Stepping into the shoes of an already established character from a popular film may be a tough challenge for some young actors, but certainly not Ethan Peck who plays former Heath Ledger character, Patrick Verona in the new ABC Family adaptation series of 10 Things I Hate About You. Although the ease of stepping into the new 10 Things version of Patrick may be due to the fact that acting runs through Ethan's veins since he's the grandson of legendary actor, Gregory Peck, Ethan has been honing his acting skills since 1995 with appearances in such shows as Marshal Law, The Drew Carey Show, That 70s Show, and more throughout the years.
With the new ABC Family version of 10 Things I Hate About You already on the airwaves in its third week, Tuesdays at 8pm, also starring Lindsay Shaw and Meaghan Martin as new high school sisters, Kat and Bianca Stratford, we caught up with Ethan Peck to find out how 10 Things life feels on ABC Family, whether he had any worries about his new role given the legacy of Heath Ledger, and what it's like to work with comedic vet Larry Miller who was in the original big screen version of 10 Things I Hate About You.
THE DEADBOLT: At any point did you have a worry or fear that fans of the film would compare you to Heath Ledger?
ETHAN PECK: No, I didn’t have any worries or fears because that fear really comes from people on the outside and the media, fans of film who are going to be ignorant and not open to the idea of a reimagining of the idea, when in fact the film was derived from Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shrew. So I wasn’t afraid and I wasn’t in any way trying to emulate what was originally done with Patrick. So really, it’s up to the fans in a lot of ways to be open and generous enough to all of us at ABC Family with 10 Things is to watch it as a new show, an original show, because it wouldn’t be fair to compare us to the original film, because, like I said before, the film was wonderful and I just hope that we can create a new piece of work that’s fresh and original and people will be intrigued by and be entertained by and by surprised by.
THE DEADBOLT: What’s it like to have Larry Miller on the series since he was in the film?
PECK: It’s great. Larry is so awesome. Unfortunately, I’ve only had brief moments with him in a scene this season because the relationship Kat and Patrick is building very slowly, which I think will attract viewers to the show even more so because they want to know what’s going on in the main romance in the show. So I actually meet Larry - Well, I actually can’t give it away, but Larry is incredible. As a human being, he’s just a wonderful, kind man, so generous. And whenever I have lunch with him I just sit next to him and pick his brain because we can just talk for a long time and he shares lots on insightful things with me.
Ethan Peck on his most memorable moment filming so far:
"I think probably a scene we had, again I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say this, but there will be a scene on a roof exterior which was most memorable to me which you will see towards the end of the season between Kat and I. We were filming up in Santa Clarita and they build this structure outside of the stage. It was a beautiful night and it was during twilight in the night time and that was the most memorable for me."
Peck on why viewers will want to take the time to tune into the show:
"I think people will want to take the time to tune into the show because it’s very well written. As I said before, I’m so privileged to be surrounded by an insanely talented cast. Everybody involved has only the best intentions in terms of treating us as professionals, and everybody else on the set as professionals, and entertaining the public and our viewers with something new and surprising and sysinced and precise. If you just tune in you’ll see."
On when viewers will hear Patrick talk a little bit more on the show:
"[Laughs] Patrick will be speaking more and more as the season progresses. I guess episode four is when he really starts to speak more. But throughout the first season he really is going to remain this myth in a lot of ways at Padua High and to Kat and to the audience and to me, Ethan Peck playing him, because we are still working him out and developing him as a character."
Ethan Peck on where he drew inspiration from for playing Patrick:
"I draw my inspiration for the character from the day I had the audition. Actually I was having kind of an awful day and I went into the room with a lot of attitude, and I guess not so much fear as I sometimes have when I have an audition, because it can be scary. Something just clicked for me and Patrick Verona came forth and we sort of built from there. Really, Carter [Covington], who’s the creator and writer of the show and Gil Junger, the primary director of this first season, we really all work together and make this guy who he is. He’s very moody and mysterious and here and not here, if you know what I mean, with Kat especially. That’s sort of where he’s at right now.
