Should we accept Katherine Heigl's apology?
In this, the Christian Holy Week, here comes a magazine cover shot of Katherine Heigl looking as repentant and hopeful for resurrection as a congregant on Easter Sunday.
Entertainment Weekly has placed a provocative image of the now former "Grey's Anatomy" star on the front of its current issue. Her hands are pressed together in prayer, and next to her now dark brown locks, a prominently-fonted headline reads: 'I'm Sorry.'
What's Heigl -- who earlier this month abruptly ended her six-year stint on ABC's sudsy medical drama -- sorry for? Mostly for sounding ungrateful on numerous occasions in recent years. Like that time in 2008 when she dissed the "Grey's" writers by announcing that she didn't submit her name for Emmy consideration because, "I did not feel I was given the material this season to warrant a nomination." Or the time when she criticized former "Knocked Up" co-workers Judd Apatow and co. for making a movie that "paints women as shrews." Or that other time when she complained to David Letterman about working long hours on the "Grey's" set (see video below).
As Heigl tells EW's Michael Ausiello:
"The ungrateful thing bothers me the most. And that is my fault. I allowed myself to be perceived that way because I was being whiny and I was griping and because I made these snarky comments. So much about living life, to me, is about humility and gratitude. And I've tried very hard to have those qualities and be that person and I’m just so disappointed in myself that I allowed it to slip."
In the complete version of the article -- only available in the hard copy version of EW -- she also talks about how she doesn't always know how to filter her comments and keep things to herself. Now, she says, she's learned.
So should we accept Heigl's apology, assuming you care enough about anything vaguely "Grey's Anatomy"-related to feel you deserve a mea culpa?
Clearly there is probably more than a little self-interest going on here. Heigl is attempting to embark on a feature-film-only career now, and she's got several upcoming projects hitting theaters soon -- including "Killers" with Ashton Kutcher, releasing in June -- as well as a role as Stephanie Plum in the adaptation of Janet Evanovich's "One for the Money," which, if successful, could become a franchise based on the number of Plum novels (15) in existence. The girl needs some goodwill from the public if she wants to win 'em over at the box office.
At the same time, I can kind of understand where she's coming from. Remember, when Heigl first started speaking her mind -- particularly during Isaiahgate, that whole mess involving then-fellow cast member Isaiah Washington and the inappropriate name he called T.R. Knight -- she was praised for having the guts to express herself instead of playing it safe. It's when she started to sound like an entitled, overpaid, prima donna actress that she had problems.
And on that point, let me just say this. I know how it is to, as Heigl says, not always filter your comments. Who among us hasn't whined about something when, really, it would have been better to keep our mouths clamped closed? The difference is that we're generally not chatting it up with David Letterman or some reporter on the red carpet while we're doing it.
So maybe she really does feel badly about her lack of graciousness in the past. And maybe she really does want to change that part of herself. That's fine. Honestly, I'm not going to judge Heigl on that point either way. I'm more interested in gauging her as an actress, based on what parts she chooses to take on going forward and how she grows -- or doesn't -- as a performer. There are lots of ways to prove one's integrity. And hopefully Heigl knows that her movie choices will speak volumes about that, more than any fleeting, apologetic magazine cover ever will.
| March 30, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
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