'10 Things I Hate About You' Director Recalls Off-Screen Romance Between Two Unlikely Co-Stars

Photo credit: Disney - Getty Images
Photo credit: Disney - Getty Images

10 Things I Hate About You remains one of the most beloved romantic comedies of the past few decades.

Released in 1999, the retelling of William Shakespeare's Taming Of The Shrew, was an intelligent, thought-provoking, charming and sexy 1990s movie. A lot of its success came down to the script and one-liners ('That must be Nigel with the brie'), the standout moments (the big band performance of 'I Love You, Baby') and the incredible cast.

But a core element of its success was the believability of the central love stories, thanks to the on-screen chemistry, between both Julia Stiles and the late Heath Ledger (the paintball scene and poem recital at the end spring to mind) and, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Larisa Oleynik, respectively.

However, as much as we all wondered at home whether life imitated art and the on-screen romance moved off-screen, in actual fact its now claimed the behind-the-scenes relationship was between Stiles and Gordon-Levitt.

Stiles, who played Kat in the movie, and Gordon-Levitt (Cameron), shared barely any scenes together so any signs of a real life romance passed fans by but now the director of the movie, Gil Junger, has recalled the romantic tension between the two actors and how this ended up influencing one of the most poignant scenes in 10 Things I Hate About You.

Photo credit: Disney - Getty Images
Photo credit: Disney - Getty Images

Speaking to Spanish-language YouTube series, Mirá a Quién Encontré (Look Who I Found), Junger discussed the tearjerking final scene in which Cat recites her '10 Things I Hate About You' poem to her English class, drawing on her love for Patrick Verona (Ledger), which he added was filmed in just one take.

'That was maybe one of the most moving performance I've ever seen... it just killed me, it was saw raw, honest and vulnerable. I asked her, "Where did that come from?" and she told me she was thinking about a person's name who she was deeply in love with at the time,' Junger explained.

And, who is said person, you ask? According to Junger, it was Gordon-Levitt.

Photo credit: Disney - Getty Images
Photo credit: Disney - Getty Images

'It wasn't me, it wasn't Heath either... the chemistry between them was amazing but she, for a minute or 10, went out with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. They were very, very attracted to each other which was cool... she's like professing her love for Heath but she's in love with the guy who's waiting in his trailer to do the next scene.'

Not much has been reported about this alleged relationship, however E! News discovered a 2001 Rolling Stone profile onStiles which refers to Gordon-Levitt as her ex-boyfriend. In the interview, Stiles says: 'We’re friends... We say hello to each other,' while the interviewer notes that both actors went on to live on the same floor at Columbia university, post 10 Things I Hate About You.

Both actors are now aged 40 and have gone on to do great things in their careers. Stiles most recently starred in the Sky series Riviera and Jennifer Lopez movie Hustlers (in her personal life she has one son with her husband camera assistant Preston Cook), while Gordon-Levitt recently starred in the Golden Globe winning The Trial Of The Chicago 7 and is married to tech CEO Tasha McCauley, with whom he shares two children.

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