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Hapless Heroine Leaps from Novel to Silver Screen in 'One for The Money'

Katherine Heigl and Daniel Sunjata in
Katherine Heigl and Daniel Sunjata in "One For The Money."

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Alan Silverman

Katherine Heigl plays Stephanie Plum in the first film based on the popular mystery novels by author Janet Evanovich. Here's a look at One For The Money.



Plum is out of work, laid off from her department store job and back in the Trenton, New Jersey working class neighborhood where she grew up. It does give her a chance to visit with the family.

She's hired by her cousin Vinnie to be a "recovery agent."  That's the formal title for a "bounty hunter," who tracks down and apprehends suspects who've been released on bail, but have failed to show up for a court appearance or "jumped bail."

Stephanie sets out to bring in her man, actually the guy she dated for a while in high school who is now a fugitive.

MORELLI: "Stephanie Plum? Vinnie sent you to bring me in?"
STEPHANIE: "You're going down, Morelli."
MORELLI: "You know what? You're sexy as hell."


Katherine Heigl, known for her role on the TV medical drama Grey's Anatomy and for numerous romantic comedies, dyed her blonde hair brunette and adopted an edgy "Jersey girl" attitude to play Stephanie.

"I think there's something about her that's really endearing," Heigl says. "She's a decent person with a big heart, and she is sort of fearless and courageous and perpetually puts herself in situations where she is just in over her head, but doesn't take herself or other people very seriously. She has this great perspective on life that happens to really funny and witty and charming as well.

"She's sort of that hapless heroine that you don't get a lot of," the actress adds. "You get the overly-perfect heroines that you can never aspire to be like, but Stephanie is sort of an everyday girl."

It was more than an everyday job for Heigl, who also produced the film based on the first Stephanie Plum novel published in 1994.

After being laid off, Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) becomes a bounty hunter in
After being laid off, Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) becomes a bounty hunter in "One For The Money."

"It was so important to me to keep the film really close to the book because that's what I fell in love with and that's what millions of people have fallen in love with in the One For The Money Stephanie Plum series," explains Heigl.

One For The Money could be expected to appeal mainly to female audiences, but Heigl thinks it reaches across gender lines.

"The murder-mystery storyline is kind of dark and little edgy and gives it a 'vibe' that is not purely 'chick-flick-ish.' I think it isn't just a girl's movie," she insists. " I think it's a good time for everyone, men included."

There are 18 novels in the Stephanie Plum seriesm, and if One For The Money is successful, Katherine Heigl hopes to put more of the books on film.

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