Katherine Heigl on Trying to Balance Acting and Motherhood: “I couldn’t enjoy the work because I was so distracted by the little being in my trailer”

Former Grey’s Anatomy actress turned movie star Katherine Heigl has published her first article for IVillage’s Celebrity Blog series.  Discussing her responsibilities as a performer, a wife, and a mother to her three year old daughter Naleigh, Heigl says she has known since her younger years that she has always wanted to become an actor.

“I have also always known I wanted to be an actress. From the moment I walked onto my first set when I was 11 years old, I knew I had found my passion. I loved everything about making movies: the wardrobe that made the character come alive in me; the hair and makeup that could transform me; the cast and crew that became like a family for those few short months; and the craft service where there was never a shortage of sodas and Slim Jims. I loved the feeling of reward I got from hitting my mark, knowing my lines, finding the camera, and not blocking the other actors’ light or angle. There’s nothing more thrilling than when the director is pleased with the job I’ve done and calls out, “Cut, print, moving on!” 

While Heigl says that becoming a performer was a life long dream, the thirty-three year old shared that she also felt the same way about motherhood.  Like most working mothers headed back to work, Heigl admits that there were plenty of challenges, but what the One for the Money actress didn’t know what she was in for, and that she would have to find balance in the chaos.

“No matter how great my intentions, how lofty my goals, how passionate my commitment, I was failing. I was failing my work, I was failing my daughter, I was failing my husband. I was stressed out and exhausted.”  Adding that she was having so much trouble balancing, she contemplated letting her career go.  “I couldn’t enjoy the work because I was so distracted by the little being in my trailer waiting for me. I couldn’t help but wonder what I had gotten myself into and if the choice I made to be a working mother was the most selfish decision of my life.  I spent months wondering if I would have to let my career go, if I could even let it go.”

Ultimately Heigl began to stay home more, opting out of possible acting roles to spend time with her daughter.   “I started to scale back my work commitments and stay home more with my child.”  Eventually the New Years Eve actress gained perspective on her new life, and luckily returned back to work. “After months of being a full-time mom, the prospect of going back to work thrilled me, brought my mind and creativity into sharp focus and made me feel that old familiar drive that has inspired me my whole life.”

Currently Heigl has several new roles lined up.  With her new movie One for the Money ready to hit theaters on January 27th, the wife of singer Josh Kelley is also attached to the upcoming comedy The Wedding from director Justin Zackham.

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