How old was Joseph Gordon-Levitt when he starred in ‘10 Things I Hate About You’? Actor says wife’s friend thought he was “10 or 11”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's '10 Things I Hate About You' turned 25 this year (Image via YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

10 Things I Hate About You star Joseph Gordon-Levitt recently opened up about working on the iconic film on its 25th anniversary. In a Wednesday, June 19 appearance on CBS Mornings, Levitt, who was 17 when the movie came out in 1999, recalled an instance where his wife Tasha McCauley's friend thought that he was way younger than he actually was. The actor exclaimed while on the show:

"My wife was talking to her friend who was like, ‘Oh, Joe was so cute in that movie! What was he, like 10 or 11?’ I was 17!"

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt played a 16-year-old high school student named Cameron James in the iconic movie. The movie also starred Larisa Oleynik, Julia Styles, and the late Heath Ledger.


10 Things I Hate About You was a breakthrough role for Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Wednesday's episode of CBS Mornings, co-hosted by Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil, and Nate Burleson saw an appearance from (500) Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He was there to promote his upcoming film Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.

Additionally, Gordon-Levitt's cult classic film 10 Things I Hate About You, released on March 31, 1991, celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. During the show, the actor was asked what was one thing that came to his mind when he thought of the film.

"One thing that comes to mind, I must be old," he said.

10 Things I Hate About You, an adaptation of the William Shakespeare classic The Taming Of The Shrew, saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt play high school student Cameron James, who was smitten with Larisa Oleynik’s Bianca Stratford. Unfortunately, Bianca won't start dating anyone until her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) does.

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This sees Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Cameron James devise a plan to get Kat smitten with Heath Ledger's badboy character, Patrick Verona. In his quest for Bianca's affection, Cameron also has to thwart the advances of Andrew Keegan's Joey Donner, who wants to date Bianca in order to get back at her older sister while keeping in mind her overprotective father.

As opposed to the rather vulgar Joey, Cameron is quite selfless and always keeps his presence low-key. The character is based on Lucentio from Taming Of The Shrew.

The teen romantic comedy was Gil Junger's directorial debut and ended up grossing $53,478,166 at the global box office, as per Box Office Mojo. The movie also gave breakthrough roles to Stiles, Ledger, and Gordon-Levitt.

Coincidentally, director Gil Junger claimed in a 2021 interview on the YouTube channel Mirá a Quién Encontré that Stiles and Gordon-Levitt were romantically involved during filming. As per Us Daily, he even dated Larisa Oleynik after the movie's release before breaking up in 2002. Gordon-Levitt got married to entrepreneur Tasha McCauley in 2014 and has two kids with her.

During a Tuesday, June 18 appearance on Today With Hoda & Jenna co-hosted by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, Hager told Joseph Gordon-Levitt that 10 Things I Hate About You was a true classic for her. She asked Gordon-Levitt if he ever thought that the movie was going to be this special. The actor exclaimed:

"Absolutely not! Did I think that 25 years later, I'd be on 'The Today Show' with people saying 'So for the 25-year anniversary of '10 Things I Hate About You' '? No chance. I had no idea."

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt is all set to appear alongside Eddy Murphy in the upcoming Mark Molloy film Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. The film will be released on Netflix on July 3, 2024.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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