Everybody knows Katherine Heigl’s story, right? Overnight success on Grey’s Anatomy, huge hit with Knocked Up, diva like behavior on set, stupid comments made to the press, a string of terrible movies, and now after a couple of years out of the spotlight, her comeback.
And, man, is the press insisting that that comeback be rocky. In a Q&A session with the Television Critics Association for her new NBC drama State of Affairs, Heigl was confronted about her past controversies. When asked if she felt in control of her career, Heigl responded:
I don’t know that I said I felt my career was not under my control. I think I said I felt I had stopped challenging myself and I was making choices that I loved, that I was excited about. I loved doing romantic comedies, I loved doing them and I loved watching them, but I stopped … exercising different muscles of my ability. And in that moment, I felt that I was sort of letting down my audience, that I wasn’t challenging them either.
And later concerning her reputation as being difficult to work with, she said:
I can’t really speak to that. I can only say that I certainly don’t see myself as being difficult. I would never intend to be difficult. I don’t think my mother sees herself as being difficult. We always … I think it’s important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly. If I’ve ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional.
While I think it’s a bit of a cop out to say she doesn’t see herself as difficult, she admittedly handles herself fairly well. She always seemed like she was saying mostly right things, but in such a terribly off putting way, you just couldn’t side with her. Was she right about too many comedies portraying women as the up tight control freaks and the guys as the fun and funny slackers? I’d say so. Should you accuse the movie you’re promoting of being sexist while on its promotional tour? Probably not. Should she have dumped all over her show the year after it won her an Emmy? Nope. Was she right that that show was terrible? Absolutely.
Which I don’t believe is at all unrelated. Grey’s Anatomy is our nation’s most regrettable crush. We fell for that show, and we fell hard. You can make fun of Heigl for taking herself out of the Emmy competition, but remember we’d given her the Best Supporting Actress award the previous year. It was perfect timing for us. Her career and therefore number of unfortunate comments were on the rise just as the show’s quality and our affection for it were dropping. It made it easy for us to hate her. She was too full of herself, she wasn’t as talented as she thought she was and we weren’t going to pay to see any of her awful movies. Heigl made a lot of mistakes, but none of them was bigger that being the most talked about star of a show the moment we decided it was bad.
It makes sense that we’d do that. Just don’t pretend you didn’t watch the hell out of that first season.