Years after being branded as "difficult" following her sudden exit from Grey's Anatomy, Katherine Heigl is looking back at the scandal with grace and maturity.
The actress, 43, recently reunited with her Grey's co-star Ellen Pompeo – the Meredith Grey to her Izzie Stevens – and opened up about her highly-publicized, and criticized, opinions on the long running Shonda Rhimes series.
The star appeared in the medical drama for over 100 episodes from its inaugural season in 2005 until halfway to its sixth in 2010, when she left the series halfway through filming the sixth season.
However, her relationship with the show and its creator began to sour in 2008.
The year prior, Katherine had won an Emmy for her performance on Grey's, but made headlines ahead of the following year's awards when she decided not to submit her performance for consideration.
"I didn't feel good about my performance and there was a part of me that thought, because I had won the year before, that I needed juicy, dramatic, emotional material," she told Howard Stern in 2016, adding: "At the time, I didn't think anyone would notice… I just quietly didn't submit and then it became a story."
Shortly before exiting the show in 2010, Katherine once again came under fire when she called out the intense work hours required for the Grey's cast and crew.
During a 2009 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, she told the host: "I'm gonna keep saying this 'cause I hope it embarrasses them," revealing they were working up to 17 hours a day, which she described as being "cruel and mean."
Five years later in 2014, Shonda went viral for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter promoting her other hit show, Scandal. When discussing the smooth production and tight-knit cast, she shocked fans when she said: "There are no Heigls in this situation," maintaining she has a "no assholes policy," and that: "I don't put up with [expletive] or nasty people. I don't have time for it."
Katherine responded to her comments via Extra, telling Mario Lopez: "I am sorry that she feels that way and I wish her nothing but greatness and I have nothing negative to say about [her]. I'm a big fan of her work," and that: "I watch Scandal every week and so I'm sorry she's left with such a crappy impression of me. I wish I could do something to change that. Maybe I will be able to someday."
In the aforementioned 2016 interview with Howard Stern, Katherine revealed she apologized to Shonda, sharing that she told the famous producer: "That wasn't cool, and I should not have said that. And I shouldn't have said anything publicly."
The Firefly Lane actress opened up again about the controversies in her Actors on Actors feature on Variety, where, reuniting on-screen with Ellen, she said: "I got on my soapbox and I had some things to say, and I felt really passionate about this stuff," adding: "I felt so strongly that I also got a megaphone out on my soapbox. There was no part of me that imagined a bad reaction."
"It's really disconcerting when you feel like you have really displeased everybody. It was not my intention to do so, but I had some things to say, and I didn’t think I was going to get such a strong reaction," she said.
She admitted her approach to her concerns with Grey's was "naïve," and that ultimately: "I know there's a better way to deal with those things than I did."
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