For five years, between 2005 and 2010, Katherine Heigl brushed the Hollywood sky. The American actress, then 27 years old (she is now 41), put on Dr. Izzie Stevens’s gown at Grey’s Anatomy and went from being almost a complete unknown to one of the most famous and beloved faces on the small screen.
Her mixture of strength and sweetness, accompanied by incessant dramas that put her in extreme situations, even made her worthy of an Emmy award. However, after five years of falling in love with the public, the actress, exhausted and fed up with the working conditions of the series, decided to leave it. Though viewers have called for her return countless times for over a decade, Shonda Rhimes, the almighty creator of the series, has not allowed the star who once criticized her methods to step foot in the corridors of the famous fictional hospital again.
Heigl’s complaints a decade ago, which also affected his films (he went so far as to say that Slightly pregnant was “a little sexist” in the midst of promoting the film), they separated her from the industry: far from considering her a spokesperson for its abuses, she described her as a “difficult” star and with whom it was better not to work, because “no it was worth it.” After a handful of successful romantic comedies and in an era in which women who raised their voices were trampled on instead of, like today, raised to the heights, it fell into a certain oblivion, into an apathy of projects. However, now the figure of him seems to be looking to be recovered. And no one to redeem her as her co-star in Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo, the main star of the series and who has been giving life to Meredith Gray for more than 400 episodes.
Last September, the actress launched a podcast called Tell me with Ellen Pompeo in which, in episodes between 40 minutes and an hour long, he chats with friends, colleagues and characters from the entertainment industry. In it, she invited Patrick Dempsey (who played her husband, Dr. Derek Sheperd, in the famous medical series), the model Cindy Crawford, the basketball star Dwyane Wade, the philanthropist Melinda French Gates and, in the last episode, the actress Kate Walsh, who also went through Grey’s Anatomy to play Allison Sheperd, her husband’s ex-wife. It was in that chapter where Pompeo spoke of Heigl to acknowledge that she, at her time, was brave to step forward and be clear with an industry that is not always as idyllic as it seems.
“I remember Heigl on a TV show saying something about the insane number of hours we were working, and he was 100 percent right.”Pompeo commented on the podcast posted on April 20, referencing an appearance by Heigl on The David Letterman Show in 2009 where he clearly raised his voice, explaining that the show’s crew worked “17 hours a day,” something he considered “cruel and cruel.” evil” and before which he did not intend to shut up.
“If she had said it today, she would be an absolute hero. But it was ahead of his time. She made a statement about those crazy hours and, of course, let’s all go beat a woman to dust and call her ungrateful, ”said Pompeo on the podcast.. “He was telling the truth, he wasn’t lying,” she says now, more than ten years after Heigl’s backdoor exit.
The departure of the actress left a big gap in the series, where she had become one of the most beloved characters and with the most interesting plots, although in her last seasons she herself explained that the level of her role was lower and she decided to reject nominations for the Emmy Awards. As she recounted years later, that accumulated stress reached a turning point in 2009, when she and her husband, musician Josh Kelley, had her first child, a girl they adopted from South Korea (they now have three). In an interview with the newspaper The Daily Telegraph He said that “forming a family changed everything”. “That changed my desire to work full time. I became a mother and it changed my whole perspective. It was really the turning point.”
During years, Heigl was removed from the industry for being considered difficult to work with. Advertisers and those who worked with her described her as capricious and controlling, and complained about her mother’s powerful influence on her work. The actress explained in an interview with Washington Post that this led to anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. In other statements she said five years ago that she had needed to go to therapy to cope with criticism: “I didn’t handle it well. I felt like the ultimate shit.”