Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i respect katherine heigl

Katherine Heigl - the conflicting and inconsistent Izzie from Grey's Anatomy - has taken herself out of the Emmy race. And people are abusing their rights of misinterpretation to paint her as a bad guy. They (the media) did this last year when Heigl told Vanity Fair that she thought Knocked Up was sexist and also when she judged the adulterous decisions Izzie was making on Grey's. In her defense...

How monotonous have the Emmys become these past few years? Does James Spader really need to be nominated every year? Will Michael C. Hall ever get the recognition he deserves for Dexter? And why even have a Best Actor in a Comedy? Just give the award to Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock (and show highlights from his performances instead of wasting time by listing a bunch of underused actors). I think it's remarkably noble and adult of Heigl to note that her material this season hasn't been particularly meaty - for her as an actress, a lover of her art; not for her as an actress, a greedy spotlight hogging starlight. The death of Denny was the most heartbreaking moment of television in recent years, and I - who never cries - went through a box of tissues. Heigl's delivery of "I changed my dress three times. I wanted to look nice" won her the Emmy. Story-wise, Izzie risked her career and developed a strong relationship with a patient, and she was actually given varying degrees of emotion to portray throughout the season. However, this past season, Izzie was one-dimensional and took up an affair with her best friend that didn't play out realistically. I don't think Heigl is complaining or insulting her writers, and I certainly don't think she is ungrateful since Grey's landed her new success after Roswell. I think she was just being honest as an artist. She's already won an Emmy; why not let others have the spotlight? James Spader should take notice...

And I love Heigl for her honesty when regarding her characters. I think society wants actors and actresses (mostly actresses...) to remain mum on their characters in order to form judgments on their own. And while that is nice, I think there are too many people who confuse fiction with reality. How many times have actors playing 'bad guys' been spat on or yelled at on the streets? Watch The Tonight Show and watch how many actors share stories like this. For Heigl to come and judge Izzie's actions is like saying, "Although I play this character, I am not this character. I don't agree with or condone cheating, and I'm trying to find an understanding of how my character could do such a thing." Again, she's not insulting the writers (who maintain a post-show analysis blog) or judging anyone - other than her character. It's part of an actor's job to dig deep within a character in order to understand their motives. And if anyone thinks Knocked Up isn't sexist, well, you weren't paying attention. The females were high maintenance and complained most of the time, but the appropriate response is not "It's not sexist!" but rather "Well, the men didn't look too great either..." The male characters were mostly potheads! With derogatory language. And they were lazy.

Perhaps people are just threatened by Heigl. She's beautiful and smart. And she's not afraid of having an opinion. Finally. I've been looking for an actress I can admire.

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