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10 Facts to Love About 10 Things I Hate About You

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On March 31, 1999, the high school rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You hit theaters, and grossed a modest $53.4 million worldwide. It was the American film debut of Heath Ledger, and also helped to launch the career of Julia Stiles. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew,  10 Things I Hate About You pits two sisters, Kat and Bianca, against each other as they romance high school boys. Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) isn’t allowed to date until Kat (Stiles) does, so Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) pays Patrick Verona (Ledger) to take Kat on a date and to the prom. At first she despises him, but then they fall in love. Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith wrote the script and went on to pen Legally Blonde and The House Bunny. TV director Gil Junger helmed it, and rock band Letters for Cleo contributed some songs. Here are 10 non-odious facts about the iconic late ’90s teen flick.

1. SCREENWRITER KAREN MCCULLAH’S HIGH SCHOOL BOYFRIEND INSPIRED THE TITLE.

During a Q&A with the screenwriters, Karen McCullah revealed where the title came from. “The title is based on a diary entry I made in high school,” she explained. “I had a boyfriend named Anthony that I was frequently unhappy with. I made a list called Things I Hate About Anthony. When Kirsten [Smith] and I decided to write this, I went through all of my high school diaries to bone up on the angsty memories, and when I told her about that list, she was like, ‘That’s our title.’” 

It turns out her ex-boyfriend likes the movie. “Anthony is very proud of that fact,” McCullah said. “We’re still friends today. And every now and then I’ll get a random phone call in the middle of night: ‘My nephew doesn’t believe that this title is about me. Tell him.’ On the phone, I’m like, ‘Yes, I hated Anthony in high school.’”

2. DIRECTOR GIL JUNGER INITIALLY TURNED DOWN THE GIG, AS HE WASN’T INTERESTED IN MAKING A “TYPICAL HIGH SCHOOL MOVIE.”

When Gil Junger’s agent gave him the script for a teen version of The Taming of the Shrew, “I said ‘absolutely not,’” Junger admitted in the film’s production notes. “I had no interest in doing a typical high school film. I wanted to do a romantic love story. But, at the urging of my agent, I read the script. I loved it. The depth of it surprised me. It really is a romantic love story. The plot is beautifully interwoven and the humor works because it comes from the characters.”

3. HEATH LEDGER PLAYED PATRICK WITH A BIT OF AN “EDGE.”

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Patrick Verona was Heath Ledger’s first Hollywood role. “There was initial concern over Heath’s Australian accent, but I said, ‘Why? It makes him more interesting, mysterious and sexy,’” Junger said. The character of Patrick is based on The Taming of the Shrew’s Petruchio. “I’m using bits and pieces of Richard Burton’s portrayal of that character in perhaps the best known The Taming of the Shrew film, but my Patrick has also got a Jack Nicholson edge to him with his cheekiness and his smiles,” Ledger explained.

4. DAVID KRUMHOLTZ ATTRIBUTES THE FILM’S SUCCESS TO THE CAST’S GENUINE CHEMISTRY.

David Krumholtz, who plays Michael in the film, wrote a piece for Vulture explaining why he thought the movie worked so well. He stated the entire cast became fast friends. “Joseph Gordon-Levitt turned me on to Phish, and I turned him on to Wu-Tang,” the actor wrote. “Gabrielle Union had us in stitches, Julia Stiles brought her own brand of SoHo-bred artistic intellectualism (at only 17, mind you), Larisa Oleynik’s laughter filled the room, and we marveled at the tonedness of Andrew Keegan’s muscles (a great sport!).”

Filming began without Ledger, and the cast worried how his presence would change the dynamic. “This was a concern that was remedied a few days later, when he arrived and we found yet another comrade in sensibility. The group, with Heath, only got stronger. Before I knew it, the cast was experiencing what I’ve since found to be all too rare: a unified chemistry throughout the ensemble, without a single bad apple in the bunch. We all agreed that we were having the best summer of our lives.”

