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NEW IN TOWN

About The Production
Lionsgate and Gold Circle's NEW IN TOWN comedy stars Renée Zellweger as Lucy Hill, a head-strong, materialistic career woman who must grapple with sub-zero temperatures, small town values and unexpected feelings for a man she doesn't even like. Along the way, despite her most ardent intentions, Lucy discovers her better self and is faced with the challenge of making real, positive changes in her life. "Lucy is a tenacious, determined, confident, accomplished player in corporate America,” explains Zellweger. "She lives in Miami and gets transferred to do a little reconfiguring of a plant that her company owns in Minnesota. She's a fish out of water and she doesn't expect to be taken by the charm of the place or to become attached to anyone in the town. She thought she was going to get in and get out with her lack of humanity intact.”

An Oscar®-winner (Cold Mountain, Actress in a Supporting Role, 2003) widely regarded as one of the most versatile actresses of her generation, Zellweger was eager to try her hand at a traditional romantic comedy. "I was working on LEATHERHEADS in the Carolinas,” she explains, "and we wrapped early one day, and I went to see MUSIC AND LYRICS because I love Hugh Grant. I loved it and it reminded me of the important place romantic comedies have in our pop culture lexicon. They make us laugh and help us escape real life. I read the script for NEW IN TOWN shortly thereafter, and I was completely taken to another place and thought, ‘This is it.'” 

"I thought the script was a refreshing romantic comedy set in a community with a lot of heart and old fashioned values,” says producer Paul Brooks. "Renée was absolutely our first choice for the role of Lucy Hill!”

Zellweger relished the opportunity to demonstrate her skills as a physical comedian, taking full comic advantage of perfectionist Lucy Hill's clash with the sub-zero weather and New Ulm's quirky values. She was provided with a stuntwoman, but on the first day of filming, Zellweger realized that she wanted to perform her own stunts, even if it meant falling repeatedly on cold, hard ice. 

"That's the fun part, you know?” she says excitedly. "The fun part is making a jerk out of yourself in the snow and face planting and getting to be creative with it and ridiculous. And there's no way I was going to miss out on that. No way! I laughed myself silly watching what an idiot I was. It's so funny because Lucy is so determined to be perfect.”

"Whether she does a drama or a romantic comedy, Renée completely commits,” adds Brooks. "She's a naturally very gifted comedian. If there's a goofy moment, then it's there for a reason and she'll embrace it.”

Zellweger also made it a point not to shy away from Lucy's less appealing qualities at the start of the story. Lucy begins as a materialistic, highly driven corporate player and gradually she learns, through her relationships with the citizens of New Ulm, to appreciate community, loyalty, real friendship and a simpler, more grounded lifestyle. That Zellweger charts this journey without ever losing the audience's sympathy is a testament to her particular brand of charisma. "Renée has this really endearing quality where you just root for her no matter what situation her character is put into,” says producer Tracey Edmonds. "Lucy's trying to prove herself. She's still got a lot of insecurities, and Renée has the ability to expose those aspects of the character and make her likable despite her flaws.”

The most formidable challenge Lucy faces comes in the form of Ted, the union leader of the factory she has been sent to restructure. Played in the film by actor and musician Harry Connick, Jr., Ted is a blue-collar guy who cares deeply about his community and the welfare of the employees whose jobs are under siege. Naturally, Lucy and Ted are predisposed to disliking each other, resulting in a battle of wits that has been

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