I will never quite forget the on-screen chemistry between Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in the 1999 rom-com, 10 Things I Hate About You. But according to the director, Gil Junger, Stiles had eyes for another co-star IRL.
Junger appeared as a special guest on YouTube chat series Mirá a Quién Encontré (Look Who I Found) and revealed Stiles developed feelings for Joseph Gordon-Levitt which led to the couple dating briefly following production. The reporter also noted the pair hadn’t appeared in many scenes together.
“She, for a minute or 10, went out with Joseph Gordon-Levitt,” Junger said in a nonchalant way. “They were very, very attracted to each other, which was cool.”
“I know, right? Isn’t that funny? She’s, like, professing her love to Heath, and she’s in love with the guy who’s waiting in his trailer to shoot the next scene,” Junger continued. “Yeah, but watching them, it was beautiful how much they enjoyed each other.”
Of course a conversation with Junger couldn’t be finished without a discussion on that scene. For those unacquainted, Stiles’ character Kat reads a poem in English class professing her love for Ledger’s bad boy character, Patrick. Titled “10 Things”, the scene allegedly was filmed in just one take and ended with even the director tearful in the background.
“That was maybe one of the most moving performances I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen plenty,” he recalled. “It just killed me. It was so raw, and it was so honest, and it was so vulnerable. I even asked her—I said, ‘Where did that come from?’ And she told me, ‘I was just thinking about’—that person’s name that she was deeply in love with at the time.”
So where are they now?
Stiles married Preston J. Cook in September 2017. Gordon-Levitt married Tasha McCauley in December 2014 and now share two sons.