Katherine Heigl should have never returned for her last season on the ABC hit show "Grey's Anatomy," the show's star Ellen Pompeo told the New York Post Friday.
It was one of the first comments Pompeo has made about the early years of "Grey's Anatomy," in which the show's success did not alleviate tumult behind the scenes between stars.
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Heigl, one of the original cast members and who played Dr. Izzie Stevens, appeared on the show from 2005 to 2010. She won an Emmy in 2007 and was nominated for Golden Globe awards in 2007 and 2008.
Pompeo told the New York Post that Heigl's growing interest in having a movie career at the time and the tensions between actors Isaiah Washington and T.R. Knight brought plenty of drama to the "Grey's" set once the cameras stop rolling.
"Hurt feelings, combined with instant success and huge paychecks started things spinning out of control," Pompeo said. "The crazier things got, as I watched all the tumult with Isaiah and then the Katie thing, I started to focus on the work. Maybe it is my Boston, blue-collar upbringing. I just tried to not pay attention to all the noise around me."
Pompeo said that Heigl's desire to leave the show after signing a new contract was also problematic.
"When Katie left, it was tough," Pompeo said. "You could understand why she wanted to go — when you’re offered $12 million a movie and you’re only 26. But Katie’s problem is that she should not have renewed her contract. She re-upped, took a big raise and then tried to get off the show. And then her movie career did not take off."
Heigl left "Grey's Anatomy" to star in "Knocked Up" in 2007. Heigl complained about her character's arc in the television series and at the time said "there's not a lot of spontaneity left," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
She then disparaged "Knocked Up," even though it made $219 million globally at the box office.
"The notion that she was not only ungrateful but disloyal began to take hold," The Hollywood Reporter's Kim Masters said.
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