The Ugly Truth - Katherine Heigl interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
KATHERINE Heigl talks about the appeal of battle-of-the-sexes comedy The Ugly Truth, working with Gerard Butler and getting to grips with witty banter in movies following her introduction in Knocked Up.
She also reveals a special moment that took place between latest co-star Ashton Kutcher and her husband, Josh Kelley, on the set of her latest movie, The Killers.
Q. What appealed to you about The Ugly Truth?
Katherine Heigl: I think I’d been looking for a romantic comedy that wasn’t just so female-driven. It was sort of in the back of my mind that I didn’t think that kind of thing existed. How can you make a romantic comedy that men will actually like too? And then I read the script and thought it was so hilarious. I laughed out loud. I just loved that it had a male voice in there. It’s over the top and crazy but I’ve heard men talk like that and a lot of my male friends have joked and said things like Mike Chadway says. So, I knew they’d appreciate it!
Q. You also get to do some fairly outrageous things too, such as your Meg Ryan/orgasm in a restaurant moment…
Katherine Heigl: That was awesome. I was really looking forward to it because the scene in the script was one of my favourite scenes. However, come the day of shooting I didn’t factor in that there would be so many strangers watching! That made me a little self-conscious but by the end of the day everyone knew everything about me [laughs].
Q. How many takes?
Katherine Heigl: I think we did 30-something different set-ups to cover all around the table and everyone’s close-ups and shots. So, by the end of it you’re looking at 40 to 50 takes. No one wants to fake it for that long.
Q. Working with Gerard Butler looked like it was good fun…
Katherine Heigl: He was really fun. He’s a super, high-energy fun guy and everyone loves hanging around him. He makes everyone laugh.
Q. Didn’t he touch your breast by accident early on?
Katherine Heigl: He accidentally did. He didn’t purposefully grab my boob because that would have been awkward. But it was the first day of filming and we were on our marks, standing close together facing each other, and he brought his hand up and did one of those accidental brush bys. It was like: “OK, now we’re super close!”
Q. Do you find there are more feisty female roles out there now in the romantic comedy genre? Do you find there are more to choose from?
Katherine Heigl: Yeah, I think I’ve been really, really fortunate that in the past few years I’ve gotten to play all these really great female roles. It’s not just the girlfriend role, or the wife, or the mother… I get to be this full and individual entity and that’s been really fun for me.
Q. Did working with Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen on Knocked Up give you some good preparation for the quick-fire banter that takes place in The Ugly Truth?
Katherine Heigl: Yeah, working on Knocked Up was a whole new world for me. I’d never done comedy and I’d certainly never improvised. I’m the kind of girl that just memorises the script and says exactly what’s on the page. So, I was terrified at first. I didn’t think I could keep up… I couldn’t keep up. Those guys are geniuses at that. They’re full of witty banter and all I could do was react. So I spent the whole movie making faces – being appalled, being shocked, being angry… that was the best I could do. But it definitely opened the door to comedy for me and made me know that I really enjoy being part of that process. It just makes the set feel really light-hearted and fun. It really filters on and off set that kind of laughter.
Q. I gather you got on really well with [Ugly Truth director] Robert Luketic because you’ve since worked with him again on Five Killers [now called The Killers]?
Katherine Heigl: Yeah, he’s one of my favourite directors ever! He’s just a really good guy. He’s super fun to be around, he’s got a great sense of humour and we really connected and got each other. I’d do every movie with him if I could.
Q. And I would imagine that after spending nine months of a year on a TV show it’s nice to be able to then walk onto a film set with a familiar face?
Katherine Heigl: Right, for sure. Working with Robert on The Killers? was great because we do now have this kind of short-hand. We’ve worked together before and I trust him so much. If I’m feeling uncomfortable about something, if Robert says it was great and wants to move on I feel comfortable doing that because I know he’s looking out for me. He’s always right there with advice, or direction, or ideas…
Q. And did you need him to look out for you given that you were alongside Ashton Kutcher on Killers. Did he play any pranks on you?
Katherine Heigl: No, he didn’t do anything. Did he? I think he knows I would have killed him! I think even before we began I was like: “Don’t even think about ever trying to Punk me – I’ll kill you!” We had a good time. I remember one night my husband was there… every once in a while Josh will bring his guitar to the set and sing some of his music. It’s always super fun. But he and Ashton started writing a country song together – that was my favourite night of work, just watching the two of them together. They were throwing all these ideas out there to create a guy’s guy country song and it was really fun. I love Ashton, he’s a good guy.
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