Katherine Heigl has sort of become a cautionary tale for a lot of up and coming actors. One, you’re only as good as your last box office and, two, don’t be an asshole when you’re on top because if you ever become box office poison, people are going to be reluctant to work with you.
We haven’t seen much of Heigl in recent years. Ever since she went off on how sexist Knocked Up was, despite owing her film success to that movie, and removing herself from Emmy contention for Grey’s Anatomy because she thought the writing sucked, she’s been in fewer and fewer projects. That coupled with her overbearing and difficult to work with “momager,” Nancy, has made it impossible for her to find work. The Hollywood Reporter did a story on how it all happened and the rise and fall and potential rebirth of Heigl.
Not even five short years ago, Heigl commanded $12 million for a movie. Her 2009 romantic comedy The Ugly Truth pulled in more than $200 million worldwide. But her most recent effort, The Big Wedding, topped out at $21.8 million domestic with a paltry 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. To be fair, that was something of an ensemble effort with a cast that included Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton. Her most recent film before that, One for the Money, managed only $37 million worldwide with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 2 percent.
[...] 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.”
[...] There seems to be little doubt about Heigl’s talent, but still, not everyone is convinced that her television comeback will be successful. “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.’ ” But sources say NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt personally pushed for the deal. He declined comment.
Grey’s Anatomy wouldn’t take her back even though she expressed interest in returning in 2012. Heigl is now back to tv in a new series hoping to find success again.
Of course, not everyone has bad things to say about Heigl. Some supporters, including Greg Berlanti, says, “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.”
Obviously there are two sides to every story. This could just be a case of two type-A personalities butting heads. But if Heigl’s comments about her past projects are any indication, it may simply be because she’s an ungrateful asshat. It’s like being invited to an exclusive party and then turning around and publicly humiliating the person who brought you. Bad form, man. You’re supposed to that kind of stuff behind their backs like everyone else.