Opening on June 4 is director Robert Luketic’s (21, The Ugly Truth) action-comedy Killers starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl. The basics: Heigl plays Jen, a computer tech vacationing with her parents in Europe when she meets the mysterious Spencer (Kutcher). As romance ensues, Jen gets caught up in the dangerous world of Spencer who is, naturally, a super assassin. The film also stars Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara, Rob Riggle and Martin Mull.
Yesterday Lionsgate held a press day here in Los Angeles and I got to participate in a press conference with Kutcher and Heigl. During the 30 or so minutes the two stars talked about why they wanted to do the movie, do they think people should keep secrets in real life, what exactly did Kutcher do as a producer, the stunts, and a lot more. If you’re a fan of Kutcher and Heigl, you’ll enjoy hearing what they had to say. I’ve also provided the audio of the press conference after the jump.
Finally, if you’d like to watch some clips from Killers or if you’d like to read the full synopsis, click here. And here’s the audio from the press conference. If you end up listening, you’ll also hear Rob Riggle and Tom Selleck.
Question: What was the appeal for each of you to do this film?
Ashton Kutcher: My character in the film is a guy who starts out in this extraordinary place with this extraordinary profession. When he meets the right person, he decides that he just wants a normal life, and it’s a life that he doesn’t necessarily get to have. For me, I found that I was connected to that. Also, when I read the script, I had been looking for a movie like this, that was a two-hander and that was a fun, entertaining action-comedy. I thought I was going to find it in a buddy cop movie with two guys. And then, when I read this script, I realized that this kind of movie hadn’t been made in awhile and I felt like we could have a really good time doing it and make a really entertaining film.
Katherine Heigl: I’ve obviously been doing a few romantic comedies, and what I loved about this particular romantic comedy was that it had the added element of action, so it was a slightly different take on the formula. Although I love the formula and I will continue, hopefully until I’m too old to do them, to do romantic comedies, this just had an energy and this thing that made it unique. I loved being the broad character to Ashton’s straight guy. It was really fun to not be the straight guy, for a change, and Ashton made it really fun and easy to do that. When I saw the movie, I was very entertained, and that’s hard to do when you’re in it ‘cause that takes you out of it. With this movie, I just had such a good time watching it and thought, “That’s exactly what we were going for. I love it!”
Everybody in this movie has secrets. Do you think it’s a good idea to sometimes keep secrets in a relationship, or should you never do that?
Kutcher: I firmly believe that it’s a good idea to keep secrets. I think it depends on who the secret is benefitting. If, at the end of the day, you’re the person that’s benefitting from the secret, or you’re hiding something, and you’re the one who has something at stake, then you should probably tell it. If the secret is benefitting the other person, maybe you should keep it.
Heigl: That’s probably far more profound than anything I could say. Unfortunately, I have a very difficult time keeping secrets, which is evident in any interview with me you ever read. So, I don’t really have any, and I don’t think my husband does. I think that it’s okay. I think that everybody has a right to their own thoughts, their own feelings and their own private moments, if they want them. If my husband had a second wife in Spain, that would probably be too big a secret to keep. But, if he’s using Rogaine, that’s okay, he doesn’t have to tell me.
Ashton, did you actually try to grow your own Tom Selleck mustache for the film?
Kutcher: I have been trying to grow that mustache since I could grow facial hair. I believe that Tom produces more testosterone in his little finger than I produce in my entire body. My face doesn’t do that. I’m so enamored by Tom’s facial hair that I would say Tom’s mustache is akin to Chuck Norris’ beard. That’s a great thing. I can’t grow a mustache. It’s pretty sad, if I attempt to.
Heigl: I can!
How do you know that you’ve met the right person?
Heigl: It starts with a tingle in your toes.
Kutcher: I don’t know. I really think that you have to find a partner that compliments you and is somebody that pushes you and is better at some things than you are, so they can push you to improve yourself as a person. That’s my take.
Heigl: I think the exact opposite. I think it’s better to find somebody who’s worse at everything than you. It just makes you constantly feel so good about yourself. And then, you can constantly talk about how good you are at everything, and how terrible they are at everything. No. I agree, for sure, with Ashton. My husband is better at most everything that I am. What I loved about this film, in particular, was that, with Jen and Spencer, Spencer is a sophisticated guy who has seen the world and done all these things that are beyond her understanding or reality, and she’s just dorky. She doesn’t know she’s dorky, but she just is. She’s living in her own skin. She has a moment where she tries to be sophisticated to match this amazing man that she’s met, and then she gives it up pretty quickly, and that’s, ultimately, what he loves about her. That is certainly my relationship. What makes it so spectacularly wonderful is that my husband loves all the things that everyone else would find ridiculous, silly or dorky. That’s when you know you’ve found the right person.
Katherine, are there any of the great comic leading ladies that you look at for inspiration?
