process. 

Julia Stiles was desperate for the role of Kat:

“I remember thinking [the screenplay] was so cool and I just loved the heart of Kat so much. I was dying to get the role. I had been reading ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ in school, and it was the first time I had read a romantic comedy [script] that captured teenage angst in such a clever way.”

Fun fact, the film is based on the comedic play, The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare. Side note: they nailed the adaptation, it's actually crazy similar to the play, even down to the characters’ names. 

Anyway, back to the actors that almost ruined the ‘90s rom-com classic, casting director Marcia Ross auditioned a number of actors and some we already knew:

"We screen-tested Josh Hartnett, Eliza Dushku, Heath and Julia. But Julia and Heath just had the best chemistry together. 

"I loved Katie Holmes. She was about to get Dawson’s Creek, and we had to make a decision really fast. 

"The other person I loved was Kate Hudson. But her mom [Goldie Hawn] didn’t like the script for her, so she passed."

Bet Hawn is kicking herself for not letting Hudson jump in that film. We wonder how the mother-daughter relationship was after the film was released?

But once Ledger walked into the audition room, director Gil Junger knew they needed to cast him:

"Heath walked in, and I thought to myself, if this guy can read, I’m going to cast him. There was an energy to him, a sexuality that was palpable. 

"When Heath was done, literally, with the first page, I said, “Okay you can put down the script. You’re doing great. I want to do a little improv with you.” I just wanted to see how fast his mind would adapt, comedically. 

"After 35 seconds, I said, 'Okay. Fantastic.' But I could tell he was nervous that he blew it, because the audition was so quick, and I said, “No, no. you’re a very talented guy, and I really appreciate you coming in.” 

"The instant the door closed, I turned to the women in the room and said, “Ladies, I have never wanted to sleep with a man, but if I had to sleep with a man, that would be the man. Please cast him immediately.”

We're with you on that Junger. 

Image: 10 Things I Hate About You

Written By Christina Cavaleri