Maybe it’s gossip sixth-sense. Maybe it’s just a lucky guess. But I’ve always known that Katherine Heigl is a piece of work. It’s not just “oh, she’s brassy and opinionated and THE MAN doesn’t like that.” Nope. She’s just unpleasant, greedy and rude. She alienates coworkers wherever she goes. She’s disloyal and narcissistic during interviews. Anyone who has ever dealt with her in a professional setting never wants to work with her again. And that says something, you know? If it was just an odd story here or there, you could say “well, it’s just a clash of personalities” or “that guy just doesn’t like sassy women.” Again, not so much. When it’s the overwhelming majority of people who have ever dealt with her, yeah… believe it. She’s not your sassy girlfriend. She’s just an unprofessional a—hole who gets it away with bad behavior because she’s a blonde America’s Sweetheart type.
So how bad has it gotten for Heigl? Pretty bad. So bad that she’s coming back to television after she flunked out of her big movie career. So bad that as soon as she got her hands on a TV project, all of her enemies have come out of the woodwork to bad-mouth her to The Hollywood Reporter. You can read the full piece here– it’s full of amazing Hollywood bitchery. Some highlights:
*Asked about the state of Heigl’s career, a top executive at a studio that made one of her movies says tartly, “I think she’s doing the perfect thing — going back to television.”
*[An] insider on the [Life As We Know It] recalls “desperately difficult situations” with Heigl, from casting to wardrobe and beyond. (Heigl, who was paid $12 million, didn’t have casting approval but insisted on exercising it, says this source.) “She can cost you time every single day of shooting,” says this person. “Wardrobe issues, not getting out of the trailer, questioning the script every single day. Even getting her deal closed at Warners was hard. She hit that point of ‘no.’ ”
*As has been the case since the days when Heigl was a child model, her mother was fiercely protective. “I have never experienced anything like Nancy Heigl,” says this source. “It’s about the mouth. ‘F— you. You are a f—ing 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. The frustrating part is [Heigl] is incredibly talented and smart.”
*Things began to go awry [in 2008]. Heigl had her first full-on starring role in the romantic comedy 27 Dresses, but in the Vanity Fair cover story to promote that film, she vented about the negative turn that her Grey’s character had taken. Izzie’s arc was “a ratings ploy,” she said, because the show was in its fourth season and “there’s not a lot of spontaneity left.” (The show is about to begin its 10th season). Heigl also disparaged Knocked Up, and the notion that she was not only ungrateful but disloyal began to take hold.
*Production had gone smoothly on 27 Dresses, says a high-level source involved in the film, until it was time to promote the picture overseas. “There were movie-star demands — big rooms, the mother there, all the stuff,” says this person. ” ‘We need the presidential suite at The Bristol!’ It was just a sense of entitlement. The biggest stars don’t do that kind of thing.” The prospect of working again with Heigl lost its allure.
*In June 2008, Heigl announced that she would not seek another Emmy for Grey’s, citing a desire “to maintain the integrity of the academy organization.” The show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, deflected questions about Heigl’s behavior at the time but told Oprah Winfrey in December 2012: “On some level, I was not surprised. When people show you who they are, believe them.”
*Predictions for her new show: “If you make your picks based on stable actors, it’d be a small list,” acknowledges a top television executive. But given Heigl’s reputation, he says a project would have to be blazing hot for a network to consider getting involved. A top producer at another network says there were reservations when Heigl’s name came up a few months ago for a project that had been greenlighted to pilot: “On many levels, she would have been perfect for the role, but all of us said, ‘She’s not worth it.’ ”
To be somewhat fair to her, I cut out some of the quotes showing support for Katherine, which were spaced out in between the tales of her entitled diva behavior and disloyalty. For what’s it worth, I do think part (PART not ALL) of the problem is Heigl’s mom and the people around Heigl – there are plenty of actors and actresses who act like huge d-bags on a regular basis, but you don’t hear about it as much because those actors have great teams of qualified people around them, protecting them and insulating them. Katherine doesn’t have that. But if she was serious about her career and about “changing,” you’d think that she would realize that she should put a better team in place to manage her career? And that’s what I come back to – because at the end of the day, Heigl is responsible for herself and her image and her team. If she hasn’t fired her mom yet, that means that she really hasn’t changed at all.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.