-Our last interview from the set of “10 Things I Hate About You” is with star Lindsey Shaw. Lindsey stars as “Kat Stratford,” the sarcastic, strong-willed activist of Padua High. Find out how this show is different from her past roles, what it’s like to work with the other cast and more.
What’s the difference between being on “Aliens in America” and this show? No difference at all really. No [laughs], a huge difference. Claire was self-centered and bitchy and completely concerned with popularity, much like Bianca is. She’s like an older version of Bianca. And Kat, she is self-centered for very different reasons. She doesn’t realize it. In fact, in this episode, her father finally tells her how self-centered she is. And she’s like, “What? No, I didn’t get it.”
So she’s self-centered for very different reasons. But she is concerned with all of the bigger things in life and kind of always forgets about the smaller things, like her relationship with her sister. And she’s so concerned on doing all these big grand things that she loses touch with what’s actually around her sometimes, which I think everybody does. I certainly do that in my life.
And Claire was just— is you know, she was concerned with clothes and status and all that kind of thing. And Kat could be, you know, no further from that. She values justice and fairness and getting into a good college. And all of this high school crap she could just kind of take it or leave it.
Were you a fan of the original “10 Things” movie? Absolutely. It’s beautifully shot, thanks to Gil [Junger], and it’s a wonderful story, and wonderful high school story that stands apart in an era where so many high school movies came out.
What was the audition process like for this role? Well it was great. I was actually doing a small independent film at the time, and I was working that day that I was supposed to have this audition. And my manager called the director, because it’s small, you don’t talk to any PAs on a small independent. You talk to the director. And he was just—he was a little upset about having to rework everything because it was a big rework.
But he finally did it. He gave me the morning off. And so I went and I did this audition, and it was wonderful. I met Carter, and it was super fun. And the next thing I get this call, and they’re like, you know, “You’re going to network in a month.” And I was like, “Oh, all right. Awesome. Cool, cool, cool.” Went there and, you know, did the network thing. And I got a call that night from both my manager and my agent like, “Ah, you got it.”
So it was kind of a tricky story on how I finally got to the audition, but it was so worth it. And I told that director, he’s like, “I knew it. I knew you’d get it.” So I’m very thankful to him for reworking all of that, or else it all might not have been. So, I tested with a bunch of people. Our testing was mainly just with Meaghan and Kat—or, I’m sorry, Bianca and Kat. And there was four and four, four Biancas and four Kats. And they came out, and they were like, “You, you and you can go home.” And they sent all three Biancas home, and all four Kats stayed. And I was like, “Really? All right. Cool.”
So yeah, it was just super fun, and Meaghan was just sitting there, and everybody knew she got it. And I was like, “Oh, that’s so perfect.” Like, she’s just sitting over here in her bubbly little dress and I was over there in my concert T and jeans, and it was just awesome. We went in and we did our audition scene in the car that is in the pilot, and it was just magic. I mean, it was—you know, it was great together. I think we work very well together as sisters.
What was it like first meeting and working with Ethan Peck? . Well on the pilot, he came in and the first day of the pilot, the first scene we did, was a scene with him, and I met him. And I was like, “Oh, hello.” [Laughs] And he just came in, and he was—oh, no, no, no, I first saw him at rehearsals, and I was like, “This guy never talks,” you know what I mean? He was so silent. And I was just like, “Okay.” Actually, I was trying to, like, make conversation and trying to joke around and my energetic self, and he was just not having it. He was just kind of sitting there stone-faced. I was like, “All right, this is going to be…”
And then you know, we did the pilot together, still a—you know, he warmed up a little bit and started talking and talking. And then we saw him again, he came out from New York, you know, and we were all doing rehearsals before the series, and it’s like he just came into his own. He was just awesome and talking and, like, now he won’t shut up—he always takes naps in my trailer. [Laughs] But it’s awesome. That kid is the most genuine kid you’ll ever meet. I think he’s great.
What’s it like working with Larry Miller? Ah, working with Larry Miller – you never know what you’re going to get. [Laughs] That’s a little bit of it. He’s just such a creative, creative, creative person, I mean, just always thinking of something to better the scene, better the relationship, better, you know, the intention of the scene and, you know, sharing those ideals with his fellow actors and treating us like equals, and, which is so nice from such a senior actor with so much talent.
He was also part of the original concept. And I’ve just—I’ve learned so much from him. And his handles at the end of every scene just do nothing but strengthen, you know, our relationship. Him and I have shared a lot of scenes together. We have one big pivotal scene in all the episodes so far. So just working with him and feeling that connection with him and him always just putting ideas in my head on how to, you know, be thinking of something to put at the end of a scene or this and that, it’s been just invaluable.
Larry improvises a lot. Has he ever thrown you “for a loop”? He did this—he was chopping vegetables in a scene, and I had back to him sitting at the table. And he just starting whacking these vegetables. [Laughs] And I was like, “All right, all right, all right, go with it, go with it.” And he just did, you know, the comedic whack of the lettuce, and I was just like, “All right, I’m just going to go with it.”
So, he throws [stuff in there] like that all the time, but, you know, you’ve got to love it. He actually comes in sometimes with, like, reprinted pages of what the scene is, just like his ideas for it [laughs] and submits that. [laughs]. It’s just incredible. And everybody just lets him play and do what he wants. So it’s cool to see what he comes up with.
You are an only child. Has Meaghan Martin taught you anything “sisterly”? What’s it like working with her? Oh, geez. Well I don’t know if she’s taught me much. I mean, I think, I think—well she says that I’m like her sister all the time. I don’t know if that’s good because she keeps coming back to set with these stories [laughs] that her sister has given her a hard time or that she’s a freaking medical student, like her sister’s always apparently frazzled and crazy and going to medical school and crazy. So I’m like, “All right, hopefully in the younger time of your life, this is what you’re relating me to.” [Laughs]
But you know, Meaghan is such an open soul and so innocent, but I don’t mean that in a condescending way. She’s just very light, you know what I mean. She’s very effervescent and wonderful. And you know, on the second episode that we shot, we had this kind of night shoot, and she came into my trailer, and we had, like, and hour before we had to be on set, so we had this nice really, really long talk. And it was like our connection, you know what I mean. And from here on out, you know, everything her built upon that. We’ve just, we built a really nice relationship with each other.
So even though I haven’t had siblings, I still feel this love for her, which I guess is what a sisterly love is. But yeah, I don’t know if she’s necessarily taught me stuff, but we have grown together.
Kat’s almost kind of like a hero/crusader kind of person. She’s always got a campaign. How do you just keep her—if she’s so detached, how do you keep her relating to the men in her life or the family in her life and the people in her life? Well I think that’s always where her crash and burn comes in. She you know, is so detached, and she is—and then something will hit her, and it’s like, “Oh, wow, that is something that I need to focus on. That is something that I care about. That is something that I have feelings about. So she has those moments where it just kind of jars her back into the reality that is her life. And so from there, she sort of readjusts what she’s doing, and she always, you know, she always learns her lesson even if she makes a mistake a few times.
In the first episode, Kat and Patrick have an intense staredown. Can we expect more moments like that? There are certainly several saucy moments between Mr. Verona and Kat. They get hot and heavy with it, and it’s a little more intense than a stare down. [Laughs] So be looking for those kind of things.
Be sure to watch “10 Things I Hate About You” at 8pm EST on Tuesdays on ABC Family.