Playing Stephanie Plum — a lingerie saleswoman turned bounty hunter — in One for the Money has taught Katherine Heigl one thing: She likes to shoot stuff.
“I really enjoyed it because it was super-satisfying and cathartic on some level,” she says of the gunplay she did for the film. “It was fun, I had a good time. I started wanting to go to the gun range regularly. And then I started shooting clay pigeons with [husband] Josh [Kelly]. I really like to shoot things. Who knew?”
Not that firearms are necessarily new to her, but the work on this film added a new level of reality to it for the former Grey’s Anatomy star.
“I mean, I’ve been wielding guns in films since I was 15 but they’re fake and there’s no actual bullet in them — we hope,” she says.
“So they took us to a shooting range to practice, because there are certain things you’re not supposed to do — like blink when you shoot, but it’s impossible not to blink, it’s really hard — and it was really intimidating and nerve-wracking the first time they put a loaded gun in your hand. Plus they’ve just given you a 20-minute spiel about all the dangers of this gun, so you’re sort of freaking out.”
But clearly she got over that.
All that shooting is aimed at attracting a more diverse audience than your usual romantic comedy fare — especially since the movie is based on one of 17 books in the Stephanie Plum series by author Janet Evanovich.
Clearly there are hopes for a franchise.
“I think what’s sort of interesting about the books is they all have a murder-mystery tie-in, with the bounty hunting aspect of it. So it’s not all just about romance, it’s not all just about comedy,” Heigl says.
“The murder-mystery storyline is kind of dark and a little edgy and gives it a vibe that is not purely chick-flick-ish.
“I’m really excited about it because it does appeal to everyone, it isn’t just a girl’s movie. I think that we’re working hard to advertise it so that everyone knows that it’s a good time for everyone — men and women included. Tough men. Tough men will love this movie,” she adds with a laugh.
Guns and tough guys aside, in the end, the one detail that Heigl and her co-producers agonized over the most was her hair.
“She’s brunette. Her look is very specific in the book, and once you get attached to that idea in your head I couldn’t imagine Stephanie any other way,” Heigl says.
“It was disconcerting, I think, for certain fans to see me as a brunette, and then it was disconcerting for fans of the books to imagine me as Stephanie because I’m blonde and blah blah blah.
“So I dyed it brown before we started filming, trying to get people on board.
“And then I ended up just wearing a wig because I don’t have curly hair and Stephanie does.
“And then I went back to blonde while promoting the movie, so I didn’t really think it through, but hopefully people will buy it.”