5. JULIA STILES CRIED REAL TEARS WHILE READING HER POEM.

At the end of the film, in a classroom, Kat reads a poem listing all of the things she hates about Patrick, and starts crying when she reveals she doesn’t hate him, “Not even a little bit, not even at all.” She told Cosmopolitan those tears weren’t “intentional.” “On some level I knew that I was supposed to be somewhat emotional, because when we did the table read I remember I just said the poem, and I could have been reciting the phone book,” Stiles said. “But [when it came to filming] I never expected that I was going to start crying. I don't know why I did, whether it connected to something going on at the time, or if I was just overwhelmed by the whole experience of making my first big movie.”

6. ANDREW KEEGAN DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO DRAW GENITALS.

In one scene of the movie, Krumholtz’s character approaches Keegan’s and convinces him to pay Patrick to date Kat. As he’s explaining the deal, Joey randomly takes a marker and draws a picture of a penis on his face. “I remember having to teach Andrew Keegan how to draw a proper d*ck on my face, which was a little strange to have to do,” Krumholtz told The Huffington Post.

7. THE HELICOPTER SHOT TERRIFIED LETTERS TO CLEO.

The band appears as themselves a couple of times in the film, including a scene on a rooftop, where they sing their Cheap Trick cover, “I Want You to Want Me.” Lead singer Kay Hanley told Popdose that the experience scared the band. They had to perform the song on a patch of roof the size of Hanley’s kitchen, and on a windy day.

“So they told us, ‘This is a helicopter shot, and it costs $500,000 every time the helicopter has to take off, so don’t f*ck this up!’” Hanley recalled. “As we started playing we saw the helicopter appear, off in the distance. It’s hard to say how far away it was at first, because we were so high up in the air. But then all of a sudden the helicopter does this dive bomb directly toward us! Is the helicopter out of control? Is it supposed to be coming at us like this? And I’m thinking, ‘Don’t f*ck up, keep singing the song, don’t f*ck up, it costs 500 grand every time the copter takes off.’ It was unbelievably scary—but it turned out to be such an amazing shot.”

8. THE MOVIE WAS SPUN-OFF INTO A SHORT-LIVED TV SHOW.

During the 2009-2010 TV season, 21 episodes of a 10 Things I Hate About You TV show aired on ABC Family. Junger directed the pilot, but Carter Covington created the show. Instead of focusing too much on the plot of the movie, Covington decided to make the show about two sisters. “I love the movie and I think a lot of people loved the movie,” Covington told The Futon Critic. “I know there can be a lot of backlash when you try to turn a hit movie into a television show, but I’d always wanted to do a show about siblings. I think the sibling dynamic is incredibly ripe for comedy.”

9. JUNGER WROTE AND DIRECTED A QUASI-SEQUEL, BUT IT’S NOT FINISHED.

Between 2012 and 2013, Junger wrote and directed 10 Things I Hate About Life, an unofficial sequel to the original. “It is the story of two relatable, ordinary people with normal jobs and normal desires whose seemingly great lives have become unmanageable,” he told Variety in 2012 about the plot. “Two people who go to the same place at the same time to end it … Their chance meeting is so awkward, so raw, and so funny, they postpone their intentions and go their separate ways.”

Hayley Atwell was attached at one point, but Evan Rachel Wood eventually won the female lead. In 2014, though, the producers sued Wood for more than $30 million because she dropped out of the incomplete film. She stated the film shut down production in 2013, and the producers weren’t able to pay her a salary.

10. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT THINKS THE MOVIE IS BETTER THAN CITIZEN KANE.

In 1999, the actor went on The Daily Show to promote the film. But what was supposed to be a routine interview turned a bit wacky. When Jon Stewart asked him about the movie, Gordon-Levitt became hyperbolic. “It’s the best movie of all time. It’s going to dethrone Citizen Kane,” he said. “There’s a girl called Julia Stiles,” he continued. “She’s the best actress ever. Anybody in this movie—top eight best actors of all time.”

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30 Memorable Quotes from Carrie Fisher
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Just days after suffering a heart attack aboard a flight en route to Los Angeles, beloved actress, author, and screenwriter Carrie Fisher passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016. Though she’ll always be most closely associated with her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Fisher’s life was like something out of its own Hollywood movie. Born in Beverly Hills on this day in 1956, Fisher was born into show business royalty as the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds.

