Kate Hudson turned down the chance to star opposite the late Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You, because her mum Goldie Hawn didn’t like the script.
According to the film’s casting director, Marcia Ross, the Almost Famous star almost landed the role of Katarina Stratford in the 1999 romantic comedy, but passed, allowing Julia Stiles to take the lead opposite the late Australian star in the Gil Junger movie, which celebrates its 20th anniversary on Sunday (31Mar19).
Ross revealed in a retrospective piece for The New York Times that Dawson’s Creek star Katie Holmes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Eliza Dushku were also contenders, but Stiles had the best chemistry with leading man Ledger.
“We screen-tested Josh Hartnett, Eliza Dushku, Heath and Julia. But Julia and Heath just had the best chemistry together,” the casting director said.
“I loved Katie Holmes (but) 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.”
Looking back at the production, Stiles told Entertainment Tonight that she was drawn to the script because her character was different to usual high school romantic comedy leads.
“When I first read the script, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is so refreshing, this girl is so feisty,'” the 38-year-old explained. “I was kind of an angsty teenager at times and I felt like it was finally like somebody had captured that voice.”
Reflecting on what she thought of Ledger, who died in 2008, she said: “He was like this cool older bad boy that had just gotten off the plane from Australia… he had such a zest for life.”