Katherine Heigl is set on success for her new NBC drama, State of Affairs. But when Heigl and show producers answered questions at the Television Critics Association today, the focus quickly turned to the actress’ reputation as difficult to work with.
The rumors go back as far as 2008, when — as recounted by The Hollywood Reporter — Heigl pulled her name out of Emmy award consideration. The stated reason was not an altruistic view on the meaningless nature of award shows. Instead, Heigl said it was because Grey’s Anatomy was poorly written. That same year she also called Knocked Up, the film in which she starred, “sexist.”
More recently, however, Heigl has received support from some within the industry who say she is an asset to projects. Greg Berlanti, who directed Heigl in 2010’s Life As We Know It, said in September of last year:
“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.”
At the Television Critics Association event, however, blunt questions were asked not only about Heigl’s reputation, but the role of her mother and manager, Nancy Heigl, who is an executive producer on the series. Entertainment Weekly reports that show producers had to defend the elder Heigl’s role in the show. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said:
“[Nancy is] someone who has a strong opinion, but we’ve found her to be nothing but adamant to the process, and also Katie really relies on her in her life. It’s a real partnership that seems to work for both of them and it’s been great for us.”
As for Katherine Heigl, when faced point blank with the line of questioning, she was clear she did not share the opinion others expressed about her, or her mother. Apparently when Heigl was caught off guard by the question, State of Affairs showrunner Ed Bernero tried to step in and assist — only to have a reporter insist Katherine respond directly. Heigl said:
“I can only say that I certainly don’t see myself as being difficult. I would never intend to be difficult. I don’t think my mother sees herself as being difficult. We always… I think it’s important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly. If I’ve ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Katherine Heigl’s new series will debut in the fall and NBC has already ordered a full season of episodes.
[Image: Mike Coppola/Getty Images]