“I drive a hybrid -- and I push it to work,” quipped Gerard Butler at the premiere of his new battle of the sexes comedy, The Ugly Truth. Butler, who really does drive a Lexus hybrid, plays a mad-dog TV personality named Mike who clashes with his prim and proper morning show producer (Katherine Heigl) until both, inevitably, give in to their attraction. “We start out very far apart but by the end we realize we’re really not, and any differences that there may be are what makes it so tantalizing and fun and sexy. Opposites attract,” said the Scottish actor, who next stars in September’s sci-fi action flick Gamer and romances Jennifer Aniston in The Bounty Hunter.
Bachelor Butler admitted, “There’s a lot of me in Mike,” and Grey’s Anatomy star Heigl (she’ll return to the show this fall) says she related to her character’s control-freakiness. “I’m a little more OCD about things,” she confided, offering as an example her instructions to her husband Josh Kelley on the proper way to align the bed sheets.
In a scene reminiscent of When Harry Met Sally, which she claims she has not seen, Heigl has multiple orgasms at a business dinner thanks to vibrating underpants. To get all the angles, it took 37 takes, “exhausting, let me tell you. You do not want to orgasm 37 times, as much as you think you do!” The dance scene was easier -- for her. Butler had coaching from Dancing with the Stars’ Julianne Hough. “It came off as effortless,” said Heigl, who has since re-teamed with Truth director Robert Luketic to make Five Killers with Ashton Kutcher, due out next summer.
Eric Winter (Brothers & Sisters), who plays the Mr. Perfect neighbor that Heigl’s Abby thinks she wants, is newly married to Without a Trace’s Roselyn Sanchez and has learned, “You have to appreciate what women want too, to make it work.” He has a brief butt-baring scene in the movie, shot on the last day of filming. To prepare, “I worked out hard -- a lot of gum time, a lot of dieting,” he confided. At home, Winter has changed to CFL light bulbs, turns off unused lights, and conserves water.
Co-star John Michael Higgins (Leverage), married to co-anchor Cheryl Hines in The Ugly Truth (and both pictured right), says he and his wife are “serious recyclers." “We drive hybrids, and don’t buy food with big carbon footprints. I do as much as I can. My brother lives in Seattle and he’s hardcore. I learn from him.” Higgins next appears with Vince Vaughn, Kristin Bell and Jon Favreau in Couples Retreat, due out Oct. 9.
“Chefs started green. If you think about it, chefs were the first to be in the green markets, buying local food with low food miles and low pesticide content,” says celeb chef Rocco DiSpirito, seen in a cooking segment early in the movie. “The greenmarkets in New York City and California were all in response to chefs demanding better product,” he points out. His latest book is due out in January. “I take America’s favorite dishes and make them healthy. Downfall dishes, I call them, like fried chicken and mac and cheese. Cut the fat, calories and sugar.” The Ugly Truth hits theaters July 24.
“It’s very important to save water and not litter our beautiful country with garbage and old bottles,” says Doris Roberts, who’s diligent about recycling and conservation. The veteran actress, known for her role as meddling mama Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, plays a grandma temporarily turned butt-kicking ninja-robot courtesy the titular creatures in the new family film Aliens in the Attic, opening July 31. Encouraged by her teenage grandsons to take the role, Roberts had a stunt double for the tricks but trained to do parts of her fight scene with actor Robert Hoffman herself. “I had a cane, and it was a lethal weapon. When I put that thing between his legs and pulled back, I really could have made him sing high C.”
While she considered New Zealand, where Aliens was shot, beautiful but boring, Roberts is glad she took part. “There are so many positive things in it. The kids are the heroes, taking responsibility for saving the world. And you can bring your whole family,” she points out.
Roberts has three more films in the can, including Another Harvest Moon, a drama set in a nursing home with Ernest Borgnine, Piper Laurie and Anne Meara, premiering at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on Aug. 7, Playing the Game, a comedy with Andy Griffith also set in a retirement home and due out next month, and Mrs. Miracle, a Hallmark TV movie for holiday season. “I’ve been working constantly,” notes Roberts, who recently added the new Terrence McNally play Unusual Acts of Devotion, staged in La Jolla, CA, to her credits and devotes time to children’s charities and Puppies Behind Bars, which pairs prisoners with dogs they train for seeing eye and other work.
Although she turned down Dancing With the Stars, telling producers, “Honey, I couldn’t get my legs up that high,” Roberts would like to do another sitcom. “I haven’t signed on for anything, but I’ll take a break when I’m dead,” she says. “I love what I do. Why wouldn’t I continue to do it?”
Considering Americans are only 3 percent of the world’s population but use 25 percent of its oil, can we ever break our foreign fuel habit? And what’s the real story behind wildly fluctuating gas prices despite increased reserves? On a special edition of 20/20, Charles Gibson interviews experts and insiders to get the story in Over a Barrel: The Truth About Oil, airing July 24 at 10 p.m.
Additional photo credits: Hines and Higgins by SPE, Inc./Eric Charbonneau; Doris Roberts by Ralph Dominguez/Globe Photos; and Charles Gibson by Shane Bevel/ABC.
MNN homepage photo: Sony Pictures