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THE UGLY TRUTH

HIS SIDE
Squaring off with Katherine Heigl on the other side of the sexual skirmish line is Mike Chadway, played by Gerard Butler, who won over audiences as a steely warrior in the action hit 300, did a romantic turn with Hilary Swank in P.S. I Love You and played an adventurer in the family film Nim's Island. Here, the Scottish star takes on a role he's never been seen in before – an unapologetically caddish relationship expert with a tongue like a Ginzu knife.  "Gerry's always been a larger than life character, says Gary Lucchesi. "And he's also very funny. But what really convinced us is that when he and Katherine Heigl met, the chemistry between them was obvious.” Butler was attracted right away by the screenplay. 

"The dynamic between men and women in this story is a little more outrageous than we're used to seeing and what really hits home is how truthful it is,” he says. ""It's very honest, in an outlandish way, about what goes on in relationships between men and women. That's what got me excited about it. It allows the characters to say the kinds of things that make people think ‘I can't believe he just said that,' followed by ‘but it's so true.'”  

Mike Chadway also intrigued Butler, not only because he's such a fun foil for Katherine Heigl's character but because, beneath his seemingly vulgar exterior he's actually, even if he would never admit it, quite complex. 

"You could say Mike Chadway is sexist or misogynist or any of these things, but he's also very smart, very funny and there's something about him that's very real and genuine,” Butler comments. "He's certainly very full of himself. But, as the film goes on, he does change, and I think you realize that he isn't quite the guy you expect.” Some of those changes occur entirely because of Abby. 

"One of the great themes of the movie is that nobody can quite ruffle Mike's feathers like Abby, which is probably why he starts to fall for her,” Butler explains. "She's uptight, she's prissy, she's his nemesis and yet . . . there's this spark where you realize they're just perfect for each other. Katherine made it easy because she's so funny and yet she keeps it so real.” The challenge to the role was in keeping Chadway overtly brash and bawdy without ever losing that underlying charm that keeps Abby coming back for more advice in her love life. 

"The trick to portraying Mike Chadway was keeping some sense of his humanity because it is a love story within the comedy, as well,” Butler explains. "Mike has an enormous amount of dialogue, probably 10 times the dialogue I've ever had in a film, because he has an opinion or a smart line for everything. So that was an interesting experience, too. I took inspiration from Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, the way the words are always flying in their films, and hopefully some of that kind of feeling comes across.”  

On the set, Butler had a blast working with so many skilled comedians and watching Robert Luketic keep the riotous chaos under control. "Robert keeps a very breezy and fun atmosphere on the set, but he's also very sharp,” observes Butler. "He has a great sense of pacing and he can take a funny idea and make it that much more hilarious.”  Luketic is equally strong in his praise for Butler. "Here we had this character who could just be a foul-mouthed shock-jock who says outrageous things, but Gerry found a way to make the character not only sympathetic but disarming, good-natured and attractive,” comments the director. "He really captures that undeniable connection between the bad boy and the guy that women can't help but be attracted to.”

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