Frost Yourselves With These 18 Secrets About How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson starred in the iconic rom-com How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which premiered 18 years ago on Feb. 7, 2003.

By Tierney Bricker Nov 04, 2021 10:00 AMTags
Watch: Matthew McConaughey Back in 2003!: E! News Rewind

You're so vain, you probably think this article is for you—and if you're a fan of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, you're absolutely correct.

Made for $50 million, the movie starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey went on to gross over $177 million at the box office, crushing expectations and becoming one of the biggest surprise hits of 2003. And in the nearly 19 years since its release, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days has endured as one of the most iconic rom-coms of all time, thanks in large part to the effortless chemistry between its leads. 

The movie follows the love story of advice columnist Andie Anderson (Hudson) and advertising executive Ben Barry (McConaughey), both of whom have made very different goals at work. She wants to get a guy to dump her in less than two weeks in the hopes of sharing her tale with readers, while he bet his co-workers he could make a woman fall in love with him in the same time-frame. Love ferns, bad karaoke to "You're So Vain" and a sweet game of "Bulls--t" ensue.

While it's hard to imagine anyone other than Hudson and McConaughey in the starring roles, an Oscar winner was actually set to play Andie before scheduling conflicts got in the way. And there was a surprising reason producers initially passed on their leading man.

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Matthew McConaughey's Best Roles

So go water your love fern before you let it die and then dive into these 18 behind-the-scenes secrets about How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in honor of McConaughey's birthday...

1. Gwyneth Paltrow was initially attached to star, with Mike Newell set to direct. However, the director's inability to "commit to a date" led Paltrow to leave the project to film A View From the Top, producer Lynda Obst told Entertainment Weekly.

2. Kate Hudson's star-making turn in Almost Famous, which netted her a Golden Globe, landed her the part of Andie Anderson.

3. Hudson spent a day shadowing Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour after landing the role of the ambitious magazine columnist. "I tore out all of these how-tos in Cosmo and Glamour," Hudson detailed to EW of preparing to play Andie. "Those are the kind of things that I skip over." 

4. Because of the 10-year age-gap between Hudson, 23, and Matthew McConaughey, 33, producers almost passed on The Wedding Planner star. "At first we thought he was too old for her," Obst admitted to EW, before Hudson rationalized her then-husband Chris Robinson was 36 years old. 

5. The movie is based on a short cartoon book of the same name by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long.

6. Andie's two work BFFs Michele and Jeannie, played by Kathryn Hahn and Annie Parisse, were named after the authors. 

7. Costume designer Karen Patch created the iconic yellow slip dress Andie wears to the climactic ball and designed it specifically to highlight the diamond necklace she wears in the scene. 

8. That piece, the "Isadora Diamond" named after Isadora Duncan and housing a 80-carat yellow diamond in its center, was designed by Harry Winston and is worth $6 million. "It was yummy," Hudson told E! News of rocking that, well, rock. "It was gorgeous. Also, it was terrifying!"

9. When it came to Andie's style for the rest of the movie, Patch explained to CNN, "I wanted to use various designers to make it more real, as opposed to me designing them." The costumer turned to Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, Marni, Narciso Rodriguez and Marc Jacobs to assemble the stylish writer's wardrobe.

10. Director Donald Petrie encouraged his leads to improvise, explaining in an interview with the BBC, "I'm very sneaky as a director. I'd go over to Kate and say, 'OK, in this next take, don't tell Matthew, but do this.' She would do it. What's great is that, because they're such consummate professionals, they never break character. They just go with it. They just wing it. I never say 'Cut!' at the end of a scene." 

11. One of those improvised scenes is when Andie jumps on Ben and smothers him with kisses after introducing him to Krull, their dog. This lead to a genuinely surprised reaction from McConaughey.

12. Most of Hudson's lines in the scene where Andie crashes Ben's boy's night were also unscripted, as well as the decision to throw the platter of veggies.

13. Hahn reflected on the casting process in an interview with EW, detailing her final audition with Hudson in front of Petrie and the studio.  "I was so nervous, I remember I broke the ice by joking about the horny summers at this theater camp we had both been to when we were kids," the Bad Moms star revealed of her first meeting with Hudson.

14. After that awkward introduction, Hahn's phone then rang during their read-through. "It was the worst thing that could have possibly happened," she recalled. "I answered it and improvised it as part of the scene, but then I had to pretend like it wasn't continually vibrating as my friend Patrick kept calling. He basically was like, 'Girl, what the f--k is going on?' He thought I'd lost my mind." 

15. There's an unexpected cameo from Katherine Heigl in the movie as a cover model for Composure, the magazine Andie works for. 

16. "That's why I got a motorcycle, because of this script," McConaughey revealed to E! News. "I wanted to get comfortable...because I've seen too many people ride motorcycles or rise a horse in films and I'm like, 'You don't really ride a horse. You don't really ride a motorcycle.'"

17. Five years after How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Hudson and McConaughey reunited for another rom-com, Fool's Gold

18. In 2019, it was reported that a TV adaptation was in the works at Quibi. Alas, the mobile-focused streaming platform shut down seven months after its debut in in April 2020.

This story was originally published on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 4 a.m. PT.