In The Bounty Hunter, Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler work on the borders of their comfort zones. Butler is the titular character, a former cop so down on his luck he takes a gig tracking down his ex-wife (and alleged real-life girlfriend) Aniston, for a payday of $5,000.
“I felt this was a different role for her,” says Butler of his co-star. “She is the Queen of Comedy and done a lot of romantic comedies, but this doesn’t feel like a romantic comedy. It feels like an action driven comedy. She was playing a much bitchier, hard edged character than I think anyone has ever seen her do before and for me that is exciting.”
Aniston, best known as Rachel from Friends, or Brad Pitt’s ex wife, depending on your appetite for the tabloids, says she was attracted to the role because “it wasn’t your traditional run of the mill girl meets guy, guy meets girl.”
“It is an action comedy and a road movie with a little romance in there and a little suspense,” she said recently in a sit-down with Metro in New York City.
She was, however, taken by surprise by the physical demands of the production. Doing stunts in four inch heels isn’t as easy as it looks.
“Your adrenaline is going and you’re not really feeling it at the moment and then I’d get home and notice a bruise here and a callous here,” said Aniston, who adds she would consider other action roles in future. “Then there were the handcuffs. Try wearing those, attached to a car door for three days. Not fun.”
For Butler, a Scottish heartthrob best known for his sculpted abs and roles in violent films like 300, the challenge wasn’t the physical side, but breaking the action star stereotype.
“My break in America was Attila the Hun, which went into Time Line, Tomb Raider, Reign of Fire and at that point I loved doing that, but it’s not like when you are still making your way in the business that people go, ‘Tomb Raider, Oh my God, the guy should be in a comedy.’ I was waiting for the right opportunity. I thought I don’t want to dive in with something crappy. I wanted to wait until I’m lucky enough to get the right script that felt right.”