Sunday, July 13, 2014 / 5:03 pm
TCA Summer Press Tour 2014
Katherine Heigl attended the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Sunday, July 13, to talk about her return to the small screen this Fall in NBC's political thriller State Of Affairs.
She was joined by co-star Alfre Woodard, showrunner Ed Bernero and Executive Producers Bob Simonds, Rodney Faraon, Nancy Heigl and Joe Carnahan at the event, which allows the major television networks to present their slate of upcoming programs to the press through panels and interviews.
At the State Of Affairs panel which kicked off NBC's presentation, the press asked Katherine about her recent interview with Marie Claire and her observation that perhaps she had starred in too many similar romantic comedies "I was just kind of making choices that were certainly unbelievably fun – I had a really good time and I still love those movies, I'll still watch them – I know that sounds vein, but every once in a while they'll come on TV and I'm just grateful that I was there, that I got to be a part of it. But then it starts to wear you down a little bit and it's important that you're making creative choices that support your creativity and challenge you as artist, because otherwise your audience gets bored by you!"
"A lot of people want to know, 'Why this show? Why come back to television?'" Katherine explained. "Because it's an extraordinary role, an extraordinary opportunity and an extraordinary story, and an opportunity for me to flex some different muscles and show some different sides of myself as actor and performer and storyteller that I hope my audience will be excited about and love."
"What was so compelling to me is that this is an actual job, and I had never realized that," Heigl said about her character Charleston Tucker, "I'm not sure why, but a lot of people have asked me, 'Does this really happen? Does the President have a briefer?' And I thought the opportunity to delve into that and show this side of the CIA was really compelling, and to play such an intelligent woman who is a real patriot, who really believes that she can make a difference and help protect her country and help her President do her job."
"It started because [executive producers] Bob [Simonds], Rodney [Faraon] and Hank [Crumpton] came to Katie and I," Nancy shared. "Katie and I have a partnership. They came to us maybe two and a half years ago. We loved the concept and the people. It just seemed like a progressive thing. I'm her mother for sure so I care about her interests, but I'm just learning about executive producing and I'm learning from people who really know how to do it. It's been fun and interesting."
"It's been something I've always wanted to do and sort of dreamed of," Katherine said, adding that she now enjoys perks like sitting in on writing sessions. "I'm just grateful that they're letting me into the writers' room – I don't have anything really to say, I just kind of wanted to witness it, see what happens in there. I've always wished I was a writer, and I'm not. I can't write."
Director and executive producer Joe Carnahan added, "Nancy's been pretty great with this process. Particularly the casting. The way I came into it, these guys were hugely instrumental. The group we put together was absolutely a team effort, it would be reductive to think Nancy wasn't a part of this as much as everyone else."
Responding to the news that advertisers are keen to jump on board with State Of Affairs, Katherine said "It's exciting - I think that's really wonderful they said that. I'm just trying to really stay focused on the work and do the best job I can possibly do and deliver what everyone is hoping for."
Showrunner Ed Bernero explained that the team have tired to create a cable quality drama. "I've had a lot of discussions with NBC about there doesn't have to be a wall between what you can do in cable and what you can do on a network. You just have to use different language and not show sex as much. There's nothing cable does that we can't do."
"Except show boobs," Katherine quipped.