Katherine Heigl took the opportunity to address accusations that she’s a difficult actress to work with during her appearance at NBC’s Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday.
“I certainly don’t see myself as being difficult. I would never intend to be difficult,” Heigl said when asked to address rumors that have circulated for a few years now.
“I think it’s important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly, so if I’ve ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional.”
In September 2013 The Hollywood Reporter published an article in which several sources were quoted as saying that both Heigl and her mother Nancy were extremely difficult to work with.
“She can cost you time every single day of shooting,” an insider said. “Wardrobe issues, not getting out of the trailer, questioning the script every single day.”
The source went on to criticize Heigl’s mother:
“I have never experienced anything like Nancy Heigl … It’s about the mouth. ‘F— you. You are a f—ing liar.’ … Whatever you’d say, you were an idiot.”
Back in 2008 Heigl said that her mother managed “everything – finances, agents, lawyers, publicists, contacts with studios, producers, all of it.”
Heigl had nothing but praise for her mother:
“She didn’t care if she made any friends in this town. Her job was to protect me and to be very fierce in defending me. I always have one person saying, ‘If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to do it.’ … My mother was the only one who thought what I wanted was important.
She is really smart and really savvy, and she refuses to make choices based on fear. This is a fear-dominated industry; it’s about rise and fall, and my mother refuses to be intimidated by that. This is all a game of chicken, and my mother is really good at chicken.”
Not everyone agrees that Heigl is such a difficult actress to work with, including Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Brothers & Sisters) who directed her in Life as We Know It:
“I would work with her again in a heartbeat. She’s an amazing actress, and her in a TV show that’s a great idea and well executed would be something I would watch and would feel lucky to work on myself.”
Anthony Burns, who directed Heigl in the upcoming low-budget comedy North of Hell, defended both the actress and her mother:
“I’m from Texas. I like honesty and to be cool and have a beer and laugh, and they are most definitely like that.”
Burns described Heigl as “a good old girl who likes to speak her mind.”
Many believe that Heigl will attempt to restore her professional image with her recent return to the small screen.
“She’s really determined to put everything behind her,” said an unnamed studio executive. “The only way to do that is to go to work in film or television with good people and for those people to have good things to report back. And it’s not an overnight thing.”
— Katherine Heigl (@KatieHeigl) July 10, 2014
The small screen venture is NBC’s CIA drama titled State of Affairs. Heigl stars as an agent who is brought in from the field to be the president’s (played by Alfre Woodard) daily briefer.
And mother and daughter continue to work together: Heigl and Nancy are two of the executive producers of the series, which is set to air November 17.
— State of Affairs (@NBCStateAffairs) June 18, 2014
State of Affairs marks Heigl’s first television role since she starred as Dr. Izzie Stevens in Grey’s Anatomy from 2005 to 2010. Her work on the long-running ABC series made her a household name and earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Image via Wikimedia Commons