Katherine Heigl Sought Therapy After Being Branded Difficult Left Her Feeling Like ‘Biggest Piece Of S–t’
Katherine Heigl infamously criticized arguably the two biggest projects of her acting career – Grey’s Anatomy and Knocked Up – leading to a massive fall from grace that eventually caused her to seek therapy.
Katherine Heigl On Career Missteps
In 2008, Heigl withdrew her name from consideration for an Emmy nomination for her work on the fourth season of Grey’s Anatomy, and then released a statement that insinuated that Shonda Rhimes and the rest of the writers hadn’t given her material worthy of such an award:
“I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention. In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.”
Talking to Howard Stern this week, Heigl admitted that it was a mistake to have made her feelings about her part on the show at that time so public. “I didn’t feel good about my performance and there was a part of me that thought, because I had won the year before, that I needed juicy, dramatic, emotional material. I shouldn’t have said anything publicly but at the time, I didn’t think anybody would notice,” Heigl explained, adding that she immediately realized her error and apologized too Rhimes.
The year prior to the Emmy drama, Heigl had a starring role in Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen comedy Knocked Up, and subsequently dubbed the hit flick “a little sexist,” adding, “It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.” Though the full quote reveals that Heigl was talking about the nature of broad comedy, and that she also stated that the experience shooting the movie was “amazing” 98% of the time, everyone got stuck on the actress calling her own big movie “sexist.”
“I absolutely owe anyone an apology I unwittingly offended or disrespected,” Heigl told Stern. “I get it. It was an immature dumbass moment.”
Though Heigl was criticized for these media gaffes when they occurred, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that she received therapy for the backlash. The tipping point for Heigl came around the time that Rhimes admitted that she’d killed off characters on her shows played by people she didn’t like – and then eschewed candor and bluntly stated that she was no fan of Heigl’s.
“There are no Heigls in this situation. I don’t put up with bulls–t or nasty people,” Rhimes said, talking about her strict ‘no a–holes’ policy on Scandal and her other shows. “I don’t have time for it.”
After hearing the quotes and the media dissection that followed, Heigl was deeply affected. “I started going [to therapy] because of the scrutiny. I was not handling it well. I was feeling completely like the biggest piece of s–t on the bottom of your shoe,” Heigl told Stern. “I was really struggling with it and how to not take it all really personally and not to feel that there’s something really deeply wrong with me.”