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Katherine Heigl Talks Grey's Anatomy, Movies, Marriage

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It wouldn't be a Katherine Heigl interview if it didn't involve some level of controversy, now would it? In a lengthy conversation with Vanity Fair, the Emmy-winning actress, who just turned 29, is as outspoken and honest as ever, even when it comes to deriding her own smash hit comedy from 2007 as "a little sexist."

Katherine Heigl says that Knocked Up "paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, some days. I'm playing such a bitch; why is she such a killjoy? Why is this how you're portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was amazing, but it was hard for me to love the movie."

Katherine Heigl: Pure Beauty
Katherine Heigl: Beautiful, and speaking her mind, as always.

As for Heigl's Grey's Anatomy character, Dr. Izzie Stevens, who began an affair with her married best friend, Dr. George O'Malley, last season, Katherine became concerned about her character's seemingly uncharacteristic actions:

"That was kind of a big change for Izzie, wasn't it, after she was so up on her moral high ground. They really hurt somebody, and they didn't seem to be taking a lot of responsibility for it. I have a really hard time with that kind of thing. I'm maybe a little too black-and-white about it. I don't really know Izzie very well right now. She's changed a lot. I'm trying to figure her out and keep her real."

Katherine Heigl is well aware of the commercial considerations that often drive such decisions, calling Gizzie (George and Izzie) "a ratings ploy... It was absolutely something that shocked people; it wasn't predictable, and people didn't see it coming. It's our fourth season; there's not a lot of spontaneity left. And business is business; I understand that, but I want there to be some cooperation between the business end and the creative end, so there's some way of keeping it real."

The January Vanity Fair hits newsstands nationally December 11. Follow the jump for more great Katherine Heigl photos and excerpts from this interview ....

ON BEING ASSERTIVE

In her personal life, as many of us know, Katherine Heigl is an assertive, impatient go-getter who quickly tired of waiting for her boyfriend [singer-songwriter Josh Kelley] to propose and demanded to know what his intentions were. She even went and picked out the diamond for her ring. "I'm not really a first-move kind of gal," she says. "I'm one of those women who always thinks it's better to play it cool and keep them wanting more, but I really threw myself at him. I broke the rules."

  • Katherine Heigl: Vanity Fair
  • Upside Down

ON HER UPCOMING MARRIAGE TO JOSH KELLEY

Katherine Heigl says she doesn't have any "grand illusions about marriage. I think it's a crap shoot. The odds are really bad, especially in this town. But I have a lot of faith in [Josh Kelley], and I wanted to have that one day when I stand in front of my friends and family and honor him and how important he is in my life. My career is really important, but there have to be other great things in life besides work."

ON THE MORMON INFLUENCE IN HER LIFE AFTER HER BROTHER'S DEATH:

"A couple of Mormon families were a great comfort [after the death of her brother when Katie was 7 years old]. My parents felt a great desire for answers, and they found an answer in the Mormon church ... or answers they could live with, anyway, because there really are none. I didn't really understand death, so it was very confusing for me. The worst part was watching the devastation of my family. They weren't the same anymore. Everything was kind of a mess. It wasn't like Ordinary People, where it destroyed that family so badly that there was never finding any joy or loving or appreciating being alive again. But I give my parents unbelievable credit for pulling it together, and I give the Mormon church a lot of credit for helping them to do that."

ON HER OLD-FASHIONED VALUES:

"I ... didn't want to live together before we were married. I still have enough Mormon in me ... not a lot, but enough ... that I wanted to keep that a little bit sacred."

A Katherine Heigl Photo

ON HER CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HER MOTHER, NANCY HEIGL:

"I talk to my mother every day, and I've always felt the need to defend or excuse my relationship with my mother. The men in my life can feel, 'I should be more important in your life than your mother.' A lot of men would have problems with that relationship, but Josh is unbelievably mature. He's really wise and really grounded. He was the first man in my life I could go to with a problem and feel confident that he would help me find a solution. For my mother, Josh is a relief, because at the end of the day, any good parent wants you to be happy, and Josh makes me happy. I laugh a lot more. I'm not as stressed out. My burden is lightened."

ON FINDING HAPPINESS:

"As women, we have more of a tendency to want to be people-pleasers, and I know a lot of women who are not vocal about what makes them happy. I was like that in my early 20s, but not anymore. I spent a lot of time not being clear about who I was and what was important to me. It's easy to be taken advantage of if you're not honest. I knew that dance of trying to please a man, trying to guess what they want you to be, and I got really tired of that, really confused and frustrated. I decided I was sick of trying to figure out what everybody else wanted, and I should just decide what I want, and be honest, and not spend all my time guessing. Josh is the first serious relationship I've ever had where I was like, This is me. From the moment I met him, I said, This is what I want and what I need."

Ride With Me

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

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Ratings ploy or not (and everything on that show is), I love Gizzie and hope they get a chance. Us Gizzie fans have been waiting forever for it to happen

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She did not call Gizzie a ratings ploy, to me, she was talking about how they happened, a drunken one-night stand after George had gotten just married. She said several times that Shonda had told her from the start Gizzie was going to get together one day and she loved the two as a couple, but she hated how they happened, the adultery part, she said so in an Australian magazine months ago. And TR has also said he loved Gizzie but hated the adultery. Even as a huge Gizzie fan, I know they had them happen in such a shocking way to get people's attention.

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She is one of my fave actresses because she is soo honest about a lot of stuff. It's hard to find someone like that in Hollywood but she isn't afraid of saying her mind and pissing a few people off.

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Katherine is so beautiful. Love these pictures.

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Absolutely love the pictures. And I really love her honesty. I know that most of y'all don't care for her but I think her opinions are understandable.

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)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith