In Defense of Katherine Heigl, a Proper Hollywood Diva

Courtney Enlow

With tonight’s premiere of State of Affairs, Katherine Heigl is back. And I for one hope hers will be a triumphant return to the Heigl we know and love — and that’s the Heigl almost no one loves.

I like my Heigl like I like my coffee — bitter and mean.

To paraphrase the great leader and philosopher Dark Helmet, Heigl will always triumph, because good is dumb. Sure, nice is important for nothings and nobodies like you and me. It’s integral to our society. But theirs is a different society, one of nonsense and shenanigans and the word “yes” and face creams made of infant foreskins. With a scant few exceptions (I would team this place apart if Tom Hanks was every anything but sunshine juice and unicorn fluff) nice famous people are boring and fake. That’s why old Hollywood was infinitely superior — no one was nice, everyone was terrible, and everything was amazing.

And that’s why I’m happy to have Katherine Heigl back in our lives. Because Julia Roberts can only do so much and I haven’t fully trusted Gwyneth Paltrow ever since that time she tried to be the singing version of Sandra Bullock. Our difficult actress supplies are dwindling, and who’s gonna step up? Lea Michele? SHE WISHES.

That is not to say Heigl wasn’t sometimes right, or wasn’t handed a somewhat unfair backlash. For better or worse, she spoke her mind. Sometimes she kind of had a point, like calling Knocked Up “a little sexist,” if not an ungrateful one rendered moot by cashing the check and doing a string of similarly female-unfriendly flicks. And sometimes she was just being passive aggressively hateful — and were you not entertained?

I mean, that statement where she withdrew herself from Emmy consideration? That was golden. That was incredible. That was hideous perfection and I loved it. We must revisit. For it is to good not to revisit:

I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention. In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.

I love it so much. I want it embroidered on a pillow that I don’t let my children sit near.

Then of course, there was that Hollywood Reporter piece last fall, detailing the terror she and her momager, Nancy, wreaked upon Hollywood:

But another insider on the project recalls “desperately difficult situations” with Heigl, from casting to wardrobe and beyond. (Heigl, who was paid $12 million, didn’t have casting approval but insisted on exercising it, says this source.) “She can cost you time every single day of shooting,” says this person. “Wardrobe issues, not getting out of the trailer, questioning the script every single day. Even getting her deal closed at Warners was hard. She hit that point of ’no.’”

Look. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like the idea of anyone upsetting Shonda Rimes and I will happily fight anyone who ever does it again. But a proper Hollywood diva is too good to give up and it’s so sadly rare in these heavily PR-ified times. To have someone so completely eschew any pretense of being the nice girl next door, the “just like us!” sweetheart who would totally be your friend, that’s amazing. I love it. I love her.

Because no one cares how nice a male actor is. They do with women. And for a woman in the industry be so brave as to serve bitch to a world expecting only passive sweetness, that’s fantastic.

So, we welcome you back, Katherine Heigl. With open arms that you’ll no doubt push away with a disgusted eye roll. ALWAYS BE YOU, HEIGS.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]