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."
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 ....
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."
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:
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."