‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Drama Forced Katherine Heigl Into Therapy

Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy

Actress Katherine Heigl turned to therapy after behind-the-scenes tensions on the set of TV medical drama Grey’s Anatomy became too much.

The 37-year-old, who played Izzie Stevens in the ABC show, quit in 2010 amid rumours she was “difficult” to work with and reports suggesting her relationship with show creator Shonda Rhimes had soured.

Six years on, Katherine opened up about the off-screen drama during a chat with Howard Stern for his SiriusXM radio show, and she admitted the tensions on set left her seeking help.

“I had never done therapy until a couple years ago,” she confessed. “I started going because of the scrutiny. I was not handling it well. I was feeling completely like the biggest piece of s**t on the bottom of your shoe. I was really struggling with it and how to not take it all personally and not to feel that there’s something really deeply wrong with me.”

Problems began to arise for Katherine after she declined to put her name forward for a Best Actress Emmy nomination in 2008, claiming she wasn’t happy with her performance or the material she had been given.

The actress apologised to Shonda for her comments, but the pair clashed again months later when Katherine asked for more screen time.

“Yeah, it does feel a little dirty,” she admitted to Stern, “and then you feel selfish and then you feel like you’re not being fair somehow. But everybody has to look out for themselves… There are a lot of people. It’s a big show. And that’s, I think, what made it work so much too… I don’t even know how they kept that s**t straight.”

Even after Katherine left the show, the fear she might be seen as difficult remained with her as she pushed ahead with her film career.

“It was a weird time,” she said. “I remember doing this little independent movie and just being afraid to say anything about anything. I remember wearing shoes a size too small because I was afraid to tell wardrobe that they weren’t big enough because I didn’t want to be difficult. And after that, I was like, this is nonsense. Stop it.”