NEW YORK — Katherine Heigl wants to set the record straight: She loved the six seasons she played Dr. Izzie Stevens on "Grey's Anatomy" and would gladly return to the ABC medical drama.
"I would be thrilled if they asked. I think it would be just so wonderful to have the opportunity to just sort of round out the character, have a few episodes to just discover where she went, what she's doing now and (have) one more loving, romantic scene with Alex (played by Justin Chambers)," the 33-year-old actress said in an interview Wednesday.
Although it was rumored that Heigl left the show on bad terms, she said it was because she wanted to focus on her daughter, Naleigh.
"That was a really, really difficult decision," she said. "You know, you are always going to grapple with something like that because it was a great experience and I didn't really want to go. But I felt ... like I need to make her and my husband and our life together as a family my priority."
Heigl has been busy promoting her latest comedy, "One for the Money," with 3-year-old Naleigh joining her on the talk-show circuit. (Heigl is one of the movie's executive producers.)
The film, in theaters Friday, is based on the first book in the popular Stephanie Plum mystery series by Janet Evanovich.
Heigl stars as Plum, a New Jersey lingerie saleswoman-turned-bounty hunter charged with bringing in her high school flame.
AP: Why do you want to set the record straight about "Grey's Anatomy"?
Heigl: I feel like it was a very innocent question asked last week, and my first instinct and innocent answer was, 'Oh yeah, I'd love to go back if they wanted me to.' And it's turned into this story! ... I wouldn't want anyone to feel misled or feel confused by my answer and I just want everyone to know, 'Hey I love that show and I love that character just as much as you do.'
AP: Since leaving the show, you've starred in several romantic comedies. Are you worried about being typecast?
Heigl: They tend to be the movies I watch when I'm home and hanging out and want to relax. I want to watch Kate Hudson, I want to watch Reese Witherspoon, I want to watch all those great movies that make you feel good. So I loved being a part of them and I didn't mind being typecast, but any time you start to wander outside the box a little bit people start to get confused. ... This one is an interesting one because it wasn't a conscious decision not to do romantic comedy. ... The book explores so many different themes that in order to honor it properly and do right by it we couldn't just turn it into a romantic comedy.
AP: You're in a scene where you're naked and handcuffed to a shower-curtain rod. Was that scary to shoot?
Heigl: It was really nerve-racking and I'll tell you what ... seeing it on a very, very, very big screen at the premiere, it was a very different experience. I was like, man that was embarrassing. It's a lot of me.
AP: Did you have to mentally prepare for those scenes?
Heigl: We spent a lot of time joking around and being silly about it because it is so absurd and there are things you can do to sort of cover the most private bits, I guess, but they almost look worse — the pasties look even more bizarre than if I had just gone for it.
AP: How has motherhood affected your career?
Heigl: My career had been my primary focus for a very long time and that's a very self-absorbed path. It's all about me. It's all about what I want. It's all about what I need. ... And having Naleigh in my life has put that all into a perspective that's much more peaceful and much more profound. I feel very blessed, very grateful to have it because I feel like I can breathe. ... When Naleigh is in a room, whatever that special and unique thing that child has puts me in a frame of mind and a place where I like myself better.
Nicole Evatt covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NicoleEvatt