Katherine Heigl Talks About Fame, Grey's Anatomy, Down Time, Knitting, Etc.

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Katherine Heigl has been on camera since she was nine years old, but the flashbulbs have never been brighter for the Grey's Anatomy star.

Katherine Heigl: Famous and Happy
The 27-year-old blonde beauty, who plays Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens, said she's still adjusting to the challenges of fame. But she digs the perks: One acting gig helped Heigl find her fiance, singer-songwriter Josh Kelley. She was hired to star in his music video, and the two ended up engaged.

Kelley was by Heigl's side when she was honored recently by Cosmopolitan magazine. Editor Kate White hosted an intimate dinner to celebrate her appearance on the cover of December's issue. The actress' manager (who happens to be her mom) and co-stars T.R. Knight and Kate Walsh were also there to toast Heigl.

Katherine took time out to talk about the pressures and pleasures of celebrity in an interview with the Associated Press. Here's what she had to say:

AP: What's it like to become instantly famous?

KATHERINE HEIGL: It's weird. I've been doing this for so long and I always imagined what it might be like to have this success, but you can't really know what it will be like. The most pivotal point was at the "upfronts" (where broadcasters present programs to advertisers) in New York last year. People would come up to me and tell me how much they loved the show, and New Yorkers just don't do that! The excitement for the show was just unbelievable. I've been waiting 15 years for this kind of success and I'm just so grateful and really thrilled. It's definitely overwhelming at times.

AP: Is there a downside?

KATHERINE HEIGL: With all the magazines, there's so much access into people's personal lives. You feel watched all the time and it feels like you can't be yourself, like you can't go to the grocery store unless you're wearing a cute outfit and look perfect. But I feel like I'm learning how to live with it and be myself regardless of judgment or criticism. All I really care about are the people I love. It is overwhelming. I think it takes experience.

AP: What's it like to see yourself on the cover of Cosmopolitan?

KATHERINE HEIGL: This is huge for me. I've always read Cosmo and loved the covers, the fashion spreads and the sex advice. It feels sort of like an out-of-body experience, like it's happening to someone else.

AP: What do you think
Grey's Anatomy says to women?

KATHERINE HEIGL: I'm really grateful because the character I play is smart and ambitious. And not ambitious in a bad way, getting ahead at the expense of someone else. She's ambitious in her own self, pushing herself to be her best. The women on this show are independent, strong and career-driven. They're so supportive of one another, and that's an important message to put out into the world today. Every woman is an individual, interesting and inspired in her own right. I think they really push that theory in this show and I love that. I'm proud of that.

AP: Your character, who modeled lingerie to finance her medical training, struggles with the notion of beauty. How do you feel about it?

KATHERINE HEIGL: It's an interesting line to toe. I understand the desire and the need to look and be perfect in this industry. But I'm a real woman, a real size ... well I don't even know what size I am. Between 4 and 6, depending on the day. I am not perfect. I have my moments where I feel sexy and healthy, and then I have days when I just want to put on my sweats and not talk to anyone. Beauty is such a superficial thing. People only see your exterior and there's so much room for misjudging people based on how they look. All these beautiful, perfect people do not have beautiful, perfect lives. All these beautiful celebrities have the same pain and turmoil in their lives as I do. I think it's more important to be my personal best and put that out there.

AP: What's a typical day like?

KATHERINE HEIGL: Usually on Mondays our call time is 6 a.m. I live five minutes from work, so I'll wake up at 10 (minutes) to 6. Then I'll spend five, 12 to 14 hours on the set. The call times get progressively later during the week. Last night I worked until 2:30 a.m.

AP: How do you unwind when you're not working?

My life is either overwhelming or totally underwhelming. I'll have really busy weeks with work, photo shoots and interviews, and then I'll have a week where I'm not working that much. I have these big couches at home, so I can have my four dogs on my lap while I read a book. I knit a lot. When Josh is around, I want to spend time with him because we don't get to spend a lot of time together. We'll have a lazy, easygoing breakfast out, go to the movies, or go to a bar and have a drink. I don't go to a lot of clubs or concerts. Of course I go to his concerts! But otherwise it's calm stuff. I just like it to be relaxed.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


i love katie heigl! izzie is my favorite in grey's anatomy aside from george. i saw her in person a few weeks ago and she was very un-hollywood. not only is she beautiful (without any make-up on!), she is every bit as nice as the articles say about her. she was really sweet and friendly despite the fact that i was embarrasingly over-excited to meet her. thanks for making my day, katie! (^@,^)


Hey Jamie what movie on TBS was that...and what else has she been in? I would like to watch her in other things.


I love Katherine Heigl, she has been my favorite actress for five or six years now. Ever since I began to watch Roswell, and then her little movie on TBS, and then Grey's Anatomy now which I love. She's a very talented actress!


I agree about Katherine Heigl. I first saw her on the Hallmark channel on one of those period movies about the frontier. She was really good in it. She's great on Grey's though and I agree she seems very down to earth and natural. I read somewhere that George and Katie have a real brother/sister comraderie in real life as well as on the show. I love the playfulness between their characters.


Katherine looks great and she is not only good with the drama she is good with the comedy also. I love Izzy and George relationship they come across as really great friends.


I love Katherine see seems really down to earth.. I like her character... but I think I like what I have read and heard about her a person even more.
I hope she is the person she portrays.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.