Katherine Heigl as Isobel 'izzie' Stevens, Grey's Anatomy

Throughout its 19 seasons (and counting), ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ has seen the departure of many iconic characters. Sometimes due to creative decisions, others due to behind-the-scenes disputes. One of the most shocking exits of the series was that of Katherine Heiglone of the most recognizable faces from the first seasons of the series with her character Isobel Stevens.

Her goodbye came midway through Season 6, and it happened after she went public that she wasn’t happy with the way production was going. The Emmy winner’s abrupt departure also hurt her character arc, as it just disappeared from one of the best doctor shows in television history without being referenced for a long time.

Frank Ockenfels//abc

13 years after his departure, Variety sat Heigl down with her former partner Ellen Pompeo, the very same Meredith Gray (who has also recently left the series) and talked about their experience working on the Disney+ series.

Heigl opened up about her tumultuous exit saying: “I was very naive. I got on my platform and I had some things to say, and I was really passionate about these things. I felt very strong. I felt so strong that I also put a megaphone on my grandstand.” Heigl continued, explaining that at the time she did not anticipate any kind of negative reaction to the things she had to say. “I felt really justified in the way I felt about it and where it was coming from.“he told Pompeo.

Heigl went on to explain how that time in her life affected her, saying:

“I spent most of my life, I think most women do, being in that people-pleasing mode. It’s really disconcerting when you feel like you’ve really upset everyone. I didn’t mean to, but I had some things to say, and I didn’t think it was going to elicit such a strong reaction. I was in my late 20s. It took me probably until my mid to late 30s to tune out all the noise again. and saying, ‘But who are you? Are you a bad person? Are you ungrateful? Are you unprofessional? Are you difficult?’ Because I was confused! I literally believed that version, and I was so ashamed for a long time, and then I had to say, ‘Wait. Who am I listening to? I’m not even listening to myself. I know who I am.'”

In 2010, a toxic work environment, labor abuses and a woman speaking up were not topics that were brought up in industry discussions., so Heigl got a bad rap for “being difficult.” The actress also adds that anxiety played a big part in the pressure she felt and the urge to get out, saying, “It was here in my head, in my gut, in my mind, in my life. I was vibrating at too high an anxiety level. To me, everything is a bit of a blur, and It took me years to learn to deal with it, to master it.. I can’t even say I’ve mastered it, but I know how to work on it. If you leave stress too long, without managing or addressing it, it can be debilitating.”

In her run on the series, Heigl was considered a rising star and began appearing in feature films and building up her cachet, causing her to juggle jobs. Her rope broke and she moved away from television for a few years in which her film career did not take off as she expected. She finally returned to the small screen with series like ‘Suits’ and ‘Firefly Lane’, which ended last April.

sandra oh, ellen pompeo and katherine heigl in the 'grey's anatomy' pilot

Richard Cartwright//Getty Images

Grey’s Anatomy has been renewed for a 20th seasonstill without confirmed release date.

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Fran is an expert in film and series, specializing in cultural outreach and film criticism. Although his favorite genre is horror, it speaks to you of the new blockbuster of Marvel’s UCM as well as of an auteur film to be claimed from the festival circuit.

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There is no Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+ series that escapes his radar, delving into the catalog of each platform to recommend and analyze its best content.

Fran has been writing for Fotogramas for more than a year, but her beginnings go back almost two decades in film forums and blogs such as Planeta Claqueta or Moviementarios. He was a founder and part of the board of directors of the digital publication of film criticism and analysis Revista Mutaciones and a member of the Association of Cinematographic Informants of Spain (AICE), the organization that awards the Feroz Awards, as well as a voter for the Blogos de Oro al indie movies.

After completing the Master’s Degree in Film Criticism at the Madrid Film School (ECAM) taught by Caimán Cuadernos de Cine, he has collaborated and/or covered film festivals such as San Sebastián, Sitges and Filmadrid as a specialized press for more than 10 years. along the way, interviewing relevant directors, actors and actresses from the national industry such as Penélope Cruz, Carlos Saura, Ana de Armas, José Luis Cuerda or José Sacristán and international ones such as James Wan, Edgar Wright or Dario Argento.

His knowledge and experience have led him to be a film video blogger for Fnac Spain and director and presenter of the Holocausto Zinéfago podcast, with more than 150 programs broadcast in which cinema and humor are mixed from a unique and original point of view.


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