'Grey's Anatomy': Katherine Heigl Wishes She Could Change Shonda Rhimes 'Crappy Impression' of Her

Former Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl was at the height of her career in the mid-2000s. The ABC medical drama put her on the map in a big way, and she ended up winning an Emmy for her role of Izzy Stevens.

Her massive success led to film roles, including the 2007 comedy Knocked Up. But Heigl’s public complaining and difficult reputation ended up nuking her career.

The former ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star publicly trashed ‘Knocked Up’

After winning her Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Grey’s Anatomy, Heigl starred alongside Seth Rogen in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up. But in a January 2008 interview for the cover story of Vanity Fair, Heigl publicly trashed the film.

Heigl explained that 98 percent of the time, making the comedy was an “amazing experience.” But she confessed that it was “hard” for her to “love the movie.”

“It was a little sexist,” she said at the time. “[The ovie] 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, on some days. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women?”

Katherine Heigl also insulted the writers of the ABC medical drama

Just six months after the Vanity Fair article, Heigl turned down Emmy consideration for her performance in Grey’s Anatomy. According to The New York Times, Heigl blamed the writers for her decision, and she called them out publicly.

“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,” Heigl said in a statement. “In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.”

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ planned to give Katherine Heigl a farewell episode

Heigl’s comments didn’t sit well with Grey’s Anatomy producers and writers, and by 2010 both sides were ready to part ways. According to showrunner Krista Vernoff, they had planned to give Heigl’s character a farewell episode. But, that was before she consistently failed to show up for work.

“There was a resolution to Izzie’s story. We had planned to have her come back for an episode to really properly tie up Izzie and Alex (Justin Chambers),” Vernoff told Vanity Fair in 2020. “And I wrote that episode, and it was beautiful. The day before it was supposed to start prepping or shooting, I can’t remember, we got a call that Katie wasn’t coming. Just wasn’t coming. Wasn’t going to do it.”

An insider claims Krista Vernoff is ‘mistaken’

Vernoff claimed that she spent “multiple nights” rewriting the script to account for Heigl’s absence. She didn’t admit all of this to “bash” Heigl. But, Vernoff says that all she knows is that she got a phone call the night before saying the actor wasn’t coming.

But according to a source close to Heigl, that’s not what happened. The insider claims that Vernoff’s account “isn’t true” and she is “mistaken.” The source claims that Heigl was back in Los Angeles after taking parental leave when she adopted her daughter. Apparently, Heigl was “waiting to be called to set.”

The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star wishes she could change Shonda Rhimes ‘crappy impression’ of her

When Heigl left Grey’s Anatomy, she said in an interview that she told creator Shonda Rhimes that her priorities had changed after adopting her daughter and she wanted to leave the series. She says the reports that she refused to return were “totally untrue.”

Years after the controversy, Heigl admitted that she wished things wouldn’t have happened the way that they did. After Rhimes made a comment that there were “no Heigls” on the set of her series Scandal, Heigl said “it sucks” that Rhimes felt that way.

“I am sorry that she feels that way, and I wish her nothing but greatness, and I have nothing negative to say about Shonda,” Heigl said. “I’m sorry she’s left with such a crappy impression of me. I wish I could do something to change that. Maybe I will be able to someday.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights on ABC.

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