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Director Richard LaGravenese Discusses PS I Love You

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Up Next – PS, I Love You: Richard LaGravenese's next film reunites him with his Freedom Writers star, Hilary Swank. “I just finished a film called PS, I Love You with Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank, Kathy Bates, Lisa Kudrow, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Harry Connick Jr, and Gina Gershon," explained LaGravenese. "That opens December 21st.”

Butler’s coming off the success of 300 and that will no doubt help stir up interest in PS, I Love You. “Gerry and I had a great time together,” said LaGravenese. “Again, I’m excited for people to see it because no one has seen Gerry or Hilary like this before. It’s romantic and funny and tragic and loving. He’s just sexy and he’s terrific.”

It’s not giving away a plot spoiler to say Butler dies in the film, which begs the question: how much is he actually in the movie? LaGravenese replied, “He comes back throughout it. His presence is there throughout it. I won’t say the whole thing but he’s in it quite a bit. But he is Gerry. Gerry in real life is closer to this character. Even though he has his heroic king side, he’s also very funny and charming and boyish.”

Women – and men – were really impressed with Butler’s body in 300 but LaGravenese says Butler doesn’t have quite the same physique in his movie as he did while working on 300. “He has a real body,” said LaGravenese. “He’s very sexy and buff and masculine, but in a real body way.”

LaGravenese says audiences are going to see Swank tackle something completely different from her past work. “For me, she’s beautiful and funny and sexy and vulnerable. She plays a wife and a woman who has to discover who she is without the man she’s loved all her life – all her young adult life. So there are things that she does in this movie that you’ve never seen her do before – and she does them so well. I’m just really proud of her.”

There have been a couple of test screenings of PS, I Love You and the audience reaction has been very positive. “We did great. We scored higher than the first time. I’m rushing to go to a marketing meeting to talk about it.”

What changed from the first screening to the second? LaGravenese answered, “I sucked air out of things and tightened things up. We had high scores to begin with, then we just got a little bit higher. When you’re in that area, there’s not much to do. It’s just becomes a personal thing for you. I just want the pacing to be a little better. For me, it’s just sucking the air out of it and tightening things up a bit more.”

Looking Further Into the Future: LaGravenese has been so busy the past few years that he’s ready for a little break. “I have script commitments I’m doing as just a screenwriter. And Gerry, we’re all looking to work again together. This happened for me and Gerry’s big success – he’s getting a lot of offers. We’re all looking at how we can all work together again.

I’m doing a script for DreamWorks called Camp Creepy Time, which is based on a book that Gina Gershon wrote with her brother. Gina and I are buddies as well. It’s a fun sort of South Park meets Harry Potter kind of story because it’s kind of twisted in Gina’s kind of sense of humor kind of way. It’s a really fun story. And then there’s something else I can’t talk about yet that we’re setting up, possibly with Gerry. And then there are movies that I’m working on and scripts that I’ve worked on before that I may go into production with next year.

Right now I’m tired. I literally haven’t stopped working since I did this in July of 2005. I went straight into Freedom Writers, PS, I Love You prepped while Freedom Writers was posting, then went right into PS, I Love You. I need to stop and breathe for a second.”

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