Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sandra Oh and Anne Heche Duke It out in Dark Comedy 'Catfight'

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sandra Oh and Anne Heche Duke It out in Dark Comedy 'Catfight'

Article excerpt

Sandra Oh and Anne Heche battle in 'Catfight'


TORONTO - Sandra Oh and Anne Heche engage in some over-the-top, '80s-inspired brawling in the new movie "Catfight," but there's much deeper meaning behind the fists and insults that fly onscreen.

In the film, which hit digital and on-demand platforms on Friday, writer-director Onur Tukel seemingly marries his love of dark comedies like "Heathers" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors" with a flavour of retro action films starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Oh and Heche play a pair of one-time college friends whose lives diverged dramatically. Ashley (portrayed by Heche) is barely eking out a living as a struggling artist creating politically charged artworks, while Veronica (Oh) is living the high life as the wine-swilling wife of a wealthy businessman about to profit from a U.S.-led war in the Middle East.

When Veronica and Ashley reunite unexpectedly at a party, some tense exchanges quickly accelerate from biting barbs to a full-out stairwell brawl -- and an unlikely reversal of fortunes.

Oh, who hails from the Ottawa suburb of Nepean, said "Catfight" was shot in a brisk 16 days, leaving little wiggle room as she and Heche prepped for their knock-down, drag-out battle scenes.

"It was like choreography on the fly.... 'What do we have? We have this corner.' 'What can we do? Let's do this,'" Oh said during an interview alongside Heche at September's Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie premiered.

"The stunt doubles would do the first pass at it, and we would film them.... And we would learn what we would do, a few moves by a few moves.

"It was exhausting physically and it was exhausting emotionally, and also deeply fulfilling, because it was connecting to what we wanted to say."

The scraps between Veronica and Ashley are both comical and cutthroat but offer a commentary on the violence of a war that's referenced but never seen. …

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