Katherine Heigl on being blacklisted and its impact on her mental health

Jennifer Savin
·3-min read
Photo credit: J. Merritt - Getty Images
Photo credit: J. Merritt - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

If you cast your mind back to the mid-noughties, through to about 2010, it seemed that actress Katherine Heigl starred in pretty much every big rom-com going (Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, Life As We Know It...), as well as portraying a key character in popular medical drama, Grey's Anatomy. But then, following comments she made about some of her roles, things fell a little quiet for her.

In 2008, Katherine released a statement withdrawing her name from an Emmy nomination, saying the Grey's Anatomy scripts she'd been given didn't warrant the accolade, and she also criticised the way female characters were portrayed in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up. Now, the actress has spoken out about the impact all of that had on her mental health, as well as her career trajectory.

Talking to The Washington Post, Katherine said her reputation was severely damaged by the remarks. "I may have said a couple of things you didn't like, but then that escalated to 'she's ungrateful'... then that escalated to 'she's difficult' and that escalated to 'she's unprofessional,'" she explained. "What is your definition of difficult? Somebody with an opinion that you don't like? Now, I'm 42 and that shit pisses me off."

She also said that at the time she was told to keep quiet, but felt the need to apologise, only that the more she said sorry the worse the situation became.

Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images

"At the time, I was just quickly told to shut the fuck up," Katherine continued. "The more I said I was sorry, the more they wanted it... the more terrified and scared I was of doing something wrong, the more I came across like I had really done something horribly wrong."

The actress also got incredibly candid about the impact her blacklisting from Hollywood had on her mental health, saying she "deeply regrets" scaring her family after her peace of mind spiralled.

Katherine also shared that she asked her mother and husband to help her find a therapist, which was a real turning point for her, and that she's a fan of medication. "I asked my mom and husband to find me somewhere to go that could help me because I felt like I would rather be dead," she heartbreakingly recalled. "I didn't realise how much anxiety I was living with until I got so bad that I had to really seek help. You can do a lot of inner soul work, but I'm a big fan of Zoloft."

Thankfully, she added that she's in a much better place now and is a lot kinder to herself. "It's easier to be happy because I have a little more gentleness for myself."

Katherine's latest project, Firefly Lane, is coming to Netflix 2 February.

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