Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage
The first day Katherine Heigl met her future husband, Josh Kelley, she ended up back in his hotel room. "That sounds so tarty, but his manager was there," the actress, 31, says as she explains the story to iVillage. The two had just finished shooting Kelley's "Only You" music video, and Heigl says she couldn't resist his charm -- or his cheesy pick-up lines. (The two recently caused a stir when they answered the door to cops wearing only their bathing suits, which Heigl first dished about to iVillage.)
Five years later, the couple is married with a 22-month-old daughter, Naleigh (whom they adopted last September). In our exclusive interview with Heigl, who's starring opposite Josh Duhamel in the dramedy Life as We Know It, she dishes about her experiences as a new mom, what makes her husband jealous and why she's dying to make a movie with Angelina Jolie.
Your character in Life as We Know It gets thrown into motherhood. Did you relate to her struggles?
At the time we were making the movie, I had just become a new mother myself -- four days before we started production my daughter arrived. My performance is pretty much exactly what I was going through in my personal life.
Is that one of the things that attracted you to the film?
Well, when I read the script I was in the process of adoption, and I definitely liked the idea of becoming an instant family. But I also really liked these two people, and I was inspired by how they have to rise to the challenge and take on this huge, life-altering thing.
What’s been the most surprising thing about becoming a mom?
I think you know that you’re going to love this child, and you know it's going to change your life. But you don’t really know on an emotional level how much you’re in it. I’ve never experienced love on this level before. We try not to treat her like the second coming, but even when she’s at her worst, there’s just this great ocean of love. It's wonderful and thrilling but also terrifying to love someone that much.
How is her behavior changing as she gets older?
She mimics everything, which is dangerous -- so we have to be careful about everything we’re saying and doing. And she just learned in the last two weeks how to say "I love you," but she still doesn’t quite say it properly. She says "I yove you."
Last time we talked, you said you were thinking of dressing Naleigh as a banana for Halloween. Is that still the plan?
I think so! I guess I need to Google Halloween costumes because I’m not going to make a banana costume, let's be honest. I wish I had that kind of crafty skill, but I don’t. But I think that would be hilarious -- or she’ll just be pissed. One or the other.
Do you want to have more children?
Definitely, I really want to have a big family. Having siblings has been such a tremendous part of my life (and) my husband’s life. I can’t imagine Naleigh not having that. Plus, it will be good for her -- she needs something else here to play with.
Is it true that you're planning to move to Utah?
Yeah, I think we are. It's such a different experience -- we can just be ourselves and be a family, and not be watched while we do it. I think it’s a much more quiet life. But we’ll see. Ask me in a year after we’ve moved there. With a little time I’m sure we’ll be like, "Let’s go back to L.A. because there’s way better restaurants there!"
How did Josh win you over when you first met?
We were doing the music video, and by the end of the day we had sort of connected. We went out for dinner with the producers and director of the video, and then I went up to his hotel with him -- this sounds so tarty, but his manager was with us -- and we just started talking. He asked me about my six favorite things: like my favorite cut of meat, my favorite flowers, my favorite dessert. It was a total line, but at the time I so charmed by the fact that he wanted to know things about me. I figured it out months later, like, "Oh my god, he totally read that in some book like How to Pick Up Women." He still to this day claims he was genuinely asking, but I think it was a line.
Does he still remember all the answers?
He remembers the flowers, but I doubt he remembers my favorite color.
Do you guys ever make time for date nights?
We have a really wonderful nanny, and every once in a while we ask if she’ll stay late so that he and I can just go out alone and have dinner. It can become totally consuming when you only talk about the baby. You have to kind of remind each other what’s going on in our lives besides just her so that we don’t forget each other in this process.
Does he ever get jealous when you have to do love scenes?
He doesn’t like it, but if he were indifferent I think we’d have a bigger problem. I get it, because he’s not an actor. When we first started dating, it practically enraged him. He hated it. But thankfully almost all of my male costars Josh has gotten along really well with. So he just tries at this point to stay as far away from the set as possible when I have to do that.
Do you miss Grey’s Anatomy at all?
I do. I miss the characters, and I miss my friends and all of that. Every once in a while I wake up and think, "I’m used to going to work right now," or "What would Izzie be doing if I were still on the show? Would she and Alex (Justin Chambers) have worked it out?" That’s actually the one thing I’m most concerned about is Alex. How could she just totally never speak to him again?
You've been criticized for being outspoken. Do you think you've been unfairly depicted?
I think I’ve definitely had to learn a little restraint, I guess, and take the defensiveness down a notch. Although that kind of tends to come with age and experience. There are things I wish I had just not gotten into publicly, but at least I didn’t start at a point where I was just a PR robot, saying exactly what I was supposed to. Learning how to not go so far the other direction, I can still maintain some honesty and some openness. I feel like it’s a better balance.
Have you ever been starstruck around another celebrity?
I remember meeting Charlize Theron at the Golden Globes one year in the bathroom, and I was ridiculous, let's just be honest. I had had a couple glasses of champagne, and I did exactly what I hate that people do to me when I try to go to the bathroom! But I did it to her because I couldn’t stop myself from telling her how much I loved her, and she was so lovely about it.
Who would you love to work with in the future?
I really want to pitch a comedy to Angelina Jolie because I really think she’s super-funny. I saw Mr. & Mrs. Smith again recently, and she’s fantastic in that. I totally want to play the ridiculous person to her really awesome person. I’m not sure she’d be down for it, but it never hurts to ask!
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