Kate Hudson only got the lead in ‘How to Lose a Guy’ after Gwyneth backed out

Can you believe that this is the 20th anniversary of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? While I love a smart rom-com, I was never a big fan of that one, although I understand why it was such a hit. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey had a lot of chemistry together, and it was cute. Cute enough for 2003, I guess. There are a lot of articles about the anniversary, and Kate and Matthew are giving interviews about their first film together and what the movie meant to them. It’s actually kind of cute that they’re both so hyped about it. Apparently, MM only decided to do it when a psychic told him to say yes to it. Meanwhile, Kate only got the part after Gwyneth Paltrow exited the project. God, Paltrow would have been terrible in it! Some highlights from VF’s “oral history” of the film, with producer Lynda Obst as well:

Obst says it was almost Paltrow as the star: “There was an agent at CAA who actually represented Gwyneth Paltrow at the time—his name is David Lonner—and we were having a fun lunch, and he said, “Oh, you would love this project that Gwyneth is thinking of getting involved with. It’s at Paramount and there’s no script yet.” I was like, “Oh, well, I’m at Paramount, and I like Gwyneth.” So then I called my studio and I said, “There’s something called this, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It really sounds fun.”…At some point, [former Paramount president] Sherry Lansing and I, were both madly in love with [Kate Hudson]. It’s clearly after Almost Famous. I just remember, we turned to each other like, “This has to be Kate. She’s hilarious.” And so Kate got attached.

Kate on looking for her costar: “We were looking at guys and kept going back and forth about who would be the right guy. The guy for me was really important. Matthew came up in a meeting and I thought that was a great idea. I loved his energy. We immediately just got along.

MM on signing up for the film: “I remember considering whether I was going to do it or not one night while on a walk down Sunset Boulevard when suddenly, this guy comes up out of nowhere to me—he was a fortune teller guru [and] goes, “Can I tell you your fortune real quick?” I was like, “Yeah, man. Sure.” He immediately goes, “There’s a movie you’re considering right now. It’s a romantic comedy. You have to do this or it will be one of the biggest regrets of your life. It is going to be a blast, it is going to be an incredible experience and it is going to make a bunch of money.” I remember thinking, Did the studio hire this guy? I laughed at the thought, but I also remember taking a more serious consideration. I think I even accepted the offer the next day.

Kate on the iconic yellow dress: “[Karen Patch, the costume designer] liked that color of the Isadora—the yellow diamond. So the color was very specific. [Karen] worked with the [Carolina] Herrera team to create something that she felt was timeless, classic, and clean. I remember all of our fittings and making sure that the lines of the dress were clean and sharp, and the back was all very specific to Karen. I love that dress. I think that color just was one of those statement colors and was great on camera.

MM on the yellow dress: “[Kate] in that dress was 100 out of 100 knockout. It completely worked. I will tell you something funny about the poster. We found that pose where we were kind of leaning backward looking over each other’s shoulders. She’s in that long, elegant, yellow dress, and I’m in a classic black tux, back to back. It was the perfect posture to represent the film. Now if you’ll notice, quite a few—and I’m in a couple of them—rom-coms repeated a version of that same dance for their posters.

[From Vanity Fair]

Basically, Paltrow had a scheduling conflict very early on in development and they immediately approached Kate for the role. Kate wanted Matthew – they read together or met and she thought they had a lot of chemistry, and the producers eventually agreed. It’s crazy to think that this is the film which established both MM and Kate Hudson as romantic leads, really. MM spent years doing romantic comedies after this, but I always felt like Kate kind of faltered – she could have been the Meg Ryan of her generation, but I don’t think the scripts were there for her.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, ‘How to Lose a Guy’ poster.

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14 Responses to “Kate Hudson only got the lead in ‘How to Lose a Guy’ after Gwyneth backed out”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    I really like Kate in that movie. She has that silly not taking herself seriously attitude that played well into the character. I don’t think GOOP would have pulled it off as well.

    • Anners says:

      I think Kate was perfectly cast – she and MM had such wonderful chemistry that they elevated a rather silly plot. It’s one of the movies that I watch every time it comes on (as well as 27 Dresses – no, I do not understand what’s wrong with me, lol). I can’t imagine anyone else in that part.

  2. Winnie Cooper’s Mom says:

    Gwyneth must have read the part in the script where Andi takes a big bite of a burger and she was out!

  3. Lizzie Bathory says:

    I just rewatched this recently. I’m not usually a rom-com person, but this one is really fun–all down to the charm & chemistry of the leads.

    And that dress is amazing!

  4. lassie says:

    This is the movie that no matter when it’s on TBS, I stop and watch the whole thing. It’s like eating Krispy Kreme donuts-there’s nothing good for you there, it’s just sticky fun.

    There’s also a young Kathryn Hahn in this movie, she plays Andie’s friend Michelle.

    The only criticism of Kate in the movie is that her hair is so over processed in it, it looks like straw.

  5. Concern Fae says:

    I actually didn’t see it until I did a rom-com binge during lockdown. I thought it was very cute and fun. The plot setup made the bickering obnoxiousness work rather than just them being a pair of alphaholes.

  6. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    “MM only decided to do it when a psychic told him to say yes to it.” 🙄🤮🙄🤮🙄

  7. Lady Esther says:

    RIP Matthew McConaughey’s old face. He was a total babe in Lone Star, A Time to Kill, Contact etc in his prime. Then his weight loss for Dallas Buyer’s Club just burned off all of the gorgeousness . He’s trying to fix it since with fillers but it just makes him look weird, like all fillers do…sigh

  8. Becks1 says:

    This is one of my favorite movies. I love Kate Hudson in it, I cannot imagine Gwyneth in it AT ALL. Kate does a great job of playing the “real” Andi and the “crazy” Andi and makes both versions very appealing. I love when they go to Staten Island and MM gets to see more of the real Andi.

    and that yellow dress is ICONIC.

  9. China says:

    I like GP’s work from that period but that role was made for Kate! It was a very fun movie at the time, not sure if it would hold up now

  10. HeyKay says:

    I can watch How To Lose A Guy, and Failure to Launch anytime I come across them.
    The best of MM romcoms IMO. And the supporting cats really help carry both of these.
    The gold gown Kate wore in How To was her best look ever. Gorgeous.

    I vote Kate over GP always. Goopy is a PITA.

  11. j.ferber says:

    They look absolutely fantastic together, so good-looking that if they were selling something (besides themselves) I would buy it for sure. Never did see the movie (those types of rom-coms do nothing for me). In addition to being hella gorgeous, Matthew is actually a fabulous actor. Saw him in many good things and he sure knows what he’s doing. I liked Kate Hudson in the Glass Onion, too.