The ever-outspoken actress is, well, speaking out in advance of New Year's Eve's release, and among the first topics she tackled while sitting down with Elle magazine was her decision not to conform to the stereotypical, people-pleasing actress M.O.—even when it looked as though she was headed that way.
"I've never really been America's sweetheart, but for a minute I think that's what they wanted me to be," the January covergirl told the magazine. "And I had 'em for a second thinking maybe I was."
So what went wrong?
"And then I opened my mouth, and it was very clear I wasn't."
"There's so much of my mother's caustic, sarcastic, irreverent take on things," she explained. "But I also love and embrace it. I look at some of what I had to say, and I'm like, 'Oh my God, I would tell myself to shut up too.'"
Still, her deviation from a cookie-cutter career does have its drawbacks, and chief among them are her critics—often every bit as vocal as the star herself.
"I think it's a female thing. I'm just that a--hole who really wants everyone to like me, and it's a ridiculous goal and it's an impossible goal. But I think if I keep pushing forward and showing myself through and through, they will see me again for what I really am and what has been sort of spun about me."
Meanwhile, in her quest to get the spin respun, Heigl also sat down with Cosmopolitan's U.K. edition, where she drove home the point and owned up to her own part in it.
"Hollywood likes to label everyone so you're easier to identify," she said. "I didn't mind it; I got mouthy, the way a child does when you celebrate them for something. The mouthier I got, the more I'd be celebrated. I was like, 'You think that's outspoken? How about this…' Then it bit me in the hand."
Though, seeing as how she's about to open a star-studded movie, we'd say her tell-it-like-it-is outspokenness aside, she's still done pretty well for herself.