Feature: "The Ugly Truth" (Gerard Butler & Katherine Heigl)
Tue, 21 Jul 2009 07:59:27
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"[The Ugly Truth] is not all cocks and vag," laughs director Robert Luketic.
He's right. Though the R-rated comedy does have its fair share of sidesplitting funny dirty jokes, it's got a warm soft center—like any good romantic comedy should.
In the film, Katherine Heigl plays Abby Richter a Sacramento news show producer whose station badly needs a ratings boost. The execs hire Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler) a late-night TV personality with a hyper alpha male perspective on dating. He's rude and crude, but he gets laughs. His segment, "The Ugly Truth," offends the hell out of Abby but brings the ratings the roof. Plus he's so sure of himself that he helps Abby pursue the doctor of her dreams. Hilarity ensues.
For Butler, whose roles in action flicks like 300 have become iconic for male audiences, The Ugly Truth was a welcome challenge. He explains, "I don't think I'm pushing my luck with this one—although that is something I like to do. I don't think I'm pushing it too far [Laughs]. There's definitely a lot of me in this character, but I think it's more about being boisterous and fun. I don't expound Mike's ideals, but I do think there are 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."
He also feels like Abby and Mike have a realism to them. He continues, "What's appealing about both of our characters is, at the end of the day, we're human and we're real. We both have our vulnerabilities. There's a lot of that going on under the knight's armor, which is what's so great about this movie. This film is so ridiculous, shocking and surprising, especially with how I talk about sex but women and men get it."
Heigl feels the same way. She was glad to be able to drop a few F-bombs too. "I love raunchy humor," she laughs with a wide smile. "I just do. I don't know why. I think it's hilarious. It's what makes me laugh the hardest and the most. I'm not terribly precious about that stuff unless it goes really far—even then it's still funny. There's something about the ability to say 'cock' that felt real to me. It felt like the world I live in with my friends."
For her, Abby wasn't that far removed from who she really is. The actress believes she even got to imbue a piece of herself in the role. "Some part of me is always going to surface. I would hope that this film is an exaggeration of where men and women are at. I can't speak for men because I haven't 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. Abby is only a small exaggeration of me and my friends. It talks about the differences between men and women. I think the most important part of the movie is despite those differences, you can compromise. You don't have to necessarily completely change who you are to be with someone who you want to be with, but you do have to compromise a little bit. You have to let go of yourself a little bit."
Ultimately, Butler wraps up the 'battle of the sexes' best. "After all the games, we all want the same thing," he says. "We all want a partner. We all want companionship. It's a sex comedy, but it's a love story."
Of course they say "cock" a lot too.