In her new movie Life As We Know It Katherine Heigl plays a single woman who is thrown into parenthood when her best friends die and leave her and Josh Duhamel as legal guardians of a little girl. So was her role a good practice run for actual motherhood…or was it the other way around?
“I thought I was going to be getting some advance training in how to be a real mother while I played the role in the movie,” Katherine tells Parade. “But the adoption of my baby from Korea went on ahead of schedule, and my daughter, Naleigh, arrived weeks before we began filming. I was really thrown into hot water pretty quickly. I was sort of faking changing diapers on the set, but at home I was doing it for real.”
Either way, Katherine sounds like one actress who is fine with taking things as they come. “Even if you plan a marriage and a family, you are never quite prepared for the reality versus how you imagined it. In a lot of ways it’s better, and in a lot of ways it’s worse. That’s life, right?” she shrugs. “It’s the same with my career. It took a sudden, very sharp upward turn, very quickly, and it changed the whole course of my life.”
The Grey’s Anatomy actress has waged a longtime battle to quit smoking, and has been using an electronic cigarette lately to help her break the habit. So what advice will she give daughter Naleigh, 20-months, in the future about getting hooked? “Smoking sucks!” she says. “The one thing I would say to my kid is, ‘It’s not just that it’s bad for you. Do you want to spend the rest of your life fighting a stupid addiction to a stupid thing that doesn’t even really give you a good buzz?’”