Katherine Heigl Discusses "Knocked Up," Josh Kelley, Grey's Anatomy & More
Katherine Heigl, whose new film, Knocked Up, opens on June 1, recently talked to USA Today about her own desires (or lack thereof) to become pregnant, as well as how she balances her career and personal life, what's next for her, the drama on the Grey's Anatomy set, and more.
USA Today: Ever thought you were knocked up?
Katherine Heigl: "No, I've never had a real pregnancy scare. I've had paranoid panic attacks. I've always been very, very careful because for me, it's not something I'd want to have just happen. I would like it to be planned. But there have been those moments where, if I'm just even half a day late, I'm like, ' What's going on?? Noooo! '"
USA Today: Your Knocked Up character has a truly gruesome birthing scene. And you were in the delivery room with your older sister, Meg. That at all impact your decision to have kids of your own?
Katherine Heigl: "Oh, yeah. I've always planned to adopt anyway, but that definitely reinforced my want to. I'm done with the whole idea of having my own children. (It) doesn't seem like any fun. I don't think it's necessary to go through all of that."
USA Today: Have you had a big, life-changing moment that caused you to grow up fast?
Katherine Heigl: I feel like a totally different person at 28 than I was at 21. I don't even recognize that naive person. I grew up a lot in the last five years. My engagement (last June, after a year of dating musician Josh Kelley) was a very altering moment, going from feeling footloose and fancy-free to "This is huge. This isn't just dating. This is my future husband." I'm ready for something like this now.
USA Today: Have you made wedding plans?
Katherine Heigl: Not yet. Isn't that depressing? I think we're trying to get our acts together and try to do this sooner rather than later. But it requires so much planning and thought if you want to have the kind of wedding I want to have.
USA Today: Would that be like the big splashy to-do thrown for Cristina and Burke in last Thursday's Grey's season finale?
Katherine Heigl: No, no. Nothing quite that serious. I want bridesmaids, but I want it to be more of a party. I want the wedding to be very intimate and small. I don't think we'll be married in a church. Probably somewhere scenic and beautiful. I'm a big black-tie/formal kind of gal and I love old Hollywood, so those are my ideas right now. Then it's just a matter of finding the time. I get two weeks off at Christmas, so that's a possibility. And then I wouldn't have time off again until next spring.
USA Today: You were raised in the Mormon church, but don't practice anymore?
Katherine Heigl: I haven't since I was about 19 or 20, when I moved to L.A. and was working a lot. I couldn't find a ward I was comfortable in. It kind of petered out mostly because of that. My good friends are Mormon, some of the best people I know.
USA Today: Your love interest in Knocked Up (directed by Judd Apatow of The 40-Year-Old Virgin fame), is an unemployed bum with slacker friends. How do you click with Josh's pals?
Katherine Heigl: Josh's friends are all musicians, so they don't just sit around getting stoned. They sit around making music. And that can be just as irritating sometimes. You're like, "Can we have a conversation?" (instead of) lyrics all the time?
USA Today: How do you balance your life with Josh with your hectic career?
Katherine Heigl: There's not a lot of balance. It's one extreme or the other. He is going to come and visit me (on the East Coast) while I'm filming (her next comedy feature, 27 Dresses). But there's not going to be time to just hang. As soon as the movie's over, I go right back to Grey's Anatomy.
USA Today: What has been the fallout of all the drama over that homophobic slur used by Isaiah Washington and you coming to the defense of T.R. Knight?
Katherine Heigl: "I was ultimately grateful that it opened up a dialogue. To me, I wasn't making a political stand. I was making a stand about hurting people's feelings. It's very simple in my mind. You do not actively seek to hurt other people's feelings. I don't care what their sexual orientation, race or gender. You don't do that. We are all human beings, part of the human race, and we need to be compassionate and giving and kind with one another. Enough Michael Richards. Enough with Mel Gibson. Enough with this. It's disgusting. The world is still very bigoted. Go see Borat. I didn't laugh during that movie. I cried. I was horrified."
USA Today: What do you think of Washington's PSA?
Katherine Heigl: "What PSA?"
USA Today: He just shot a public service announcement for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
Katherine Heigl: "Oh, he did? That was nice. To me, I don't live this every day the way both T.R. and Isaiah have to. I think it's their journey and their burden. I don't see Isaiah that much and don't have as many scenes with him, so I don't know what he's going through personally right now. I know that he was very ashamed and that was a necessary emotion to move forward and not backward. His attitude and behavior and thought process needed to change, and the only way to do that is to be self-aware and honest. And I think he was. I have forgiven."
USA Today: I couldn't help noticing that Knocked Up has a line of dialogue that twice includes versions of the word Washington used.
Katherine Heigl: Yeah. We shot that before (the Grey's Anatomy drama). Personally, I think it is language that needs to become obsolete. I hate to be righteous about it. I would prefer not to (use it).
USA Today: Do you hope to return to work with both T.R. and Isaiah?
Katherine Heigl: "I do. I think Isaiah very much values his job and his character, and he takes it all very seriously and he's very passionate about it. I'd hate to see him lose that, although I do think two strikes and you're out."
USA Today: He did already hit two strikes, with two separate uses of the slur.
Katherine Heigl: "There's been two. So if there's a third... you know. And T.R., that would be so stupid if he was written off. He's such a huge part of the show."
USA Today: We read those quotes in February about you being contractually obligated to return to Greys Anatomy despite your displeasure (over the raise).
Katherine Heigl: For me, that was never about me not wanting to play Izzie anymore. I want to play that character. I want to be there. So that was an unnecessary threat. I don't know why they did that.
USA Today: Has it all been worked out?
Katherine Heigl: No. It's sort of stagnant right now. I'm grateful the show's over (for the summer) so I can have a break. It's been a tough year for everybody.
USA Today: Kate Walsh's character is being spun off into the fall series Private Practice. It would have seemed natural to spin off your character after Izzie inherited the $8.7 million, which she donated to open a clinic.
Katherine Heigl: That's what I was hoping, actually. When Shonda Rhimes told us there was going to be a spinoff and Kate was going, I was like, "I wanna go. I wanna go do a spinoff, do something new." But I really love the idea of the spinoff; it could be really interesting. And Kate's so fabulous.
USA Today: So no bitter spinoff envy?
Katherine Heigl: Kate Walsh and I live right near each other, and what I'm going to miss most about her leaving is that we're not going to be on the same schedule (for) after-work drinks. That's going to bum me out.