In a recent interview on the Howard Stern Show, Seth Rogen admitted how surprised he was about Katherine Heigl’s frustration with how everything went down during Knocked Up.
How the drama started
It all started when Katherine Heigl got real about the sexism she felt was inherent in the film in an interview with Vanity Fair.
“[The movie is] a little sexist,” Heigl said in the 2008 interview. “It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days.
Heigl elaborated, saying, “I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”
Turns out, Seth Rogen was surprised when this quote was published.
“I thought we had a great dynamic, people seemed to like it, we were funny together,” he explained. “I was having a very good time.”
“And then when I heard afterwards that she didn’t like it, that she seemed to not like the process, and she did not like the end product either,” he said. “I think when that happens – also your trust feels somewhat betrayed. We have a very open process. We’re like, ‘You have the ability to say anything at any moment – I don’t like this scene, I don’t like how I’m coming across here.'”
He also added:
“I respect the fact that maybe, that perhaps she realizes it has hurt her career. And I don’t want that to have happened to her at all. Because I’ve said a thousand stupid things, and I really like her. Especially if she is being honest, the only people who, in this situation, should in any way take anything from it is me and Judd. Because we are the ones she was talking about. For other people to not work with her because she didn’t like her experience with us is crazy.”
But let’s look at both sides. Things sometimes aren’t that easy. Considering it was the movie that put Heigl on the map, it would have been risky for the actress to risk it all despite her own ethics. As many women have expressed, when it comes to talking about sexism, sometimes it just doesn’t feel worth it to speak up and jeopardize our own careers. It’s a pretty eye-opening illustration of how sexism works, and how power dynamics can shape who speaks up, and who doesn’t. After all, plenty of men have said negative things about their movies (Jim Carey spoke out against Kick Ass 2, and James Franco was super public about his disdain for Tristan & Isolde).
Heigl elaborated once before, back in April.
“I liked the movie a lot,” she told Howard Stern. “I just didn’t like me. She was kind of like, she was so judgmental and kind of uptight and controlling and all these things and I really went with it while we were doing it, and a lot of it, Judd allows everyone to be very free and improvise and whatever and afterwards, I was like, ‘Why is that where I went with this? What an asshole she is!’
“[Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow] were incredibly good to me on this movie, so I did not mean to shit on them at all,” she said.
At the end of the day, Rogen has no hard feelings.
On the incident, he explained, “I have no bad feelings toward her at all.” And well, it’s been eight years since the movie’s release, so maybe it’s just best to let go?