Film Close-Up: Katherine Heigl
Jan 18,2008 00:00 by Joey_Berlin

Katherine Heigl just had a great year, becoming a newlywed, a bigger television star and, finally, a movie star. She married singer Josh Kelley two days before Christmas, continued to play Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens on the hit TV show "Grey's Anatomy," and co-starred in the smash comedy "Knocked Up."

KATHERINE HEIGL - Katherine Heigl is radiant in a bridesmaid dress in the romantic comedy '27 Dresses.' CNS Photo courtesy of Barry Wetcher. 
Now Heigl gets to start the new year by headlining her own film, "27 Dresses."

It's a romantic comedy about a lovely young woman who has been 27 times a bridesmaid, and never a bride. Heigl's character is also secretly in love with her boss, the soon-to-be husband of her own sister.

The actress, who turns 30 this year, began her career early. During her childhood in New Canaan, Conn., her aunt snapped a few photos and got them into the right hands. Soon, the 9-year-old was signed to a top modeling agency and began appearing in magazines and television commercials.

In the early '90s, Hollywood came calling. Heigl appeared in Steven Soderbergh's acclaimed "King of the Hill" and worked steadily until her big breakthrough in 2005 with her starring role on "Grey's Anatomy."

Q: The dress you are wearing is beautiful. Who is it by?

A: Oscar de la Renta. I wish I could wear it every day for the next two weeks, but you would get sick of it.

Q: Do you have a memory of having to wear a particularly bad bridesmaid dress? And what was your favorite one in "27 Dresses?"

A: I haven't yet had to wear a terrible bridesmaid dress. My sister, who got married in October, was very considerate about her bridesmaid dresses. My best friend, who got married about eight years ago, was also very considerate. No one was trying to make us look bad, which was nice. My favorite of the movie's bridesmaid dresses was, well I have a couple, but the one in particular was the "Gone With the Wind" one. I felt very Scarlett O'Hara, which was fun for me.

Q: Do you have any personal memories of being a bridesmaid?

A: My sister got married in October and I was the maid of honor. That was the first time that I really had the role for real. I wished it had happened before I did the movie, actually. I would have had a better perspective on why my character, Jane, was so insane. It's a stressful role because you want to make sure that you take care of everything that needs to be taken care of, so that the bride herself will have an amazing day. It's also kind of a big honor because I adore my sister. The fact that she wanted me by her side that day was really important to me. But it's stressful. I wouldn't do it twice in a day, let alone every other weekend.

Q: Do you have any advice for a single woman who is always a bridesmaid, never a bride?

A: I met my fiance when I wasn't looking. I know that is a cliche thing to say. It doesn't really help all that much, because what does that even mean? I had sort of given up on the idea of marriage and family. I had a relationship that ended, I was really disappointed and I had all these high hopes. I just went, "Screw it." I had sort of given up on the concept of it and figured I could do it on my own. If I wanted to have a family, I could do it on my own. Then boom, I met this guy that I couldn't imagine living without. I think the more you want it, the more you are looking for it, the more you repel it for whatever reason. I don't know why. If you kind of create this vacuum, let life take its course, then you tend to free yourself up for the unexpected.

Q: What do you think is the secret to a great relationship?

A: I think laughter and communication. That is what really works for Josh and me.

Q: You have been on quite a roll lately, with the TV show and movies taking off. Did you notice your career enter another level after the summer?

A: I think that the nature of my career certainly changed drastically. It seemed to happen all at once, so it was hard to keep a perspective on it. I think it's just been the most gratifying and gracious year of my life, personally and professionally. I can only hope that 2008 is just as wonderful, maybe in a different way, because I'm scared to hope that it would be just as awesome as this year.

Q: What does a hit movie do differently for your career, than a hit TV show?

A: I don't know. I think that with the television show, obviously way more people actually see the television show than they do the movie, so there is suddenly a huge fan base. That is super exciting. It is always really nice that people actually watch your work and enjoy it. The movie took it to a different level in my career, as far as having a film career and being able to star in a movie. People will actually take that chance on me. Then there is the constant press coverage, the constant paparazzi, and that kind of thing. That is very different now. No one used to care if I went to a Ralph's grocery store. I still don't care.

Q: How do you manage your hectic schedule?

A: It's just been a very whirlwind year of work. That's been really exciting. I spent enough years napping a lot, doing nothing but watching "Survivor," so I've kind of reserved energy. I'm good.

Q: Finally, what shoes are you wearing with that dress?

A: Jimmy Choo.

Q: Are they your own?

A: No, no borrowed! I have to give them back.

© Copley News Service