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THE PROPOSAL

Casting Chemistry
Filmmakers Assemble a Perfect "Proposal” Filmmakers tapped Sandra Bullock early on for the role of Margaret. "She's really fun to play, because she's in all of us,” says Bullock. "Margaret doesn't try and rectify any of the wrongs. She doesn't apologize. She doesn't feel like she has to make the world like her. She has a job to do, and she's gonna get it done. And there's a large part of me in that.”

"I feel really lucky that we got her,” says producer Todd Lieberman of Bullock. "She's a phenomenal actress and she can do any role, but she's so good and naturally gifted at comedy. People love her even when she's playing someone who's as hard edged as the character Margaret.”

Producer David Hoberman adds: "Sandy gets to play a really fun character—there's a lot of physical comedy in this movie, so she gets to do everything her fans want to see. She's really smart and had really good instincts about her character, the script and the comedy.” Fletcher was equally impressed by Bullock. "She's a movie star,” says the director. "She comes to work, she knows why she's there, she gets the job done. And her chemistry with Ryan is bar none.”

Ryan Reynolds portrays the put-upon assistant who ultimately turns the tables on his boss. And with the majority of his scenes opposite Bullock, chemistry was imperative. "They have a rhythm, they have a friendship, they have a way of communicating with each other—a sort of banter, a give and take,” says Hoberman of Bullock and Reynolds. "They found a groove in these two characters that really came to life.”

"Sandy and I've been friends for years—it's great working with your friend,” says Reynolds. "My experience in a comedy is that you shoot the film and then halfway through you start to understand what your chemistry is with your co-star and you wish you could go back and re-shoot all that you've already done. When you step on a set the first day and you already have that chemistry built in as Sandy and I did, you never experience that.”

Lieberman says both actors have "complete command of what it means to be funny. We have scenes with the camera on Ryan's face. He doesn't say a word, but he expresses 100 different funny things. It's unbelievable.”

Supporting Bullock and Reynolds is a stellar group of actors. "It's a testament to the great script and our two strong leads that we were able to put together such a great group of people,” says Lieberman. Nearly stealing the show is Betty White as Andrew's grandmother "Gammy” Annie. "She's turning 90 and has spent most of her life in Sitka, Alaska,” says Chiarelli of White's character. "She's a tough woman who recognizes the toughness in Margaret, and she likes what she sees. So even though on the surface she and Margaret share little, they actually have everything in common.”

"Audiences are so in love with Betty White,” says Fletcher. "She is so comfortable on screen—a television icon. She just has a quality about her that you love as a person and on screen.”

"I'm so lucky to work all the time,” says White. "It's been 60 years that I've been working.” Oscar Nuñez steps in as Ramone, a Sitka local who seems to have a myriad of different professions, including male stripper. "Oscar's level of commitment is outrageous,” says Fletcher. "You can't take your eyes off of him and you fall madly in love with him.”

Tony Award® winner Denis O'Hare plays Gilbertson, the immigration official who is determined to prove the impromptu engagement a charade.

"We read lots and lots of Gilbertsons,” says Lieberman. "Denis was the one guy who really got it. He gave a perfect blend of government officious and vulnerability so that you could laugh at the guy. The scenes in the INS building were great fun between him and Ryan and Sandy.”

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