Kate Hudson was close to being Heath Ledger’s love interest in ’90s film, 10 Things I Hate About You.
According to People, casting director Marci Ross sat down with The New York Times to discuss the casting process for the movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew. Cross said Hudson, who was 19-years-old at the time, was someone she strongly considered for the role, but Hudson’s mother, Goldie Hawn, had other plans.
“The other person I loved was Kate Hudson. But her mom [Hawn] didn’t like the script for her, so she passed,” the casting director claimed.
Ross said she screened a plethora of up-and-coming actresses to play the role of Kat Strafford, the feminist, no-nonsense high school senior. She told the NYT that she considered Katie Holmes and Eliza Dushku for the role, in addition to the How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days star. The director said she loved Holmes’ portrayal of the character, but the teen star’s obligation to Dawson’s Creek overlapped with the film’s production schedule.
Josh Hartnett was also reportedly in talks of being the film’s male lead, Patrick Verona. Ultimately, Stiles and Heath Ledger would go on to be cast as Kat and Patrick in the romantic comedy. Ross remembers the two stars having “instant chemistry” from their first read-through. Ledger, who turned 20 when the film released in 1999, won the directors over with his instant sex appeal and charm, per People.
I'll always look back to making "10 Things I Hate About You" and think of what a special experience it was. We were all so close that summer. Such vivid memories with great people. Still can't believe it's been 20 years. <3https://t.co/UbuQ82yVUm
— Joseph Gordon-Levitt (@hitRECordJoe) March 27, 2019
The film, 10 Things I Hate About You, became an instant hit with moviegoers and is one of a slew of teen comedies that were released during the ’90s era. The film also starred actors that would eventually become household names, like Gabrielle Union, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Andrew Keegan. The movie was Ledger’s first starring role and what helped skyrocket him into Hollywood. Ledger would go on to play more serious roles in Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight. His friend and co-star, David Krumholtz, reminisced about the fallen star to the New York Times. Ledger passed away in 2008 due to an overdose of a mixture of prescription drugs.
“I know for a fact he was in recovery prior to his death. He was trying to get healthy,” Krumholtz said. “I just want people to know there was a suffering individual there, who couldn’t have been a lovelier human being. I prefer to remember Heath as a 20-year-old kid doing his first American lead with a big giant Cheshire grin smile on his face, taking charge as the leader of the group like any good ensemble leader should.”