Katherine Heigl would have “wanted” to “Grey’s Anatomy” because it was “so hard” to work with Shonda Rhimes, according to a new book


Katherine Heigl and Shonda Rhimes. Theo Wargo / NBCUniversal / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images / George Pimentel / Getty Images

  • Katherine Heigl reportedly found it “so difficult” to work with Shonda Rhimes on “Grey’s Anatomy”.

  • An anonymous source spoke to Lynette Rice for a revealing new book about life on the set of the drama.

  • Heigl said she “ambushed” the writers when she sadly removed her name from Emmy consideration.

  • Visit the Insider home page for more stories.

Former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl gained a reputation for being “picky” in Hollywood after her infamous 2010 exit from ABC’s hit medical drama, as Lynette Rice, editor-in-chief of Entertainment Weekly in “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy,” but according to the revealing book, there was more to the story behind his departure.

Rice spoke to several sources who chose to remain anonymous for “How to Save a Life.” A “person familiar with the situation” suggested that Rhimes shares some of the blame in the Heigl exit case. According to this source, the “big deal” was that Rhimes “felt like the star of the show and wanted the actors to become their own stars.”

Although it was suggested at the time that Heigl had quit the hit series because she wanted to pursue a career in film, Rice’s source said that was not exactly the case. “It had nothing to do with his film career,” the source told Rice. “She wanted to go out because it was so hard working with Shonda.”

The source said that while Heigl wasn’t always the easiest person to manage on set, they feel like “Katie had a rough deal” on how the situation turned out publicly.

A separate anonymous source, identified by Rice as a former ABC Studios executive, added that “there could have been a happy medium” where Heigl could have pursued a film career and continued “for six to eight episodes [a year]“on“ Grey’s Anatomy. ”But in the end, the series couldn’t find“ a great way to compromise the work schedule that doesn’t negatively affect the team or the cast, ”as Heigl put it in a post-release interview with Entertainment Weekly, according to the book.

“I think Steve McPherson and Shonda were so sick of it all, they just said, ‘Take her out,'” the former studio manager said, according to Rice.

Representatives for Rhimes and Heigl did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Rhimes and Heigl in 2006. Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Heigl expressed regret for some of the public drama between her and the writers of “Grey’s Anatomy”

Prior to his release, Heigl made headlines for his extremely candid comments on the quality of his plots on the series.

In 2008 – having already won an Emmy for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens the year before – Heigl told Entertainment Weekly in a statement that she had her name removed from Emmy consideration because she “didn’t think so. that I was given material “worthy of one of television’s most prestigious awards during that year’s eligibility period.” She also said she wished to “maintain the integrity of the academy’s organization.”

“How to save a life” recounts Heigl’s regret over the incident, which was seen as an affront to Rhimes. According to the book, she told Entertainment Weekly in 2010 that she “could have handled the situation with more grace” and addressed the matter privately with the writers of “Grey’s” without causing an “ambush.”

Heigl had also spoken about working conditions on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy” during a 2009 appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman”, calling the length of his work day “cruel and nasty” and saying that ‘she was speaking in hopes of “embarrassing” the powers that be in the series.

According to the book, Heigl also told Entertainment Weekly in 2010 that in retrospect, she was “embarrassed” by how “I looked whiny” during Letterman’s appearance.

Patrick Dempsey, Katherine Heigl, Shonda Rhimes

Heigl and Rhimes pose with Patrick Dempsey in 2005. “Grey’s Anatomy” (Photo by Carley Margolis / FilmMagic

“How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy,” now available, gives readers new details about life on the set of the hit drama.

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