Katherine Heigl Is Called This Name At Home
When actors join the SAG union, they’re required to choose what the guild designates as “a professional name.” It’s basically your stage or screen name. For some actors that might be their given name, or a completely made up name. As long as, according to Backstage, no other actor has that name registered already, you’re free to choose whatever you want.
When she was just starting out, Katherine Heigl was lucky enough to be able to use her birth name for her SAG “professional name,” but like most of us, sometimes the name you are born with isn’t what your nearest and dearest actually call you. The actress, who is on her way to an epic Hollywood comeback, thanks to her hit new Netflix series, Firefly Lane, had a virtual sit-down with Drew Barrymore for Tuesday’s airing of The Drew Barrymore Show, and revealed that while she’s “Katherine” on-set, she’s actually called “Katie” at home — and she prefers it that way!
Barrymore, who is real-life friends with Heigl and addressed her during the interview as “Katie” sweetly shared, “I think Katherine is so regal… and then Katie is like super cute and smiley.” She then asked the Grey’s Anatomy veteran, “Do you feel like you have those two women running around inside you?”
“I do. I do actually feel that way,” Heigl revealed without hesitation. “I feel like I can present as Katherine when I need to but most of the time I am just Katie.”
Being called Katie in private helps Katherine Heigl maintain a work-life balance
Much like her similarly misnamed peer, Anne Hathaway, who revealed last month during a virtual appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, that her given name Anne, “doesn’t fit.” She clarified, “I’m an Annie.” Katherine Heigl shared with Drew Barrymore, “No one calls me Katherine.” The actress joked, “It sounds much more sophisticated right? Like an adult named Katherine.”
For Heigl, it’s not just a personal preference, however. Having two names, or rather one name and one nickname, helps the mother of three maintain a better work-life balance. She explained, “It helps me separate my work from me if that makes sense. I just had to embrace it.”
It’s all pretty relatable when you think about it. Everyone has nicknames their friends and family use to address them, and those nicknames are much different than the name your boss, professor, students, or clients use to address you. And really, just because your mom calls you “Magpie” when your full name is “Margaret” and your boyfriend sweetly refers to you as “Sugar,” does not mean you want your gynecologist to call you either of those names while getting an exam… unless you’re into that sort of thing, of course.
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