Since her film career lost momentum, Katherine Heigl is returning to TV in a CIA drama for NBC, but the actress' bad reputation might still wreak havoc on her attempted comeback.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to various producers who have worked with Heigl over the years and it seems like it's going to be an uphill battle for her to win the industry over again.
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Heigl has repeatedly come under fire for difficult behavior on set, as well as publicly complaining about her own projects. After the success of her first hit film, Knocked Up, Heigl slammed the project as "sexist." In 2008, Heigl, who won an Emmy the year prior, took herself out of the Emmy race because she claimed that the Grey's Anatomy writers didn't give her good enough material. She left the show two years later, and last December, Grey's boss Shonda Rhimes said of Heigl: "When people show you who they are, believe them."
One network producer recalled to THR the recent hesitation that arose when Heigl was suggested for a pilot that had been green-lit. "On many levels, she would have been perfect for the role, but all of us said, 'She's not worth it,'" the insider said.
However, not everyone in Hollywood is against Heigl. Greg Berlanti, who directed Heigl in Life as We Know It said, "I would work with her again in a heartbeat. She's an amazing actress, and her in a TV show that's a great idea and well executed would be something I would watch and would feel lucky to work on myself."
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An insider on the film recalls a different story, telling THR that Heigl created "desperately difficult situations" while on set."She can cost you time every single day of shooting," the source said. "Wardrobe issues, not getting out of the trailer, questioning the script every single day. Even getting her deal closed at [Warner Bros.] was hard. She hit that point of 'no.'"
That doesn't mean that all is lost for Heigl. According to a source close to the actress, Heigl is committed to rebuilding her career and image. "She's really determined to put everything behind her," this insider told THR. "The only way to do that is to go to work in film or television with good people and for those people to have good things to report back. And it's not an overnight thing." And while the industry might still have reservations about the actress, "There's a really loyal, huge fan base that's waiting to see her," the source added.