Former Grey’s Anatomy Star Katherine Heigl Struggles To Leave Behind “Diva” Reputation

Katherine Heigl, known best for her work as Grey’s Anatomy Dr. Isobel Stevens, is now trying to shed her reputation as being a diva in time to promote her new show, State of Affairs.

Heigl left Grey’s Anatomy in 2010. At that time, Heigl claimed that she left because she didn’t like the writing Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, was producing for Heigl’s character. In fact, Heigl’s contention with the show ran so deeply that she actually withdrew her name from the Emmy nomination pool, stating bluntly: “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 initially tried to minimize the damage her dramatics on Grey’s created by saying, at first, that she had left the television series to concentrate on her movie career…but it soon became apparent that Heigl was an even bigger diva on the big screen. In fact, the situation may have been worse, since now cast and crew didn’t have to simply put up with Heigl – they had to deal with her “momager” Nancy, as well. One source told The Hollywood Reporter that “I have never experienced anything like Nancy Heigl. It’s about the mouth. ‘F**k you. You are a f**king liar’ … Whatever you’d say, you were an idiot. The call would be, ‘This is the worst craft service we’ve ever had! There’s nothing to eat! This is the worst wardrobe!’ You knew that every day, you were going to get slammed.”

Another insider claimed frankly that working with Heigl was a daily struggle on set: “She can cost you time every single day of shooting. Wardrobe issues, not getting out of the trailer, questioning the script every single day.”

Now Heigl is claiming that the reason she left Grey’s Anatomy and acting in general was because she felt as though her “priorities were messed up.” She and her husband had adopted a child, and, as a mother, Heigl felt as though her career was taking up too much of her time, that family wasn’t coming first. As Heigl told Good Housekeeping,“I would come home angry and frustrated that I’d missed everything with my kid that day. I didn’t get to wake her up from her nap, or do bath time or bedtime. I’d have to sneak into her room and kiss her when she was sleeping, hoping not to wake her up.”

In 2012, Heigl and her husband adopted a second child, and by that point, Heigl was mainly staying at home with her two daughters full-time.

But despite her solid reputation as a hard-to-handle diva, as well as her own claims that she chose to focus on family rather than career, Katherine Heigl has landed a starring role as top CIA analyst Charleston Tucker on NBC’s new show State of Affairs. So why this sudden return to television?

According to Heigl herself, “It’s because it’s an extraordinary role, it’s an extraordinary opportunity, and an extraordinary story, and it’s an opportunity for me to flex some different muscles and show a different side of myself as an actor and a performer and a storyteller that I hope my audience will be excited about and love.”

No matter what the reason for her return to acting, Katherine Heigl is certainly trying to implement some damage control over her problematic reputation of being a complete diva. And for those who may be wondering…yes, Katherine Heigl’s momager Nancy will be on set for State of Affairs…she and daughter Katherine both have roles as executive producers.

Good luck, NBC!

[Image via NBC]