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Inside 'The Ugly Truth' with Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl


Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler star in The Ugly Truth

Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler in 'The Ugly Truth.'

© Columbia Pictures

Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl at The Ugly Truth Press Conference

R-rated comedies have been becoming a bigger and more reliable success for Hollywood. This is your second one, Katherine. Can you talk about that trend from an actress’ point of view?

Katherine Heigl: "I actually have a really strong opinion about this, shockingly enough, but I gave it recently and it sounded really dumb. So you tell me if this sounds stupid, but I feel like I’m a 30 year old woman, and as much as I love that younger audience, and as much as I love those kind of movies, I loved 27 Dresses, I had a great time making it, I love watching those kinds of things. I still feel like I want to tell a real story to people my age, to my generation. We throw ‘f-ck’ around a lot, when you have to censor so much for that PG-1’ rating it starts to get a little cute. It starts to feel a little fantasy. And yes, all romantic comedies have that element of fantasy, but the thing I love the most about this movie is that they do end up together. Who knows if they end up happily ever after together, but they do end up together. But it didn’t feel like the fantasy. It felt like real life. It felt like two people who actually were really sexually attracted to one another, and ultimately emotionally attracted to one another, came together in a world that is a grownup’s world. Not the cartoon version. It’s not that I always want to do R-rated movies, or that I feel like they are the most honest movies out there, but there was something about this. The ability to be crass, the ability to drop the f-bomb on occasion, the ability to say c-ck, that felt real to me. It felt like the world I actually live in with my friends and my family. Maybe that sounds bad."

You're working with this director, Robert Luketic, again on Five Killers. Can you talk about how quickly you decided to do that?

[Luketic mentions that he and Katherine live in the same neighborhood.]

Gerard Butler: "All right, all right. I’m a neighbor too."

Katherine Heigl: "When have you invited us over, Gerry? We want to see the media room. God!"

Gerard Butler: "I’ve invited you 100 times. For this movie I was trying to break into Katherine’s genre and now she’s like slapping me in the face and getting into my genre. ‘I’ll show you!’"

Katherine Heigl: "What is tragic is that I’m sure you look awesome as an action person. I look like a moron. That is good because I was supposed to be, in this particular movie I’m not supposed to be good at it. But even when I wasn’t trying to look dumb, I look dumb. I run like this. I will never be an action star, that’s for sure."

Gerard Butler: "That’s good, because I look like a moron in this movie, so it’s perfect."

Katherine Heigl: "No, you don’t. You’re a genius."

You are now married, Katherine. Gerry...

Katherine Heigl: "Yeah, who are you dating?"

Gerard Butler: "Yeah."

What ugly truth might people not want to know that might actually help them in their dating lifes?

Gerard Butler: "You answer first."

Katherine Heigl: "She’s asking you!"

Gerard Butler: "No, she asked both of us! I hate that, because it’s okay for you, because you’re married. Everybody is like, ‘All right, Gerry. You’re so like Mike, aren’t you?’ I’m like, ‘No.’ They are all, ‘Yes, you are.’ Tell us how you approach all this. I know, that’s what you’re saying. Don’t pretend with me!"

What works? Should we call if they don’t call us back?

Katherine Heigl: "No. No."

Gerard Butler: "No."

Katherine Heigl: "Would you want a woman to call you, not once but twice, if you haven’t returned a phone call?"

Gerard Butler: "Yeah. I’m busy."

Katherine Heigl: [Laughing] "Exactly why you should not call him back."

Gerard Butler: "This is why I’m single!"

Katherine Heigl: "‘I’m so busy! Call me six times and maybe I’ll get back to you.’"

Gerard Butler: "Listen, this is why it’s called The Ugly Truth. There is an element of truth in that the second that you think the girl is maybe not quite as keen, there is a little more. Sometimes when it's there right in front of you, it’s not as interesting. Is that right?"

Katherine Heigl: "It’s true."

Gerard Butler: "Okay, please point out that they nodded when I said that."

Katherine Heigl: "It’s true for women too though, isn’t it? If you have a guy who is relentless and obviously so into it, sort of puppy dog at your feet, then it's not as sexy and interesting as the guy who plays it a little cool. I talk to Josh [Kelley] about this all the time. The next day I waited until three o’clock. But I didn’t wait for him to call me. I waited until three and I went, ‘Screw it, I’m going to call him.’ I called and invited him out to a friend’s barbeque. He showed up, he came and we had a great time, and it was on from there. But he played it really cool. It was at least a couple of months before I was like, ‘Does this guy like me as much as I like him?’ It was very disconcerting, but it was intriguing, and I was so into it! He says now, and I think he’s lying, that he was not trying to play it cool. This was just how he was. I was like, ‘Bullsh-t! You are not like that!’ That was an act, but it worked so great. It was so mysterious and intriguing. And I had to really fight for him to like me as much as I liked him."

"Again, there is a fine line between honest and desperate. You can be honest with someone about your intentions, and how you feel about them, and you can get the, ‘…Thank you.’ And that’s awful. Or you can be honest and they reciprocate. Sometimes it’s just about risking it. What I loved about this movie, and I forgot, is that Abby is really dorky. Her spazzy dance and all those things, but I think that is what Mike really kind of loved about her. She wasn’t the Jell-O twins. She wasn’t a perfect package of sex appeal. She did all the wrong things in a way, but they were charming. That was her, who she is, and that’s who Mike falls in love with, versus Eric [Winter's] character. He just fell in love with the package."

Gerard Butler: "I thought it was interesting, the difference between the ways a guy thinks and a girl thinks, at times, was when she said, ‘I waited till three o’clock to call him back.’ I thought she was going to say, ‘I waited until three o’clock before I got out of bed with him.’"

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