1999 was a good year. The US Women’s soccer team won the World Cup, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the BOOK, y’all) was released, Chandler and Monica moved in together and—most importantly—10 Things I Hate About You came into our lives. It’s one of those movies you never get tired of, that absolutely holds up and that you can’t help but watch every few months (okay, weeks). Not to mention it’s one of the most quotable movies of all time, and you can recite it verbatim. Bianca’s “That’s because you don’t have a Prada backpack.” Mr. Stratford’s “My insurance does not cover PMS!” Cameron’s adorable “And I’m back in the game!”
And of course, ALL of Ms. Perky’s lines are pure genius, but there’s one in particular that gets me every time. You know the scene: Kat is in Ms. Perky’s office, Ms. Perky pauses mid-sentence to connect the dots between the name Kat and the cat on her mug, then points to the mug saying, “Kat!…[meowing sounds].” Allison Janney (Ms. Perky, obvs) recently revealed that she improvised that line.
“I ad-libbed, ‘Kat. Meow,'” Janney told Buzzfeed. “That was me. I do that on some movies when I feel like the atmosphere is right and [director] Gil Junger was open to it and just let me do whatever I wanted to do. I was really thrilled about that one.” So were we.
Is this movie the gift that keeps on giving, or what? But wait, we have more nugget-sized factoids about the film, just in case you need to brush up on your 10 Things trivia.
1. Julia Stiles auditioned for the part of her sister
Though Julia Stiles played the role of Kat, she first auditioned for the role of her younger sister Bianca. I would buy either of them as Bianca, though I think casting worked out for the best. Now, just imagine JGL auditioning for the role of Patrick.
2. There are more Shakespeare references than you think. . .
The film is a modernization of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, and many of the movie’s references reflect that. Bianca and Kat are named for the female leads of the play. Their last name, Stratford, is a nod to the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Patrick’s last name, Verona, is a reference to Romeo and Juliet and Two Gentlemen of Verona. They attend Padua High School, named after the setting of Shakespeare’s Shrew. The references probably go on. These names are no accident, people.
3. . . . even in the dialogue.
Because this is all technically based on Shakespeare, it’s more forgivable that these “teens” definitely don’t talk like they’re in high school (Exhibit A: “Remove head from sphincter, then drive!” Exhibit B: “The oppressive patriarchal values that dictate our education.”) But there are some direct quotes sprinkled in from Bill himself. Cameron slips in a line from Taming of the Shrew while obsessing over Bianca: “I burn, I pine, I perish.” Michael coerces Patrick into the marching band incident with the words “Sweet love, renew thy force,” lifted from Sonnet 56. And who can forget Michael’s Shakespeare prom getup to woo Mandela?
4. The song Heath Ledger sang wasn’t always a lock
For as long as I can remember, Heath Ledger singing ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ has been my ringtone. But the Frankie Valli tune wasn’t always a lock: Ledger’s Patrick was originally going to sing The Partridge Family’s ‘I Think I Love You’ in his public display of affection. Either way, it would probably still be my ringtone.
5. One of the film’s stars actually attended Sarah Lawrence College
In the scene where Kat receives her Sarah Lawrence acceptance letter, the actress who played her sister, Larisa Oleynik, could definitely relate: she attended the college.
6. School scenes were shot at Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington
In case you don’t get an owl inviting you to attend Hogwarts, Stadium High School is a great backup plan. It was originally commissioned to be a luxury hotel, then a railroad facility, but fell victim to a fire. Third time was the charm for the Tacoma School District, and the rest is history. Nine years earlier, Stadium High School appeared in the movie I Love You to Death. So if you can’t get enough of the beautiful architecture, you can do some bonus on-screen stalking.
7. The Stratford house is also in Tacoma
10 Things was the first to shoot in the beautiful home with the wraparound porch, but it wasn’t the first to extend the offer. Eight years earlier, they turned down an offer to be the house in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. #thatporchtho
8. They only shot the poem scene once
Julia “One and Done” Stiles’ tears were real, and unexpected. She nailed it the first time around, and there was no need to do it again.
9. At the end of the movie, Letters to Cleo is really performing on the roof.
No, it wasn’t a green screen. It was real, and a little bit dangerous. Good luck not having ‘I Want You to Want Me’ stuck in your head for the rest of the day/eternity.
And because there wasn’t nearly enough JGL in this post:
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