The Case For Katherine Heigl, Television Actress
America can hate Katherine Heigl for her mouthiness and her apparent lack of appreciation for the television series that brought her fame and multi-million dollar movie roles, but Grey's Anatomy has never needed Heigl more. George O'Malley has passed tragically into that elevator after world, the Mer-Der relationship flat lined with anticlimactic post-it note wedding vows and Shonda Rhimes revealed that she will be flooding the halls of Seattle Grace with new administrators and nurses while Ellen Pompeo is on maternity leave and Heigl is busy shooting rom-coms. Even with her spotty attendance and the fact that Izzie Stevens will probably be unconscious for half of this season's episodes, Katherine Heigl is the reason viewers will keep tuning into past-its-prime Grey's Anatomy.
You might think that Katherine Heigl is doing everything to extricate herself from her Grey's Anatomy contract so that she can cash in on a series of shallow rom-coms, but I think she is a PR genius. Her controversial statements have regularly landed her in headlines and steered the spotlight towards Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and her castmates for public rebuttals.
But Katherine Heigl is actually a skilled actress. Maybe it isn't apparent from her feature film turns as uptight, one-dimensional characters that turn giggly after finding love, but playing the role of Izzie Stevens successfully has required an amount of thespian depth that is not found that often on network television. Izzie Stevens is a beautiful ex-model who grew up in a trailer park, gave the child she had during her late teenage years up for adoption and worked her way through medical school only to deal with the sudden death of her fiancé and now the loss of her best friend.
Admittedly, Grey's Anatomy can drift into melodrama parody territory with its all-too-wise narration, its Tegan and Sara-heavy soundtrack and those hard lessons learned through patients' deaths, but Heigl has always given Izzie Stevens tremendous credibility. Sure, Ellen Pompeo can play the romantically vulnerable daughter of a top surgeon and a deadbeat father better than you can believe, but Katherine Heigl can play funny while dying from skin cancer.
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