In addition to her work in front of the camera, Fisher built up an impressive resume behind the scenes, too, most notably as a writer; in addition to several memoirs and semi-autobiographical novels, including Wishful Drinking, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, Postcards from the Edge, and The Princess Diarist (which was released last month), she was also an in-demand script doctor who counted Sister Act, Hook, Lethal Weapon 3, and The Wedding Singer among her credits.

Though she struggled with alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness, Fisher always maintained a sense of humor—as evidenced by the 30 memorable quotes below.

ON GROWING UP IN HOLLYWOOD

“I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.”

“I was born into big celebrity. It could only diminish.”

“At a certain point in my early twenties, my mother started to become worried about my obviously ever-increasing drug ingestion. So she ended up doing what any concerned parent would do. She called Cary Grant.”

“I was street smart, but unfortunately the street was Rodeo Drive.”

“If anything, my mother taught me how to sur-thrive. That's my word for it.”

ON AGING

“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer, but the people don't.”

ON INSTANT GRATIFICATION

“Instant gratification takes too long.”

ON THE LEGACY OF STAR WARS

“People are still asking me if I knew Star Wars was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, we all knew. The only one who didn't know was George.”

“Leia follows me like a vague smell.”

“I signed my likeness away. Every time I look in the mirror, I have to send Lucas a couple of bucks.”

“People see me and they squeal like tropical birds or seals stranded on the beach.”

“You're not really famous until you’re a Pez dispenser.”

ON THE FLEETING NATURE OF SUCCESS

“There is no point at which you can say, 'Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”

ON DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

“I'm very sane about how crazy I am.”

ON RESENTMENT

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

ON LOVE

“Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.”

“I've got to stop getting obsessed with human beings and fall in love with a chair. Chairs have everything human beings have to offer, and less, which is obviously what I need. Less emotional feedback, less warmth, less approval, less patience, and less response. The less the merrier. Chairs it is. I must furnish my heart with feelings for furniture.”

“I don’t hate hardly ever, and when I love, I love for miles and miles. A love so big it should either be outlawed or it should have a capital and its own currency.”

ON EMOTIONS

“The only thing worse than being hurt is everyone knowing that you're hurt.”

ON RELATIONSHIPS

“I envy people who have the capacity to sit with another human being and find them endlessly interesting, I would rather watch TV. Of course this becomes eventually known to the other person.”

ON HOLLYWOOD

“Acting engenders and harbors qualities that are best left way behind in adolescence.”

“You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.”

“It's a man's world and show business is a man's meal, with women generously sprinkled through it like overqualified spice.”

ON FEAR

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

ON LIFE

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”

“No motive is pure. No one is good or bad-but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.”

“If my life wasn't funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

“I shot through my twenties like a luminous thread through a dark needle, blazing toward my destination: Nowhere.”

“My life is like a lone, forgotten Q-Tip in the second-to-last drawer.”

ON DEATH

“You know what's funny about death? I mean other than absolutely nothing at all? You'd think we could remember finding out we weren't immortal. Sometimes I see children sobbing at airports and I think, 'Aww. They've just been told.'”

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12 Admissible Facts About Judge Judy
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Judge Judith Sheindlin was 54 years old when her namesake TV show premiered on September 16, 1996. Two years later the diminutive (5’1”) adjudicator was trouncing the powerhouse Oprah Winfrey Show in the Nielsen ratings. Today, she is one of the highest paid TV celebrities, earning $47 million per year—which she will continue to do through 2020, thanks to a new extended contract.

Fervent fans are familiar with Judge Judy’s more outrageous cases, like The Tupperware Lady and the eBay Cell Phone Scammer, but they might not know some of these fun facts about both the show and the woman behind it, who turns 75 years old today.

