On my old podcast, VeerCAST, my co-hosts and I used to call out shenanigans on the obvious mistakes made by celebrities big and small. In hindsight, we should’ve called the entire show “ShenaniCAST” because we could’ve done that stuff all day.
Celebrities will just never stop saying stupid stuff.
Take for instance Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl in the upcoming Vanity Fair issue, leaked today, suggesting that her highly raved-about and critically acclaimed movie Knocked Up is “a little sexist.” Heigl, speaking with Fair editor Leslie Bennetts suggested that the film portrays women “as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.” She also went on to say “I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy.”*
Well I’ll tell you why she was a killjoy —- she was an expecting mother and the man who “Knocked” her “Up” was an irresponsible young man with a pension for smoking marijuana and made a living off watching T & A. Yes, Heigl’s Alison Scott rode Seth Rogen’s Ben pretty hard at times, even after judging him on his lifestyle and the relationship he has with his roommates/co-workers. The other notable female in the film, Leslie Mann, rode husband Paul Rudd at times, not because she was a shrew, but because he never took anything seriously. That’s a legitimate thing to worry about, especially when you have kids. And how do I know this bit of knowledge, because that dialogue is in the f*cking move!
I also doubt that when Apatow and Heigl talked about the character he said, “Okay, that’s great how you’re doing it, but can you make Alison a shrewd, humorless bitch?” Apatow wrote this film about transitional periods in a man’s life—from carefree stoner to responsible dad. The relationships portrayed in Knocked Up are complex and we, as an audience, really want things to work out in the end. We want to experience conflict and a range of emotions before eventually working things out. For Heigl to say the female characters are “humorless” and the male characters are “fun-loving” just shows how she missed the entire point of the movie.
In Seth’s case, to be a good father he has to do some growing up. In Paul Rudd’s case, to be a better husband means compromising with his wife. We see Seth’s character get a job and become a caring person. We see Rudd wearing a birthday hat and carrying the princess cake like a douche. The women, meanwhile, remain strong and resilient in their quest to make their men better people, because I always perceived the female characters as strong and resilient. I hate to see that the lead actress doesn’t agree with the way her character was written, especially since the character was the moral center of the film. If she had beef with how Apatow portrayed women, why didn’t she bring it up to him or to her female comrade Leslie Mann (who just happens to be Apatow’s wife)?
I believe the answer also lies within the Vanity Fair article. Because of Knocked Up’s success, Katherine Heigl’s paycheck has sky-rocketed from $300,000 per picture to $6 million. I always thought Heigl was a good sport and I definitely still believe that her performance in Knocked Up brings a lighter side out that her Grey’s Anatomy character doesn’t do convincingly.** To see that her motivation for doing a movie she doesn’t agree with morally is money just lumps her in with every other overpaid and unethical celebrity in Hollywood.
* Heigl does an actor no-no in this quote. She refers to her character as both “she” and “I” and a self-respecting actor should never do that.
** A character which, by the way, is having an affair with a married man on this season of Grey’s Anatomy. In the article, Heigl says about her character—“I don’t really know Izzie very well right now.” She also admits that she might be “a little too black-and-white about it.” That’s probably because she doesn’t understand the difference between a “woman succumbing to her desires in a complex manner” and an “immoral slut.”
For those interested, below you will find a few shots from Katherine’s Vanity Fair shoot.