LOS ANGELES — Topher Grace swears he met Kate Bosworth long before they arrived on the set of "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!!!," and it wasn't at some Hollywood party. The only problem is she doesn't seem to remember meeting him.
"Kate's younger than me," the 25-year-old "That '70s Show" star explained between takes on the set of the upcoming comedy. "I actually chaperoned a field trip that she was on when she was in sixth grade [and] I was in ninth. My younger sister was on a soccer team with her."
"I don't know [about that]," Kate said later, looking very much like she was trying hard to remember the forgotten details.
"[He must remember] more about that than I do," she added. "I spent about five years in a town in Connecticut that he grew up in, so we're kind of from the same town."
"And now we're playing opposite of each other in a movie," Grace said, smiling. "I hadn't seen [Bosworth's] 'Blue Crush,' so I rented it, and that's when I got excited about doing this film."
In "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!!!," the duo play supermarket employees in a small West Virginia town. Kate's character, Rosalee, lands a night in Los Angeles with a huge movie star, played by soap opera actor Josh Duhamel.
"Josh is awesome, man," Grace said. "Josh makes me so mad because he's a really funny, smart guy and he's that good-looking.
"He won a daytime Emmy," he added. "I didn't know this until I started working with him. He just kind of decided that he wasn't going to pursue that career ... and immediately [this movie] happened for him."
"When I read the script, I loved it," Duhamel offered. "I was eating breakfast, reading it, and literally curled over laughing in my chair at some of the stuff."
In the story, Tad eventually falls for Rosalee, who is also the subject of a crush long harbored by Grace's character, her supervisor at the grocery store. Written by television writer Victor Levin ("Mad About You") and directed by Robert Luketic ("Legally Blonde"), "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!!!" looks to pepper its romantic comedy yarn with a few jabs at Hollywood.
"[Today] we are shooting a scene where I first come to L.A. for the date with Tad," Bosworth said. "I'm staying at the W Hotel and I'm just kind of in awe of the whole L.A. wonderment of it all."
"[Tad Hamilton] has been doing a little too much drinking and skirt-chasing," Duhamel said. "In an effort to change that image, his managers talk him into [the contest]."
Sean Hayes plays one of Tad's managers, and between the "Will & Grace" star, Grace, Duhamel and the screenwriter, there's quite a bit of television experience floating around the set, despite the fact that "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!!!" is being made for the big screen.
"I've thought about that a lot, how some people say that television is a lot different," Grace acknowledged. "I remember being in 'Traffic' [and] asking Michael Douglas, because he was [originally] from [television's] 'The Streets of San Francisco,' which I loved. And he said something really smart to me, which is, 'You know, it's all just acting.' You're doing the same thing."
Although "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!!!" won't hit theaters until early next year, there will be plenty of places to see its stars — besides television — before then.
Grace will turn up alongside Julia Roberts and Kirsten Dunst in December's "Mona Lisa Smile" (see "Topher Grace Goes To All-Girls School With Kirsten Dunst"), while Bosworth has a role in next month's "Wonderland," a Val Kilmer-led drama based on the true story of a drug-related murder involving porn legend John Holmes.
Ryan J. Downey, with reporting by Nick ZanoNick Zano