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THE UGLY TRUTH

HER SIDE
At the center of The Ugly Truth is the woman who doesn't want to believe there could be an ugly side to Mr. Right: Abby Richter, a tough, savvy career woman who has long approached dating as a job, one which she unfortunately believes requires checklists, dogged research and a set of standards so relentless no one has come close to meeting them yet. She would say she has high expectations – Mike Chadway would say she's a "controlling psycho” – but somewhere out there she believes there exists a man who will sweep her off her feet regardless. Who that man actually is, however, she could never have seen coming.  To play Abby, the filmmakers were looking for a leading lady with the smoldering silliness of a classic screwball comedienne, a kind of 21st Century Carole Lombard or Lucille Ball, able to deliver a crackling one-liner while simultaneously possessing a vulnerable sensuality and a slapstick sensibility. 

Such actresses aren't a dime a dozen, so the list of contenders was short and quickly narrowed down to one name. Recalls Gary Lucchesi: "One day one of the writers asked: ‘Have you thought about Katherine Heigl?' The moment I heard that, that was it. It was a great idea, we knew she was right and we pursued her vigorously.”  Heigl, an Emmy Award winning actress for her role on the runaway hit television series "Grey's Anatomy,” has recently come to the fore in a number of screen comedies, most notably taking the lead role as the pregnant woman in question in Judd Apatow's critically acclaimed Knocked Up. 

The entire creative team thought she had just the right qualities to make Abby as believable as she is blundering.  Karen McCulluh Lutz says: "It just worked to read the script with Katherine's voice in our heads. Once we found out she had been cast, there were no adjustments that needed to be made at all.” Kirsten Smith adds, "As soon as we started collaborating with her, Katherine really embraced the idea of wanting to make Abby even more controlling. She absolutely nailed the comedy of her obsessions and neuroses.” 

For Heigl, taking up arms in the battle of the sexes was an irresistible proposition. "What I loved about the script is that it provides insight into what men are really thinking and why women get it wrong, and the other way around,” she laughs. "We've all seen the standard romantic comedies, and I think there's always a place for them because I'm a big romantic comedy fan. But I like that The Ugly Truth takes that and brings a new edge to it. There's a lot of raw honesty in the story but instead of taking it too seriously, it lets you laugh and enjoy the absurdity of the dynamic that goes on between men and women.” Heigl doesn't hold back when describing Abby. 

"She is a pretty uptight chick,” she admits. "She's super organized, very on top of things, totally in control in every aspect of her life and frankly, it makes her a little scary. As a date she's a nightmare because she's overwhelming, she's bossy and she talks too much. But to be honest, it was really super fun to play that, probably the most fun I've had!” Still, Heigl does have plenty of sympathy for Abby's plight as well, especially when it comes to dealing with Mike Chadway. "The beauty of the story is that it gets to both sides of the argument,” she comments. "Abby is rightfully frustrated by her relationships with men and rightfully confused and thrown for a loop when she starts to fall for a guy like Mike who doesn't appear to have a romantic bone in his body.”  

The confusion and chaos only increase when Abby enlists Mike to help her land the man she believes is going to turn out to be her Mr. Perfect: her dashing new neighbor Colin. This leads Abby into some rather unusual situations, as Mike becomes her modern-day Cyrano, advising her on everything f

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