Heigl: Yeah. There’s so many beautifully comedic and wonderful actress, like Shirley MacLaine. My friend, T.R. Knight, was so jealous that I got to work with Catherine O’Hara, Tom Selleck and Rob Riggle, the comedic genius.
Ashton, as a producer, did you bring the film in on time and on budget?
Kutcher: No. As a producer, I’m extremely satisfied with the film. We set out to make a movie that was a $100 million movie for $70 million. That’s always tricky because you don’t have that luxury of the extra day, or the back-up when something goes wrong. We got to Nice, France and it was supposed to be sunny and beautiful, but it was freezing and windy, and we were on a yacht that was pitching. And then, we got to Atlanta and, in the middle of the night, one of our generators got struck by lightning, so it just shut us down. And it rained and rained and rained. We got fogged out one night. We were shooting outdoors, doing the scene where the car is crashing through the fences, and we got fogged out. Every single time one of those things happened, we just had to completely re-jigger what we were doing, in order to make the movie, make it on time and make it on budget. We got very, very close. I think we were a couple days over and a couple dollars over, but we kept it pretty well close.
Ashton, is an older wife better than a younger wife?
Ashton: At the end of the day, I think it’s about the right wife. I think it’s really about finding somebody who is the right one. Usually, it’s going to be something illogical, it won’t make sense and you’ll have to take a risk to find it. My teacher says that everything that you want in the world is one step away, you just have to figure out which direction to step in. In this movie, when my character makes the choice to leave his business and what it is that he’s doing for this woman, it’s really the representation of sacrifice. If you really want to make a relationship work, at some point in time, you’re going to have to make some sacrifices and do some things that are a little bit uncomfortable. So, to me, that’s an anchor that I understand.
Katherine, what are you most grateful for, in your career and in your life?
Heigl: In my career, I’m very grateful for the opportunities. It’s a crazy feeling, and I feel very fortunate. I can’t stop trying to take them all. It’s awesome. In my life, I’m very, very grateful for my family and for my friends. Over the past couple of years, I’ve found nothing more grounding, safe and constant than my friends and family, and I’m very grateful to be a mom. It’s changed my whole perspective, in a very good way. There’s lots to be grateful for.
Ashton, it seems like you can do no wrong, when it comes to finding the right projects, whether it’s films you’re in, TV shows you’re producing, camera commercials or your Twitter account. Where does the most pressure come from, for you?
Kutcher: I fail frequently, I just try to keep it quiet. I don’t know. I guess it’s not really a pressure. I don’t feel like anything is pushing me. I feel like I’m just being pulled to things. I like to win. I think that that’s one element. I also really just think about what audiences and people would want. One of the things about being on Twitter, for me, is mostly about just being on the pulse of what people are interested in, what people are doing and what people are looking for. I look at entertainment projects and storytelling and I really try to think about what people want. I try to think about that guy or girl who’s getting off of work on a Friday night, after a long week of work. What do they want to go do? What do they want to go see? When it came to this movie, in particular, it rides on this fine line of reality and entertainment. I don’t know how many people die in the movie, but you never get sucked into this sadness of death. You’re still laughing while people are dying, all over the place. They’re getting shot and killed, but we ride that tonal line of entertainment. There are no cops that show up, so there is this massive break in reality, but once you get on the ride, you just get to take a ride. For me, this film was about that guy or girl, on a Friday night, who gets off of work and just wants to go take a ride, have some fun, be entertained and let loose. If you see a vessel and it’s empty, and you can figure out a way to fill it, you go for it. That’s what this movie is about for me, and that’s what entertainment is about.
Ashton, what would people be surprised to know about you?
Kutcher: I cease to shock myself anymore. People are most shocked and most in disbelief that I go to the office every day. I have a job. When I’m not acting on a movie, I go to work, first thing in the morning. I’m at work at 8 o’clock in the morning, and I get home from work at 7 o’clock at night. I treat my job like a job, and I work at it. I think people would probably be most surprised, if I ever calculated up the number of hours I work on an average week and published that. If it was ever documented, I think people would be shocked to find out.
Ashton, what was it like to do the fighting and the stunts in this film?
Kutcher: I do have a stunt person. I’m not as awesome as Tom Cruise. I don’t jump through glass. I didn’t participate in that. My stunt guy went to the hospital twice, for jumping through glass. I did jump off a boat and I did most of the fight stuff. I bought one of those exercise DVDs off the TV. I put it in and watched it, and got in shape. I did some fight training. I learned Krav Maga, Muay Thai and Kali, which is a Filipino knife fighting. And then, I realized that I should have learned how to movie fight ‘cause on the first fight scene, I knocked out a stunt guy. That was a bad ordeal. We were doing that scene on the boat, and we were on a yacht in the wind. He threw a punch and I blocked it, and then punched him and knocked him out. I felt really bad about that. And then, I kicked Rob [Riggle] in the face. I hurt a lot of people. I should have just let the stunt guy do everything, to be honest, and stuck to just making jokes.