Julia Stiles’ 10 Things I Hate About You Role Helped Her Land Save the Last Dance

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Julia Stiles recently opened up to Us Weekly about her 10 Things I Hate About You role, working with the late Heath Ledger, and more! Monica Schipper/FilmMagic

“That must be Nigel with the brie!”

Julia Stiles‘ moody, Sarah Lawrence College-loving character Kat Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You resonated with audiences — and casting directors. The Blue actress opened up about the 1999 classic that put her on the map to Us Weekly during the Orphaned Starfish Gala in NYC on Friday, Oct. 17.

Eager to reflect back, Stiles, 33, revealed that her drunk house party table dance helped her land the role of Sara in 2001’s Save the Last Dance. Plus, she paid tribute to the late Heath Ledger, who played her love interest Patrick. The Oscar winner’s rendition of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” scene during Stratford’s soccer practice is still one of the film’s biggest takeaways. Check out what she told Us — and see if she can still recite that 10 Things poem from memory!

Us Weekly: What are some of your favorite 10 Things I Hate About You memories?
Julia Stiles: Oh wow, that was so long ago! Just how well the cast got along. It was such a fun summer and such a pure experience of working on a movie where we were all — this was our first big break. We were really open and invested and it was really fun being in Seattle.

US: Did you keep any props from set?
JS: No, I’m not somebody who likes to keep stuff. I like to be light on my feet, so I did not.

US: How many takes did it take to film the table dance scene from Bogey Lowenstein’s party?
JS: It was like 15 years ago, I don’t really remember! I think like once or twice. That’s how I got the job in Save the Last Dance by the way; I think it was from that scene. That’s what I was told.

10 Things I Hate About You cast
Susan May Pratt, David Krumholtz, Gabrielle Union, Andrew Keegan, Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Larisa Oleynik and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 10 Things I Hate About You Touchstone/Courtesy Everett Collection


US: Who do you keep in touch with?
JS: Just Larisa [Oleynik] and Joe [Gordon-Levitt] a little bit…I just did the play [Phoenix] and Larisa came to see it. It was really nice to reconnect with her. [Actor] David Krumholtz and the writers too.

US: What was it like to work with Heath Ledger?
JS: Amazing, amazing he was so nice. He was such a force; he was…even at that age a very very powerful, lovely human being.

julia stiles and heath ledger in 10 things i hate about you
Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You Courtesy Everett Collection

US: Would you be up for a reunion with the cast?
JS: I would! I feel like a reunion would be nice.

US: Lastly, are you still able to recite Kat Stratford’s emotional poem she recited at the end of the film?
JS: Not the whole thing no, maybe the end. Bits and pieces — it’s all gone! ‘What I hate the most of all, is that I don’t hate you at all.’ Something like that. You have to clear out space to memorize other lines!

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