1. THAT GRUFF, NO-NONSENSE STYLE OF JURISPRUDENCE IS NOT AN ACT.

Judge Judy spent a little over 20 years in New York City’s family court system, where she earned a reputation early in her career for being blunt, impatient, and tough-talking. “I can’t stand stupid, and I can’t stand slow,” was one of her oft-repeated “Judyisms” at that time. She also frequently warned attorneys appearing before her: "I want first-time offenders to think of their appearance in my courtroom as the second-worst experience of their lives ... circumcision being the first." 60 Minutes filmed her in action as part of a 1993 profile, and while her hair color and eyebrows have softened since then, her impatient rants and verbal smackdowns haven’t changed a bit.

2. SHE BEGAN WEARING HER TRADEMARK LACE COLLAR AS SOON AS SHE WAS APPOINTED AS A JUDGE.

New York City Mayor Ed Koch appointed Judith Sheindlin to the bench in 1982, and to celebrate she and her husband Jerry—both civil servants at the time—took a $399 package trip to Greece for two weeks. While passing by a row of street kiosks with various locally made crafts for sale, she impulsively purchased a white lace collar from a vendor. She explained to her husband that male judges wore stiff-collared white dress shirts and colorful neckties that peeped out of the top of their robes, so that they had a nice colorful “buffer” between the austere black gown and their face. Female judges, however, had nothing but neck peeping out of their robes and the unforgiving black color revealed every minute of sleep deprivation as well as any skin tone irregularities. The white lace collar, she decided, would not only perk up her face but would also be a bit disarming for litigants—she could picture them thinking “That nice little lady with the lace collar sitting behind the bench couldn’t hurt a fly!”

3. DESPITE THOSE NEW YORK CITY SCENES ON THE COMMERCIAL BUMPERS, JUDGE JUDY IS TAPED IN CALIFORNIA.

Sheindlin spends 52 days per year taping her show. She flies to California via private jet every other Monday and hears cases on Tuesday and Wednesday (occasionally Thursday if there are production delays). One full week’s worth of shows are filmed each day. Many viewers, however, are fooled into thinking Judy is holding court in her native New York, thanks to the scenic Manhattan footage in between station breaks and the New York state flag behind her chair. That is, until something oh-so-unique to the west coast—like an earthquake—occurs on-camera. (Note that in the clip below, Judge Judy quickly ducks beneath her bench once the room begins to tremble.)

4. SHE IS BRIEFED ON THE CASES BEFORE SHE ARRIVES ON THE SET.

Judge Sheindlin does not go to the studio unprepared; producers FedEx the sworn statements and relevant information on each upcoming case to her home (Naples, Florida in the winter; Greenwich, Connecticut in the spring and summer) and she familiarizes herself with enough details to have some background, but not enough so that the case doesn’t appear “fresh” when she questions the litigants during filming.

5. THE CASES REALLY ARE REAL.

The production company has a staff of 60-plus researchers across the country who spend their days poring over lawsuits filed in local small claims courts. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, they are able to photocopy cases that they think might make for interesting television and those copies are forwarded to the show’s producers. Any cases that make it to the next stage (about three percent) involve contacting the litigants involved and asking them if they’d like to forego their civil court hearing in exchange for a free trip to Los Angeles, an $850 appearance fee, and a per diem of $40 (as of 2012). An added incentive is that any judgments awarded are paid by the show, not by the plaintiff or defendant. The best cases, according to the executive producer, are those that involve litigants with a prior relationship—mother/daughter, father/son, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. Such cases engage the audience because it’s an emotional tie that’s been broken (the recurring plot on many soap operas).

6. THE AUDIENCE, HOWEVER, IS NOT SO REAL.

Regular viewers will note that the same faces seem to pop up in the audience regularly. Those folks in the spectator seats are paid extras (often aspiring actors) who earn $8 per hour to sit and look attentive. Prospective audience members apply for the limited amount of seats by emailing their contact information along with a clear headshot to one of Judge Judy’s production coordinators (sorry, we cannot provide that info). If chosen, the spectator must dress appropriately (business casual or better) and arrive promptly for the 8:30 a.m. call time. Audience members must pass through metal detectors on their way in and are not allowed to bring cell phones or any electronic devices with them, and food, drinks and chewing gum are also verboten. Spectators are rearranged after each case so it’s not as obvious that it’s the same group of people, and the most attractive folks are always seated in the front row (it’s Hollywood, after all). The audience is instructed to talk animatedly amongst themselves in between each case so that Officer Byrd’s “Order in the court!” admonition has more impact. Bad behavior is grounds for immediate expulsion (in front of 10 million viewers, as Judge Judy likes to remind us).

