Katherine Heigl is done with worrying about how the public perceives her but it wasn’t always that way.

In an interview with The Washington Post, the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star looked at Hollywood’s “shunning” of her as rumours spread she was difficult to work with. According to the star, she once felt like she “would rather be dead” than deal with all the criticism.

“I may have said a couple of things you didn’t like, but then that escalated to ‘she’s ungrateful,’ then that escalated to ‘she’s difficult’ and that escalated to ‘she’s unprofessional’… What is your definition of difficult? Somebody with an opinion that you don’t like? Now, I’m 42, and that s**t pisses me off,” Heigl said.

She added that the more she spoke about her on set experiences “the more I came across like I had really done something horribly wrong.”

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James Marsden, who starred opposite Heigl in “27 Dresses” said, “She has very strong convictions and strong opinions on certain things, and she doesn’t back down from you know if she feels like she’s been wrong in any way.”

He also didn’t agree that Heigl should have received the treatment she did.

“I’ve always seen that as just strength of character,” he added. “I can see how that can get construed as being difficult or ungrateful or whatever. But if you know Katie, it’s simply because she has the courage to stand behind something she believes.”

In Heigl’s mind, if the movies she was in were more profitable, she would have received less criticism.

“You can be the most awful, difficult, horrible person on the planet, but if you’re making them money, they’re going to keep hiring you,” Heigl continued.

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It wasn’t until years later that she was ready to deal with her mental state. “I asked my mom and my husband to find me somewhere to go that could help me because I felt like I would rather be dead.”

Heigl added, “I didn’t realize how much anxiety I was living with until I got so bad that I had to really seek help. You can do a lot of inner soul work, but I’m a big fan of Zoloft.”

She has since realized that “ambition is not a dirty word,” adding, “it doesn’t make me less of a feminine, loving, nurturing woman to be ambitious and have big dreams and big goals.”