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Katherine Heigl is an American actress best known for her Emmy Award-winning role on Grey's Anatomy and starring role in the comedic film Knocked Up.
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First, Heigl publicly sided with friend T.R. Knight amidst a public dispute between Knight and Isaiah Washington, establishing a reputation as a candid person who was not afraid to speak her mind.
Heigl caught more heavy flak in late 2007, this time for statements that she made during an interview with Vanity Fair magazine. During the interview,
she called Grey's Anatomy storyline at the time "a ratings ploy" and professed her strong opposition to the portrayals of women in Knocked Up, in which she had a starring role: "[The film is] a little sexist," she told Vanity Fair. "It 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? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie."
Soon after the interview was published, Heigl was vilified by the press, called ungrateful, pretentious and the like by many critics. This criticism continued after Heigl withdrew herself from Emmy consideration in June 2008, explaining, ''I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination.'' Heigl left Grey's Anatomy in January 2010, terminating her contract early.
Even as her reputation as a diva spiraled out of control, Heigl continued to meet with both professional and personal success. From 2008 to 2010, she headlined four romantic comedies: 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Killers and Life as We Know It. But the actress is well aware of how fickle fame can be. As her mother has said, "This is a young woman's career, and the reality is that by 40 or 45, it will be a different career."
Heigl recently acquired the film rights to Janet Evanovitch's popular Stephanie Plum novels, and starred in the first installment of the series, One for the Money, in 2012. Additionally, she landed the lead role in an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's novel Outlander.
In 2009, Heigl and her husband adopted a special-needs baby from Korea named Nancy Leigh, who they nicknamed Naleigh. Since becoming a mother, Heigl has been more focused than ever on maintaining work-life balance. She also continues to work on balancing her natural assertion with the expectations surrounding her. "I've been told I'm too forthright with opinions," she once said of her personality, adding, "Well, do they want a fierce woman or milquetoast? Should I be me, or should I pretend to be something I think people want? Pretending seems pretty ridiculous to me. I didn't think that what I was was so bad that I needed to hide it."
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