Movies - TV
Heath Ledger Channeled Showgirls And Fred Astaire For 10 Things I Hate About You
"10 Things I Hate About You" has its fair share of timeless moments, one of its finest being when Heath Ledger crashes the school's soccer practice to sing and woo Julia Stiles. It helps that Ledger exuded the charm and goofiness necessary to make this scene a standout, and that director Gil Junger and his team had been inspired by “Showgirls” and Fred Astaire.
Ledger was no dancer, but the young actor was beyond graceful and performed with an ease that made his rendition of Franki Valli’s "Can't Take My Eyes off You" stand the test of time. Former ballerina and the film’s choreographer, Marguerite Derricks, even credited "Showgirls" with inspiring her to add a pole to Ledger's dance number.
Junger loved how Derricks created "a beautiful sense of movement" and hoped Ledger could mirror the "ease and charm" displayed by Astaire in his movies. Thankfully, the actor was on the same page as his team: Ledger was prepared to work fearlessly toward the moves that were reminiscent of Astaire.
Ledger’s agent at the time, Steve Alexander, revisited his client’s perspective toward the scene: "He knew he wasn't great, and I think that's the charm of that scene, of course, that it's bad. I think he probably went for it in that way, really not being prepared but being as goofy as he could be, running around in the bleachers doing his thing."
Ledger appeared to have filmed the scene several times, and Junger was surprised at the actor's "athleticism while singing” and his ability to run up and down the steps, take after take. With Ledger’s immense talent in mind, the crew members did everything in their power to make the scene unforgettable, and the rest, of course, is history.