Katherine Heigl

Two decades of hard work have paid off for Katherine Heigl, who’s now a double-threat with a TV smash (Grey’s Anatomy) and a huge release (Knocked Up).

Now, all she has to do is deal with COED.

So, Katherine Heigl – how many times has your name been butchered?
Ugh. I get Kathy, Kat, Kit-Kat … you know, I have no problem with the name Kathy, but it’s definitely not my name. I get Kathleen and, weirdly, when I was younger, I got Heidi a lot. One person used to call me Heidi Kagel.

Here’s a weird question to ask with certain people in the room….

Have I had sex? [Laughs]

Do you like working so closely with your mom?
I think people generalize a working relationship like ours, especially because it involves a mother and daughter. I think what distinguishes the relationship I have with my mother from the typical stage mom is that this is something that she never pushed me into or wanted me to do. It happened very randomly … my aunt had taken some pictures of my sister and me for a hair product for girls, and my mom was really blas’ about the whole modeling idea. And it just grew from there. I really wanted to do it; I wanted to be the center of attention; I was the youngest child; I love having my picture taken. And my mother, right after a big family tragedy [see sidebar], she thought it would be something to distract me.

Where do most people recognize you from?
Now, it’s Grey’s Anatomy. Before that, it was from My Father the Hero, a movie I did 10 years ago.

My co-worker loves that movie. In fact, she wrote you a fan letter 10 years ago, and you replied. Here it is.
[Takes photo] Oh my God! That’s hilarious.

It has your home address in New Canaan (CT) on it.
I’m actually not allowed to answer my fan mail anymore. Isn’t that sad? I’m not supposed to reply or even look at it, even if a 10-year-old girl writes me, because of all of the fanatics out there. I’ve had stalkers, too.

Did you like growing up in New Canaan?
It’s a beautiful New England town, and I had some great friends there. It obviously had its issues, but … Hemingway had this quote that I’ll always remember, it was something about “broad lawns and small minds.” And that was very much the people in Connecticut.

Do you remember anything about My Father the Hero?
Of course! It was my first real-big film experience. It was three months in the Bahamas, working with a boy 10 years older than I was. He was my love interest. That was beautiful, too. It was an ideal experience.

What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever been involved with?
I think it’s been an independent film I did called Zyzzyx Road. I got to play two characters. One was a very Lolita-esque 16-year-old … The idea of playing someone that young with that unbridled sexuality was kind of really fun.

Your life is fun and all, but did you ever think about college?
I used to visit my friends in college, and I’d be, like, “Oh, I wish I’d gone to college.” Then, after about a day and a half, I’d be like “Thank, god, I didn’t go to college.” Recently, I was in New Haven, and I realized how beautiful Yale was, and I realized I had missed something. But I would have wanted it to have been that experience, at Yale, with those people and at that school. And I don’t think that was ever going to happen.

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