[IMG:L]Katherine Heigl successfully made it down the aisle, but the woman she plays in the highly anticipated romantic comedy 27 Dresses has considerably more trouble, with a closet full of freakish bridesmaid frocks but not a wedding gown of her own. Never one to self-edit, Katie gives Hollywood.com the lowdown on her new flick, fills us in on her whirlwind year and offers an apology to Elton John.
Hollywood.com: You’re known for your direct, cut-the-bull attitude, but your 27 Dresses character Jane keeps her feelings all inside. Was that hard to connect to?
Katherine Heigl: I identified with aspects of her, she was an extreme, but I’ve met and known women like her. They have taken a back seat to what everyone else wants. They don’t really go after their own happiness. What I loved about Jane was the progression of her character. She starts out just a doormat. You understand why she doesn’t go after George. She’s his assistant, she works for him, and it would be unprofessional. At the same time it’s easier than proclaiming your love for somebody and being turned down. She’s sort of chosen the path of least resistance for herself.
[IMG:R]HW: So far people seem to be cool with your outspoken nature…
KH: Well, obviously I always tell it like it is. I think in terms of not wanting to hurt people’s feelings, the people you really care about that maybe what they need to hear is not what they need to hear in that moment. You kind of pick and choose your moments to be brutally honest. I think most women have been in a position of being a real people-pleaser at one time or another in their lives. I kind of got over that in my early 20s. If you couch how you feel too often then you are not really being true to yourself. You don’t know yourself or what you want.
HW: You became a full-fledged movie star in 2007. What has that experience been like for you?
KH: I think that the nature of my career certainly changed drastically. It seemed to happen all at once, so it was hard to keep a perspective on it. I think it’s just been the most gratifying and gracious year of my life–personally and professionally. I can only hope that 2008 is just as wonderful, maybe in a different way, because I’m scared to hope that it would be just as awesome as this year. I spent enough years napping a lot, doing nothing but watching Survivor, so I’ve kind of reserved energy. I’m good!
HW: How does being a movie star differ from being a TV star?
KH: Obviously way more people actually see the television show than they do the movie, so there is suddenly a huge fan base. That is super-exciting. It is always really nice that people actually watch your work and enjoy it. Knocked Up took it a different level in my career, as far as having a film career, and being able to star in a movie. People will actually take that chance on me. Then there is the constant press coverage, the constant paparazzi, and that kind of thing. That is very different now. No one used to care if I went to Ralph’s. I still don’t care.
[IMG:R]HW: Grey’s Anatomy has been focused on the “Gizzie” relationship this year. How did you feel about having another love interest named George in this film?
KH: It’s really funny because [27 Dresses director] Anne Fletcher said to me five weeks into filming, “Maybe we should change George’s name.” Because this whole season is going to be me and T.R. [Knight] and George and Izzie, so it’s kind of weird. I said, “You know, if it were T.R. playing this role I would say yeah, change the name. Since it’s not, we can work with it, and it’s totally fine.”
HW: You and James Marsden get to sing karaoke on top of a bar. Any real-life experience with that?
KH: It’s my favorite scene, it was the most fun to film, and one of those great fantasy fulfillment moments. There is no way in hell I would ever do such a thing, or get drunk enough to do such a thing. It was so fun to actually get to be that person for that day of filming. Jimmy is just stupid funny, so it made it really easy to play off of him. The only problem is that he can actually sing. He has a really great voice, which I thought was a really unfair advantage. I asked him to please work to sing badly, so that I didn’t look like such an idiot. It was a really long day but it never got old. Take after take it was just the most fun to do.
[IMG:R]HW: You really mangle the lyrics to “Benny and the Jets”! Were you just making them up as you went along?
KH: No, they wrote them like that and I think James had a little bit to do with influencing how that would happen. For me I was like “These aren’t them, are they? These aren’t the lyrics.” Somebody this morning brought in the actual lyrics and they make even less sense. I was like, “We should call Elton John–he has some hidden meanings in this that we don’t know.”
HW: With all this wedding movie hoopla, you just got back from your own honeymoon with Josh Kelley. What was the highlight?
KH: The best part? Ah, the Pina Coladas. Oh, my God. Cabo. The Esperanza and pina coladas. It doesn’t get any better!