Chatting to the LA Daily News at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles recently about her new movie One For The Money, Katherine explained the appeal of her character Stephanie Plum, the lingerie saleswoman turned bounty popularized in a series of best-selling novels by author Janet Evanovich.

Katherine Heigl At The Four Seasons Hotel (Photo: Los Angeles Daily News / Scott Varley) Katherine Heigl At The Four Seasons Hotel (Photo: Los Angeles Daily News / Scott Varley)

"Stephanie is fun. She's just got this great wacky sense of humor and a way of seeing people and the world that is very light and fun. She just sort of rolls with the punches, and you just can't help but like her and want to be like her. I think that she's kind of effortlessly beautiful and sexy and doesn't try. Every woman wants to be effortlessly beautiful and sexy"

The opportunity to produce One For The Money and other films under the banner of her company Abishag, is something that Katherine has relished. Recognizing that being a young leading lady doesn't last forever she told reporter Rob Lowman, "I've never felt like I had to cling to my youth so I could be a leading lady. I find the transition sort of interesting. I think everything can get stagnant if you're just on the same path all the time. So the producing has been really interesting. I never thought I would like it as much as I do."

Katie said she has enjoyed having input in "everything from set design to wardrobe to casting to the script to directing the look and feel of a movie," adding it is just a coincidence - one that she is pleased with - that so many women are involved in the making of the film, including herself, Evanovich, the three screenwriters and the director - Julie Anne Robinson.

"They don't usually let that many women in the room together make that many choices because they are afraid we'll take over," Katherine joked.

In terms of her acting career, Katherine revealed that she would like to take a few more risks with her future projects, "I watched `My Week With Marilyn' and walked away so inspired by Michelle Williams," she says. "It sort of blew my mind. I have zero interest in playing iconic female characters - talk about pressure - but she really inspired me about wanting to reach out myself a little bit more and see what else I can do.".

Having grown up in the business, beginning with her first film as a child actress in That Night over 20 years ago, does Katherine feel she had missed out on anything by beginning her career so young?

"I certainly missed things. I missed slumber parties and stuff, but my mother always gave me the option. She said, `You can take the class trip but can't have it both ways. If you want to be professional, then you have to show up for the job or the audition.'"

Katherine Heigl At The Four Seasons Hotel (Photo: Los Angeles Daily News / Scott Varley) Katherine Heigl At The Four Seasons Hotel (Photo: Los Angeles Daily News / Scott Varley)

As for whether she would want daughter Naleigh to follow her down the path of acting, Katherine remains unsure, "although I keep asking myself why, because I had a great experience" she noted.

Motherhood has certainly been a life changing experience for the star, "I don't remember not being a mother. I can barely remember my life before her... it's so interesting how quickly you adapt."

Naleigh has also been one of the impetuses for Katherine to quit smoking, something she only began when she was 25 and which now sees her using an electronic cigarette in an effort to completely kick the habit. "It's just a bad habit really," she conceded. "It keeps me off real cigarettes, but I'm still addicted to nicotine. It's just the one massive vice I have had in my life. If there was something I could take back it would be that day that I bought a pack of cigarettes," she smiled ruefully.

Family is something that is very important to Katherine and with both her and musician husband Josh Kelley often having to be away from home with their busy careers, the time the couple spend together is precious. "We had about 22 days together over the holidays in Utah, and it was so wonderful. The morning he left I was just sort of beside myself. I wanted the moment a little bit longer, but that's just not the reality of our lives and our relationship," she said, continuing, "I think it's good for us because it makes it harder for us to take the relationship for granted."

Visit the LA Daily News online to read the full interview and to view images from the exclusive photo shoot.