Katherine Heigl, Melora Hardin talk playing gay at TrevorLive

Next up is the big kahuna, Katherine Heigl. In person, many actors look smaller and more ordinary than their on screen presence would suggest. Katherine is not one of those actors. Towering over the teensy teeny bopper boys in a draped sheath of cobalt blue, Katherine’s glossy golden hair is pulled in an elegant updo.

Smiling softly and making surprisingly soulful eye contact, Katherine meticulously works her way down the red carpet, pausing to thoughtfully answer a question from every scrambling journalist. In contrast to the minuscule LA waif types scurrying about (myself included), everything about Heigl is a little larger than life, all round eyes and wide smile and pin up Amazonian physique skimmed elegantly by that chic cobalt gown.

Katherine plays a hard drinking, hard working government agent on the new political drama State of Affairs, but she also just wrapped Jenny’s Wedding, a film in which she played a lesbian whose impending gay nuptials rock her conservative family to the core.

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AfterEllen: Could you tell us about your lesbian character and her journey in the upcoming film Jenny’s Wedding?

Katherine Heigl: Jenny is a young Midwestern woman living in Ohio. The story is actually loosely based on the director’s niece, who knew she was gay for years before coming out to her family and friends. When she felt she could no longer live without making the decision to come out to her family, it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t embraced the way it might be in a different time or place. Jenny’s Wedding is a really beautiful story, wonderfully written from every perspective. From the parent’s perspective, they’d never really gone there, their minds were unaware of the possibility because it’s not like they have gay or lesbian friends. They have to educate themselves, to open their minds and consider possibilities they’d never even considered.

AfterEllen: Is your character and her family able to overcome those differences?

Katherine Heigl: In the end, Jenny’s parents realize that their daughter means so much more to them than the label or judgement society throws on to her. It’s beautiful.

AfterEllen: I know Jenny’s Wedding is looking for a distributor, do you know if the producers have found one yet or been able to set a release date?

Katherine Heigl: I’m not sure; I wasn’t a producer on Jenny’s Wedding, just the hired actor. I’m not sure where they’re at but I certainly hope so. It’s a beautiful film that I’m incredibly proud of.

AfterEllen: Over the years you’ve been a huge ally and supporter of The Trevor Project. Why is tonight important to you?

Katherine Heigl: I think this is the first Trevor Project event I’ve attended, so I’m really grateful to have been asked. I just think the work they’re doing is incredibly important, and I want to do anything I can to raise awareness so everyone out there knows that help is available. No matter what hardship or heartbreak young gay youth are going through, there are people who care and are here to listen.

AfterEllen: In our brief lifetimes, the gay community has made an immense amount of progress. As a mother, what kind of change would you like your children to grow up to see?

Katherine Heigl: I hope that, for them, this isn’t even a topic of conversation anymore. I don’t talk to my children about lesbians or gays or what that means; I show them through my friends, my lifestyle, and the people most important to me. It’s not something I feel like I need to discuss or explain. They’ll get it, because they’re around it all the time. My best friend in the whole wide world is T.R. Knight, and when I bring my kids around him and his husband Patrick, I don’t feel I need to explain why T.R. married a man. They can figure it out, and it won’t be unnatural or not normal to them. Kids don’t care! Kids only judge it because we tell them to. That’s on us.

With that statement and a soft smile, Katherine Heigl is ushered along and the red carpet empties into the Hollywood Palladium for TrevorLIVE to finally commence.

If you’d like to learn more about The Trevor Project, get involved, or view highlights from TrevorLIVE, check out their website. Here are some more glamorous pics from the event.

Brittany SnowTrevorLIVE Los Angeles - Arrivals

 

Jennifer Coolidge

Kelly OsbourneTrevorLIVE Los Angeles - Arrivals

Phoebe TonkinTrevorLIVE Los Angeles - Arrivals

Elisabeth Rohm

 

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