I’ve been very hard on Katherine Heigl over the years, which may or may not be fair, because I’m guessing she didn’t need another blogger bashing her during that time. There’s no need to rehash what landed her on the Hollywood shit-list, but in case you’re wondering, click HERE. Though Heigl has tried to correct her cantankerous image, she’s failed to fully reform in the public eye, UNTIL NOW. Heigl visited the Howard Stern show, and the format allowed her to adequately explain herself absent sound bites. For the first time in history, I finally understand her intentions. Here’s a rundown.
In response to that infamous comment about ‘Knocked Up’ being “sexist.”
Heigl said that though she liked the film, she personally felt her character was judgmental and unlikable. That doesn’t mean she took issue with the writing, she just would not personally hangout with the uptight chick she played. She might not have ever said that out loud, but she was somewhat when a Vanity Fair interviewer asked her to respond to the idea that the film was sexist (as in, the men are cool and the women are nags). Since she’s obviously not good at navigating controversial comments, she stepped in it. And Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen have yet to forgive her.
In response to removing her name out of Emmy contention.
Heigl rose to fame on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ but there was a slow year for her character, and when asked to sift through her material to find something worthy of submitting to the Emmys, she simply felt she didn’t have a deep enough performance to compete. Though she didn’t think anyone would notice, they did, and when asked about it, she stepped in it again. She admits to apologizing to Shonda Rhimes. She also explained that the nature of an ensemble cast is difficult, because with 7 series regulars, everyone wants their time to shine.
Is she difficult to work with?
She doesn’t think so, but she’s so concerned about her image, she’s lost her “voice,” and she’s constantly baited by interviewers to give them something juicy or “f-ck up,” as Heigl puts it. In fact, her shoes once fit too tight, and she didn’t say anything for fear of fanning the fire.
And there you have it. Let this be a lesson to anyone in hot water. If you want to clear your name, go on Howard Stern.
For those unfamiliar with the film and television production of ’12 Angry Men,’ the legendary plot all takes place in the jury room, as each juror deliberates the fate of a young man accused of murder. While 11 of the jurors enter the room convinced of his guilt, one is not. The lone juror slowly persuades the pool to pick apart the evidence piece-by-piece, and what follows is fascinating.
Director Sheldon Epps stayed true to the original production, except for casting six black actors on the jury, including lead actor Jason George, who is known mostly for his television work (see ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Mistresses’). George’s approach to the role was less subtle and more determined than his predecessors, almost bordering on smug. It’s a near impossible task to portray subtlety on stage, especially when the lead is fighting for something with consistent conviction. I would have preferred a more understated performance, but he certainly had a steep hill to climb. As for Gregory North, he was nothing short of brilliant. He’s the antagonist to George’s character, and his unwavering insistence of the defendant’s guilt is simultaneously dogmatic and effortless.
There’s a few things of note in this production. First, it was a bold choice for Sheldon Epps to cast six black jurors, most notably Jason George as the lead. Though I applaud the monumental idea, it warrants some changes to the play that he didn’t make. For example, many of the jurors are unequivocally convinced of the young man’s guilt because of his race. Their racist stereotypes are at times boisterously expressed, a choice that seems unbelievable when surrounded by 6 other minorities. Even racists are rarely that bold about their bigotry, especially in this type of setting. If it were me, I would have kept the lines, but had one character whisper it to another, rather than yelling it in front of the others. The other option is to have the character look directly at one of the minorities when saying lines such as, “You know how those people are.” Without that change, the dialogue seems odd.
The other issue is the stage blocking and pacing. There needs to be pauses in the dialogue to build the necessary tension for which this story is known. Without that, some of the biggest reveals in the play are blurred, and the epic reaction from the audience is lost.
Despite some minor failings, this play is worth seeing. It’s a classic story that is also unfortunately timeless. The same racist ideas and sad jury failings are just as prevalent today as they were many years ago, and the story is engaging throughout.
The play runs now through December 1st. Get your tickets HERE.
THE VERDICT: 3.5/5 DISHES
I just watched this much talked about Grey’s Anatomy episode, and I really wanted to like it — I promise I did. Unfortunately, it simply didn’t work. The plot surrounded Dr. Callie Torres, who was near death following a car accident. In the process of trying to save her, just about every doctor breaks into song, which is loosely justified by Callie’s hallucinations. There’s a few problems with this. First, in order to justify awkwardly singing in the middle of a hospital operation, each song must take place in Callie’s presence, otherwise it’s not a hallucination, and it’s instead just a crazy doctor that should be fired for singing on the job. Second, the song choices should have been somewhat thematic. It just doesn’t make sense to sing Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol and Breathe by Anna Nalick. It felt too random, as if they picked the songs out of a very large hat. I realize that Shonda Rimes has some very talented cast members whose voice she wanted to feature in her show. But if I were advising her, I’d tell her to take a note from Ally McBeal instead of Glee, and have the actors randomly sing at a bar after work instead. It would have made much more sense that way. Watch a clip of last Thursday’s episode below.