Katherine Heigl wondered if she was a “bad person” after refusing to put herself forward for an Emmy Award.
The 44-year-old actress won the coveted TV accolade for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on ABC medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in 2007 but did not want to be considered again the following year because she “did not feel that [she] was given the material to warrant” such a prize and has now reflected that it took her several years to come to terms with her decision.
Speaking in an episode of Variey’s ‘Actors on Actors’ with former co-star Ellen Pompeo, she said: “There was no part of me that imagined a bad reaction. I felt really justified in how I felt about it and where I was coming from. I’ve spent most of my life — I think most women do — being in that people-pleasing mode. It’s really disconcerting when you feel like you have really displeased everybody. It was not my intention to do so, but I had some things to say, and I didn’t think I was going to get such a strong reaction.
“It took me until probably my mid- to late-30s to really get back to tuning out all of the noise and going, ‘But who are you? Are you this bad person? Are you ungrateful? Are you unprofessional? Are you difficult?’ Because I was confused! I thought maybe I was. I literally believed that version, and felt such shame for such a long time, and then had to go, ‘Wait. Who am I listening to? I’m not even listening to myself. I know who I am.'”
Katherine went on to explain that she was suffering from anxiety at the time and admitted that the whole time was “all a bit of a blur” for her but in the years since has learned how to “work” on her mental health.
She added: “I was just vibrating at way too high of a level of anxiety. For me, it’s all a bit of a blur, and it took me years to learn how to deal with that, to master it. I can’t even say that I’ve mastered it, but to even know to work on it, that anxiety and fear — and stress is stress. And if you leave stress too long, unmanaged and unaddressed, it can be debilitating.”