In The Ugly Truth, Sacramento TV news show producer Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl, in real life, happily married to music artist Josh Kelley) is a bright, single, control freak asking all the above questions and more. Abby compiles check-lists that no guy can fulfill but she remains a hopeful romantic.
Her world is thrown off its axis when her boss hires Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) a shock-jock-style, chauvinist supreme from a popular cable TV show who insists on telling The Ugly Truth about male/female relationships in as crude and direct a manner as possible. In Mike's world, all the Mars/Venus psycho-babble belongs in the trash. Sure, Mike believes that men and women can connect...in the sack. Of course these two have much to teach each other and the not-so-ugly truth is, they're a perfect match. They just don't know it yet.
SheKnows was in Beverly Hills recently chatting with this tall, gorgeous duo. We got some great relationship advice and noted that they call each other "Katie" and "Gerry". He's making full use of his delightful Scottish accent. Take a mental snapshot of "abs from heaven" Gerry Butler dressed in all black; shirt, pants, shoes...yum! "Mr. 300" is also sporting just the right amount of groomed, manly stubble. Katherine, glam as ever, is in black and white silk dress with puffy sleeves and pencil skirt accessorized with very high black heels. Our "at first sight" surprise? She's a brunette!
SheKnows: Did you change the hair for work or for fun?
Katherine Heigl: For fun. Because on the show (Grey's Anatomy) I don't have hair so now I can do whatever I want.
SheKnows: Makes sense. Gerard, women love you, even in big male action films, like 300. Do you think you're pushing your luck this time?
Gerard Butler: (laughs) No, I don't think I'm pushing my luck. Although that is something that I like to do, I don't think I'm pushing it too far.
There's definitely a lot of me in the character, but I think it's more about me just being boisterous and fun. I don't expound those ideals, but I do think that there's a
lot of those values going on in both men and women, if we're honest and frank about how we look at each other.
SheKnows: What do you think keeps it appealing without going over that edge?
Gerard Butler: What's cool in both of our characters is that, at the end of the day, we're human. We're real and we both have our vulnerabilities. So,
there's a lot of that going on under Mike's armor, which is great. What's so great about this movie is that it's so ridiculous and shocking and surprising, the ways that I
talk about sex, but at the end of the day, women get it and men get it too.
SheKnows: You two have a really sexy, Latin dance scene. Did you dance that well before this movie, or did you have to practice for that scene?
Katherine Heigl: I think that looked so awesome because of the way they shot it. It was all just upper shots. They didn't do any wide shots of us spinning around.
Gerard Butler: I took a few lessons because I had no idea what I was doing. I actually had a lesson from Julianne Hough from Dancing with the Stars, and that took me a long way. But, Katherine was just on it, straight away, and that's why it came alive. To be honest, if I was dancing with somebody who wasn't that great, it would have been a disaster. Katie was on it, and I wasn't (she nods 'no'). I had months to prepare and I still forgot my lines. But, then again, I had a lot to say. In my defense, I never f**king shut up in this movie.
Katherine Heigl: What was so awesome was that he nailed every joke. It came off effortless, which is just awesome. It was super fun to watch.
SheKnows: How tough was it to get through some of this dialogue with each other? This is an R-rated film.
Katherine Heigl: For me, I talk like that all the time, anyway. I try to actually rein that in, most of the time. That was just very freeing for me. I could just be me. But, I love
raunchy humor. I just do. I don't know why. I should probably get a little more sophisticated, but I just think it's hilarious, and it's what makes me laugh the hardest and the
most. I'm just not terribly precious about that sort of stuff, unless you're going really far. But, even then, it's still funny.
SheKnows: Gerard, what made you want to play this character?
Gerard Butler: One of the main reasons I ended up doing this movie was that I was doing an action movie where I play very dark and brooding. At night, I would go to dinner with the guys from Lakeshore (Entertainment), and I would tell dirty jokes and be vulgar, and they kept going, The Ugly Truth. I had never read the script and, finally, I read it and I went, 'Okay, I get it.' It took me a couple days to find my rhythm. The first day, playing the American accent and that kind of character, I was really nervous. I kept forgetting my lines. Every time I turned to Katie and had to play with her hair, I was so nervous. Once, I grabbed her breast. In the middle of the take, I said, 'Did I just touch your breast?'
Katherine Heigl: He just went to put his hand down and it was one of those accidental brushes.
Gerard Butler: It was a Mike Chadway move. I must have been pretty method. Every time I went to grab her hair, I forgot and it was 'cause I was really pretty nervous about it. She's such a charismatic woman.
SheKnows: Katherine, with Izzy being so well known on Grey's Anatomy, do you look for characters that are totally unlike her, or do you see Abby as a cousin or a sexier, R-rated version?
Katherine Heigl: For Izzy, absolutely, I definitely want to go out and explore different personalities and different people. But, at the end of the day, I feel like, on television,
it's really hard to divorce me completely from the role. It's nine months a year, it's every day, sometimes it's 80-hour weeks. The way I walk, talk and gesture is going to
slip in there. I can't completely remove that. Something of me is always going to surface. They're not Izzy, but I like the distant cousin analogy. I think it's always going to be
a little like that. That's why I colored my hair. That will fool everybody.
SheKnows: What do you think this movie says about the battle of the sexes?
Katherine Heigl: I would hope that it's an exaggeration of where men and women are at. I can't speak for men because I haven't really been around a lot of men who act like Mike Chadway. I've been around a lot of men who joke like Mike Chadway, but don't actually believe that and, if they do, then they're very good actors. I know, for me, Abby is only a small exaggeration of women now, or at least me and my friends.
SheKnows: How is she like you?
Katherine Heigl: I went the whole 'make a list' route. I'm a little OCD. I'm very particular about how I like things and how I want things. I get that, deeply. I don't know. Maybe it is talking about the differences, but I think the most important part of the movie was talking about how, in spite of those difference you compromise. You don't have to necessarily completely change who you are to be with someone that you want to be with, but you do have to compromise a little bit. You have to let go a little bit of yourself. There is just that fine line between desperate and honest.
Gerard Butler: I think Katie is deeply flawed in her misunderstanding of the truth of what goes on in a lot of men's minds. Either that or she knows a way more sophisticated breed of male than I am, which wouldn't be difficult. We never know, as guys, what the hell women talk about when they go to the restroom. They always go to the restroom together. And, likewise, women never really know how guys think, and I think this is the first movie that really brings it up and strikes at the heart of it.
SheKnows: For example...?
Gerard Butler: I know I'm going out on a limb here and ending my career, but it is almost impossible for a guy not to say, 'You know what? There are times when I just turn around and look at an ass.' We do that. We're much more complicated than that, as well. What's beautiful and where the redemption is in the movie is that, at the end of the day, through our games and our weaknesses and our flaws, we're after the same thing. We all want a partner. We all want companionship. We're all beautiful and all over the place, and it comes together really well. When this stuff is thrown out there, it's so shocking and unexpected, but the guys are like, 'Oh, thank God somebody said that,' and the women are like, 'You know what? I knew it!'
Up next…Katherine on the dating rules and Gerard shares The Ugly Truth about men.
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