Being branded as ungrateful in the press in the past year has not done wonders for Katherine Heigl's reputation. But the fact that she is a Golden Globe-nominated, Emmy Award winner prooves she has something to offer.
In the first half of her career, she was pegged as a damsel in distress and an Ice Queen ("Roswell"). And when she reintroduced herself to TV viewers in 2005 as the humorous hopeless romantic Dr. Isobel Stevens of "Grey's Anatomy," she was typecast as a gorgeous woman with a self-loathing sense of humor, scoring her the leads in the romantic comedies Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, and The Ugly Truth (which hits theaters next spring).
But because of her ambitions to remodel her public persona and ensure that her revived career isn't stunted by a few misinterpreted press statements, she's aiming for a different genre for her next project. Fully aware that convincing producers and executives that she's capable of anything other than looking pretty, she and her mom are the ones footing the bill for an action comedy.
I'm not quite sure if she's taking a page out of Seth Rogen's career handbook, but he also dipped his toe into an uncharacteristic genre this year, starring in Pineapple Express, an action comedy that while mainly focused on marijuana, also managed to balance the slapstick stoner humor with a healthy dose of action. You could even make an argument that Ben Stiller and Jack Black did the same this summer in Tropic Thunder. Who knows? Maybe a straight-shooting action film is in their future. What I do know is that Rogen is training to star in The Green Hornet as the title crime-fighting, ass-kicking character, which'll be hard to pull off if the audience is waiting for him to pull out a blunt and whip out his signature chuckle, hence the slow immersion into the action genre.
The project Heigl is funding is called Drawn Together. It's about "an electronics designer who meets the woman of his dreams, only to find out that she's not who she seems to be." This sort of wreaks of NBC's "Chuck," which is probably why I'm picturing him in the role opposite her, but it also promises to give Heigl something else to work with besides punch lines. This could be a step in a different direction for the actress, or it could be a disaster. One must also wonder if maybe she should've tried for the Jessica Biel career-remodel route and auditioned for more dramatic, Oscar-worthy fair. Then again, maybe there's enough drama on the set of her TV show.