10 Things I Hate About You - Episode 1.05 - Don't Give Up - Press Release
KAT FACES OFF WITH HER FELLOW SHOP CLASS STUDENTS, WHILE BIANCA GETS A NEW LAB PARTNER, IN AN ALL-NEW EPISODE OF "10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU," PREMIERING TUESDAY, AUGUST 4 ON ABC FAMILY
Determined to become an active environmentalist, Kat enrolls in shop class to convert her gas-guzzling car into a biodiesel vehicle. As the only girl in the class, Kat realizes that she needs to do more than fix cars to break the stereotype that girls can do anything boys can do. Will she be able to show the guys up in class, including Patrick Verona? Find out in an all-new episode of ABC Family’s original series "10 Things I Hate About You," premiering Tuesday, August 4, 2009 (8:00 – 8:30 PM ET/PT). The episode, entitled "Don’t Give Up," was directed by Phil Traill and written by Lauren Lungerich.
Meanwhile, Bianca becomes lab partners with Joey to raise his chemistry grade so he can play football. Her motivation to help him? Chastity promises Bianca the chance to take off her Penguin costume and give her a spot as a real cheerleader for Friday’s game, if Joey plays. However, her task proves to be much more difficult than she originally thinks as, Joey has other ideas, believing he should pursue modeling over football.
10 Things I Hate About You - Episode 1.06 - You Can't Always Get Want You Want - Press Release
BIANCA SPICES UP HER NEW REALITY WEB SHOW WITH A KISS, IN AN ALL-NEW EPISODE OF "10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU," PREMIERING TUESDAY, AUGUST 11 AT 8:00 PM ET/PT ON ABC FAMILY
In order to help earn money for a shopping trip with Chastity, Bianca and her friend Dawn ask Cameron for help in setting up a new web reality show. It doesn’t take long before the girls realize that, to get more viewers, they have to spice things up a bit. Just how far will Bianca go to make her webcast more popular? Find out in an all-new episode of ABC Family’s original series "10 Things I Hate About You," premiering Tuesday, August 11, 2009 (8:00 – 8:30 PM ET/PT). The episode, entitled "You Can’t Always Get Want You Want," was directed by Gil Junger and written by Jon Ross.
Meanwhile, when Kat feels the grading system in one of her classes is too lenient, she complains to the school administration about her teacher’s generosity with grades. Luckily (or not) for Kat, the school counselor has a personal vendetta against this particular teacher. But in the end, the whole experience leads to some self-realizations that Kat didn’t expect
10 Things I Hate About You - Episode 1.07 - Light My Fire - Press Release
BIANCA FINALLY TAKES A STAND AGAINST CHASTITY WHILE PATRICK AND KAT SHARE A SPECIAL ROOFTOP MOMENT, IN AN ALL-NEW EPISODE OF "10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU" TUESDAY, AUGUST 18 AT 8:00 PM ET/PT ON ABC FAMILY
When local residents are evacuated to Padua High during a brushfire emergency, Bianca tries to use the crisis as yet another opportunity to win over Chastity. In order to please her, Bianca must set out to find a private room in the school for Chastity. Just how much longer will Bianca put up with Chastity’s spoiled personality? Find out in an all-new episode of ABC Family’s original series "10 Things I Hate About You" premiering Tuesday, August 18, 2009 (8:00 – 8:30 PM ET/PT). The episode, entitled "Light My Fire," was directed by Gil Junger and written by Stefanie Leder.
Meanwhile, Patrick tries to find an opportunity alone with Kat to confess his feelings, but he fears the panic from the brushfire might ruin his chances. As it turns out, Patrick and Kat do find a moment together on the school’s rooftop. But with their temperamental relationship, will they make the most of that time? Will Patrick get to tell Kat how he feels about her?
Promo for Episode 1x04 - Don't Give a Damn About My Bad Reputation