Katherine Heigl had no choice but to address rumors of her "difficult" reputation today in front of a room full of reporters, and it was hard not to cringe.
The former Grey's Anatomy and Knocked Up star attended the TCA Press Tour in Beverly Hills to promote her new NBC series, State of Affairs, and reporters did not tread lightly when it came to asking about the rather unique status of her mother, Nancy Heigl, serving as an executive producer on the show, and also the reports that Katherine and her mother are "difficult to work with."
"I can only say that I certainly don't see myself as being difficult and I don't intend to be difficult," Heigl said after a long pause. "I don't think my mother sees herself as being difficult. I think it's always important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly. So if I have ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional."
When asked about a "recent interview" in which she stated that she had felt her career was not under her control, Heigl responded. "I don't know if I said my career wasn't in my control. I stopped challenging myself and I was making choices that I loved and was excited about. I love romantic comedies. I love film. I love watching them... But I stopped exercising different muscles of my ability and then in that moment, I felt I was sort of letting down my audience, wasn't challenging them either. I think this opportunity… It's an extraordinary role, opportunity and story... An opportunity to flex some certain muscles as an actor, performer and storyteller, I hope my audience will be excited about."
Heigl plays a "briefer" to the president (played by Alfre Woodard) on State of Affairs, a new high-stakes drama. She cited the great character and script for her wanting to do the show, adding, "Acting and performing has always felt like kids play to me. And producing felt like a grown-up job."
Heigl and her mother both serve as executive producers on State, which is certainly not the norm in Hollywood. When asked why her mother scored an EP role, Katherine cracked: "She bakes us cookies." And Nancy replied: "[Katherine and I] work as a partnership. I am her mother for sure, so of course I have her best interests, but I'm really learning. But it's been fun and it's been interesting. I'm really new to it."
Katherine also nodded to her new role as a mom while explaining why she took a break from her career: "I took a couple of years off to just really be with my family and be with my new daughter and expand my family. I needed that time. I needed to be a mom and be a wife and be a friend and revel in that. And remember what it is that I feel so passionate about in this industry."