“I don’t know,” the Emmy winner, 42, told E! News’ Daily Pop during a virtual interview on Wednesday, January 27, when asked if she would ever return to the beloved ABC medical drama. “But I would never say never.”
Heigl starred on the Shonda Rhimes-created series from 2005 to 2010, departing from the show after its sixth season. Two years before she left, the New Year’s Eve actress sparked drama behind-the-scenes when she opted out of Emmy consideration because she didn’t think the “material” she was given during season 4 warranted a nomination. At the time, Rhimes, 51, was “surprised” by Heigl’s comment — but wasn’t insulted.
“I have a really wonderful working relationship with Katherine. Everybody knows Izzie is one of my favorite characters,” she said, claiming that “Katherine asked me to write her light” story line for the second half of the season “so that she could do her movie.”
As rumors of tension between the showrunner and the 27 Dresses star continued to swirl, fans wondered how long Heigl would stay on the series. When her exit deal was finalized in the middle of season 6, Heigl said she wanted to focus on spending time with her family.
Reflecting on the circumstances of her departure, Heigl said she was “really embarrassed” when her comments went viral.
“I went in to [see] Shonda and said, ‘I’m so sorry. That wasn’t cool, and I should not have said that.’ And I shouldn’t have said anything publicly,” the Knocked Up star said on The Howard Stern Show in 2016. “But at the time, I didn’t think anyone would notice. … I just quietly didn’t submit and then it became a story, and I felt I was obligated to make my statement, and [I should have just said], ‘Shut up, Katie.'”
While Heigl has seemingly put her mistakes behind her, Rhimes threw shade at the Suits alum while discussing the culture on the Scandal set. “There are no Heigls in this situation,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. “I don’t put up with bullshit or nasty people. I don’t have time for it.”
Though she might not be walking the halls of Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital anytime soon, Heigl is plotting a return to TV with the upcoming Netflix drama Firefly Lane, which hits the streaming platform in February. Working on the series — which is based on Kristin Hannah‘s novel of the same name — was like a breath of fresh air.
“Every single one of us has probably had that experience where when you try to stand up for something or put your foot down about something, you’re either hysterical or difficult or being a bitch,” Heigl said on Wednesday. “That didn’t exist on this set. There was none of that and you felt really protected. … It was phenomenal.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!