7. JUDGE JUDY DRESSES CASUALLY FOR THE JOB.

Sheindlin has been known to publicly chastise litigants who come to her courtroom in skimpy clothing or “beach attire,” but behind that bench and under that robe she is usually sporting jeans and a tank top or T-shirt.

8. OFFICER BYRD IS A REAL BAILIFF.

Brooklyn native Petri Hawkins Byrd earned his B.Sc. degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1989 and started working in the Brooklyn Family Court system. He first worked with Judge Sheindlin when he transferred to the Manhattan Family Court. “We [the court officers] used to call her the Joan Rivers of the judicial system,” he recalled in a 2004 interview. “She was just hilarious.” Byrd relocated to San Mateo, California in 1990 to work as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal and a few years later he read an item in Liz Smith’s gossip column about Sheindlin’s upcoming TV show. He sent his old colleague a congratulatory letter and added, “If you need a bailiff, I still look good in uniform.”

9. DESPITE HIS SOMETIMES IMPOSING COURTROOM DEMEANOR, OFFICER BYRD IS ALSO A VERY FUNNY GUY.

He is a talented impressionist, but his sense of humor almost cost him his job—or so he thought at the time. Once, back when he was working with the feisty Judge Sheindlin in New York, he donned her robe and reading glasses to entertain his co-workers with a barrage of Judyisms. Of course, as always seems to happen when one mocks the boss in the workplace, he was caught in the act.

10. THE OCCASIONAL CELEBRITY RELIES ON JUDGE JUDY’S BRAND OF JUSTICE.

Depending upon your own definition of “celebrity”, of course. Actress Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero on Happy Days) appeared on the show in 1996 as the plaintiff, suing her plastic surgeon for a leaky breast implant that was impeding her acting career. One year later, former Sex Pistol John Lydon (a.k.a. Johnny Rotten) appeared as a defendant when drummer Robert Williams, who was hired to support Lydon on a solo tour, sued the singer for lost wages and an assault. Despite Lydon’s occasional bad courtroom behavior, the decision was made in his favor.

11. THE STAR ORIGINALLY DIDN’T WANT THE SHOW NAMED AFTER HER.

Sheindlin first envisioned calling her show Hot Bench, a term used frequently in the appellate court, but the producers wisely advised her that the term was meaningless to TV viewers who didn’t work in the legal system. Her next thought was Judy Justice, since she’d overheard her court officers warning deadbeat parents who were delinquent in child support payments that they were in for a load of "Judy Justice" if they weren’t prepared to cough up some money. In retrospect, Sheindlin realized the wisdom in calling the show Judge Judy: She couldn’t be easily replaced, as the various judges had been on The People’s Court. However, after 19 years on the air, she still does not refer to herself by that sobriquet; whether introducing herself to someone or advertising her show in a promotional clip, she is always either “Judge Sheindlin” or “Judge Judy Sheindlin.”

12. JUDGE SHEINDLIN INHERITED HER SENSE OF HUMOR FROM HER FATHER.

Murray Blum, Judy’s beloved father, was a dentist whose office was in the family home. In those days—before sedation dentistry was an option—a dentist’s best tool to distract nervous patients was the gift of gab, and Murray became a master storyteller out of necessity. Years of listening to her father at the dinner table and at family gatherings taught Judy how to deliver a punchline. One evening outside of a hotel in Hollywood, Sheindlin was approached by a woman who introduced herself as Lorna Berle. She told the judge that her husband Milton was a huge fan and asked if she would mind talking to him for a moment. The elderly comic slowly emerged from a limo and Judy greeted him by singing the theme song to Texaco Star Theater, her favorite TV show as a child. Milton Berle complimented her in return, saying “Kid, you’ve got great comic timing.”

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