Katherine Heigl On Her Career’s Downward Spiral: ‘I Stopped Challenging Myself’

For a few years Katherine Heigl was the “it” girl. Following her sudden powerful status in Hollywood, Heigl cashed her fame and success in for biting the hand that fed her over and over again. Couple that with a few less than stellar romcoms and the Grey’s Anatomy star was no longer a viable name to a studio head. In fact, what was more damaging to her career than her failed high budget films was that she was cast as a difficult pariah — someone who just wasn’t worth the hassle.

Most of us had written the Emmy winner off as a television actress that let her sudden power in Hollywood get to her head, and ultimately burned out in result of that. According to Heigl that isn’t too far off from the truth. Now the actress is making her return to television with a new drama State of Affairs on NBC. To promote the show and her return back to Hollywood Heigl sat down with UK’s Marie Claire for another honest interview, but this time she’s eating some humble pie.

While she didn’t address the time she dissed the Grey’s staff when she complained she was “overworked” and yet not given enough material to submit herself for Emmy consideration, she did touch on a few points about her Hollywood legacy.

According to the Grey’s Anatomy’s star she over did it with the romcoms. While studios wanted to make her the next Julia Roberts, the blonde spitfire seemed to resent the label her genre was branding her with. She became a refreshing mouth piece for the media with her brutally honest sound bites, but that quickly backfired on her. Not only did she become the actress that was too outspoken, but during this time she still made romcoms, and as we stated before, not all of them were winners. Now 35, the actress seems to realize where her career went wrong.

“I had an amazing time. I love romantic comedies. But maybe I hit it a little too hard. I couldn’t say no. I stopped challenging myself. It became a bit by rote and, as a creative person, that can wear you down.”

Heigl instead focused on being a mother to her two daughters, and left Hollywood in the rearview for a more rural life in Utah. For the actress and dog activist it was a time to reflect on what she wanted out of her career.

“That was part of why I took that time off, to ask myself, ‘What do I want? What am I looking for?’ and shut down all the noise.”

Whether she’s on another apology tour or has gained some perspective, Heigl refers to the time where she became Hollywood’s tainted goods, not as the nature of the machine, but as a friend that turned on her.

“The thing that was my best friend for a long time suddenly turned on me. And I didn’t expect it. I was taken by surprise and angry at it for betraying me.”

She continued:

“I had a moment where, I don’t know, I was thinking, ‘Maybe open a knitting store, get my money out of retirement accounts and live off that, live off the land.’ I had my moment where it all seemed so complicated and all I wanted to do was simplify.”

It’s not yet known if her new show State of Affairs will look different from the unfortunate path she carved out for herself during her time at Grey’s Anatomy, but if there’s anything certain about Heigl is that she hasn’t lost all of her fire.

“There’s a part of me that’s a Hollywood animal as well.”

[Bing via NBC]