Taking over the beautiful Four Season’s hotel in Beverly Hills was the beautiful, and elegant Katherine Heigl, supported by the cast of One for the Money. The cast included Sherri Shepherd (“The View”), Jason O’Mara (“Terranova”), Daniel Sujata and director Julie Anne Robinson. One for the Money is the film adaptation of Janet Evanovich's worldwide mega-selling eighteen book action-crime series featuring popular heroine Stephanie Plum.
The cast excitedly discussed their new movie that tells the story of Stephanie Plum, a proud, born-and-bred Jersey girl with plenty of attitude. She's been out of work for the last six months and has just lost her car to a debt collector. Desperate for some fast cash, Stephanie is forced into her last resort: convincing her sleazy cousin to give her a job at his bail bond company as a recovery agent.
Katherine Heigl (The Ugly Truth, 27 Dresses and Knocked Up) was radiant as she talked about her starring role. “I’m very excited about bringing Stephanie Plum to life,” she explained about portraying the admirable, working-class heroine. She is, however, concerned about meeting the expectations of millions of fans. That’s the reason she abandoned her blonde locks and donned a brunette wig. “It’s been really satisfying on many levels to get to be a part of such a great franchise and bring the series to life. I think it’s really super important to get everything right.”
Heigl, who fondly remembered her experience working with Robinson on several episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” suggested the director be seriously considered for the project. “After spending some time talking to her, we realized that her vision was exactly right for the movie." When asked about working with a predominately female cast, Heigl mentioned that “working with a mostly female cast had different challenges [which were] apparent in the shooting of the film.” She gives kudos to Robinson on her direction and control on the set.
Heigl also mentioned the importance of showing not only the chemistry, but also the animosity between Stephanie and Joe Morelli, played by co-star Jason O’Mara. O’Mara couldn’t stop talking about how much fun he had playing Hiegl’s love interest, especially when the two had to shoot a hilarious shower scene.
Serving as the third piece of the love triangle is Ranger, played by actor Daniel Sunjata. Sunjata offers that “it was important to play Ranger as cool and confident. His scenes with the bumbling Stephanie teasingly suggest that opposites really do attract. Stephanie and Ranger have a mentor-student relationship with sexual tension as the undertone.”
Plum relates to Grandma Mazur, played by screen legend Debbie Reynolds. Grandma Mazur is a plucky, opinionated woman who is unwilling to grow old. Heigl gives Reynolds credit for being a tough actor and recalled how Reynolds regaled her with stories of working in classic films like Singing in the Rain, a story which wowed every journalist in the room.
Sherri Shepherd, a fan of the book series, plays Lula, a prostitute who is helpful with the case. Shepherd served as the comedic relief in the movie - and the junket. Shepherd was so much fun but also provided a lot of insight into the book series. She couldn’t help but talk at length about how much she enjoys Evanovich’s books and how excited she was to bring one of her favorite books to life. “It was kismet. I often thought ‘if it ever becomes a movie, I really want to play this woman. She’s evolved and sassy and she’s fun.’” Shepherd got her wish.
Though the movie is set in New Jersey, it was shot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The production team searched extensively for locations that would stand in for Trenton as it looked fifteen years ago, finally settling on Pittsburgh and its outlying areas. “The look of the film is urban and it’s not pretentious. It felt dead on.” Heigl adds, “the look of this film was vital. It was really important to all of us that this film not look like a glossy romantic comedy, because that’s not what this is. It has romance. It has comedy. But it’s also a murder mystery that takes place in Jersey. It has tough characters and a really blue-collar sense to the whole thing. These are real people in real situations.”
One for the Money is now playing.