The Real Reason Anne Hathaway Turned Down A Role In Knocked Up

Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up was undoubtedly one of the biggest movies of 2007. Starring Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl, the romantic comedy follows the story of Alison (Heigl), who falls pregnant after a one night stand with her polar opposite Ben (Rogen). After initially deciding to raise the baby with or without Ben’s involvement, the mismatched couple later attempt to forge a relationship for the sake of their unborn child — with some hilarious results (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet).

However, the hit 2007 comedy almost looked very different, and Academy Award-winner Anne Hathaway was at one point considered to play the role of Alison. Speaking to Allure back in 2012, Hathaway revealed that she later turned down the role after reading the film’s script, which included a graphic child-birth scene. 

“My issue with it was that having not experienced motherhood myself, I didn’t know how I was gonna feel on the other side about giving birth.” She continued, “And by the way, I could pop a kid out and think, Oh, well, I really should have done that movie.”

Katherine Heigl wasn't happy with the role either

Of course, the role of Alison later went to Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl. However, during an interview with Vanity Fair in 2008, the actress revealed she wasn’t pleased with how her Knocked Up character turned out, saying the film’s script “paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys…” She continued, “I had a hard time with [the film], on some days. I’m playing such a b*tch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women?”

Reacting to Heigl’s comments, Knocked Up director, Judd Apatow, said he was surprised by what the actress had to say (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). “I’m just shocked she used the word shrew. I mean, what is this, the 1600s?” Per NY Daily News, he continued, “You would think at some point I’d get a call saying [Heigl] was sorry, that she was tired, and then the call never comes.”

Despite Heigl’s criticism, the movie was generally well-received by audiences and critics alike, and even picked up a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the 2008 Writers Guild of America awards (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). 

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