Katherine HeiglLeading

Heigl talks Roswell and Evil Never Dies

Thanks to Kath7 for sending this in:

Executed killer’s second life suggests Evil Never Dies

Her TV series Roswell ended a year ago, but Katherine Heigl can’t escape the pull of the supernatural.

After three seasons as alien Isabel Evans, the young actress plays an assistant to a modern day Dr. Frankenstein in Evil Never Dies, a TBS movie thriller premiering Sunday, June 1.

After a vicious killer (Simon Bossell) is executed for murdering the wife of a police officer (Thomas Gibson, Dharma&Greg) in the couple’s home, he is revived in an experiment by a professor (British actor John Waters). Another wave of homicides results, sending the cop in pursuit of the madman he thought was dead.

Since she also starred in the 1998 Child’s Play sequel, Bride of Chucky, Heigl realizes she has a certain cache in the science-fiction and fantasy genres.

“I know that a lot of actors make choices in terms of trying to stay away from something,” she says, “and I certainly make those choices as well. After Roswell, I felt the need not to play someone of high-school age anymore and play adult roles. As for horror and sci-fi, I thought I’d like to veer toward romantic comedies, but when a great story comes along, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity.”

The Frankenstein-like theme of Evil Never Dies was the main lure for Heigl, who went to Australia to make the film.

“When I first heard the story, I thought, ‘This is ridiculous’” she says, “then I read the script and though, ’Why couldn’t this be possible?’ It just seemed so real, with all the medical jargon for bringing a corpse back to life, I realized that people could really buy into this. It makes you think about the advances in science that could make something like this possible.”

Technical advisers who were on the Evil Never Dies set heightened Heigl’s faith in the story.

“I always think it’s really wise for producers to have those sorts of people around,” she says. “Actors have no idea which wires should connect where or whether it’ll look believable. Doctors were around during the lab scenes, helping us know which machines were supposed to do what and to make it look as honest as possible. Today’s audiences are so sophisticated that if you don’t play to their level of knowledge, they’ll resent it.”

For all her sci-fi work, the former Wilhelmina model maintains she hasn’t sought such projects purposely.

“Science fiction was not something I was particularly interested in,” Heigl admits. “I’m usually more interested in romances or anything with just a good story that could be real. I did find Roswell fascinating, and through that, I started to get into the genre. It’s a whole other world that writers and fans have to believe is possible, and I love mythology, so sci-fi became interesting to me at a time when I didn’t think it would be.”

Sparked in part by the show’s current weeknight repeats on Sci-Fi Channel, mail from Roswell’s fans continues to reach Heigl.

“One of the most interesting things about that show for me,” she reflects, “was that because Isabel was an alien, I got to do many things, so that was creatively satisfying. I think anyone’s fear of getting involved in a show that could run for several years is that you’ll be playing only one character for that long; that can get stale for an actor, so on Roswell, I really lucked out.”

Evil Never Dies is airing soon after Heigl’s work as a frontier widow in the Hallmark Channel movie Loves Comes Softly, shown in April. “I’ve been really fortunate with the timing of all the projects I’ve done recently,” says the actress, who was born in Washington D.C., but raised in Connecticut. “Each one afforded me the opportunity to do something totally different. I filmed a TV spinoff of the movie Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion for ABC, and it was the first time I had ever done broad comedy. I had so much fun.”

Now making an extremely updated version of the Emily Bronte classic Wuthering Heights for MTV, Heigl says, “I’ve never read the book – which is just shameful – but this is a very modern adaptation of the original story. There’s heroin addiction in it, so it’s very modern, indeed…I was in an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest for NBC. It was set during the Civil War, so couldn’t call it complete modernization, though it was an update. I’m a huge Shakespeare fan, and I particularly love Othello and Romeo and Juliet, so I found the movie updates of those fascinating.”