Killers: Interview with director Robert Luketic

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Robert Luketic is the director of "KILLERS," starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl. The film is being released June 4 by Lionsgate.

The director of LEGALLY BLONDE, 21 and THE UGLY TRUTH, Luketic had long been in search of a project like KILLERS. “I’d always wanted to make a film that blended romance and comedy and suspense,” says the director. “They’re hard genres to blend together and get totally right.  And this script hit my desk and I fell in love with the concept instantly. It had elements of romance. It was funny. It had adventure.  It had it all.”

 

For Luketic, the challenge of KILLERS was successfully blending comedy and action. “It can be a tonal minefield,” he admits. “You need to pick those moments when it’s right to be serious and when it’s right to be funny.  We chose to start off with a laugh. We had to make sure we gave people permission to laugh in the beginning of the movie. So once they’re relaxed and realize they can have fun, when they see something that’s kind of dangerous, they know that there’s going to be release or relief immediately after that.”

 

While KILLERS has no shortage of action and suspense, Luketic believes the appeal of the film  – and the lion’s share of the comedy – lies in the thorny issue facing the couple. “It’s this great comedic situation where Jen is saying, ‘You’ve got a lot of explaining to do’ while they’re running for their lives. And while they’re on this adventure, the audience is wondering, ‘Is this relationship going to last? Can it withstand the lie?’

 

Working with Ashton Kutcher 

 

Says Luketic, “Ashton is a very astute businessman, as well as a wonderful actor, and it was a real pleasure to see those two personalities work together.  He really wanted the movie to be a success and you could see it in how hard he worked to make everything look the way it did. Our movie looks stunning, and that’s due to having great producers.”

 

Directing Heigl for a Second Time

 

Luketic and Katherine Heigl previously collaborated on THE UGLY TRUTH. “You feel a warmth when you watch Katherine on the screen,” says Luketic. “There are very few people who have what she has. Part of Katherine’s charm is her accessibility and vulnerability, and no matter how ridiculous a scene may be, the sense of grounding she brings to it.”

 

“We both like to work in the same way and we genuinely respect each other,” adds Luketic. “We enjoy each other’s process.”

 

Luketic credits Kutcher and Heigl for generating the necessary heat for a genuine connection between the two characters.  “We’ve been amazed at just how engaging the love story is,” says the director. “Ashton and Katherine had such natural chemistry – you just want these two people to really be together.”