The New State of Katherine Heigl

It’s been four years since former New Canaan High School student and actress Katherine Heigl scrubbed in for her Emmy-winning role as surgeon Dr. Izzie Stevens on ABC’s hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

Come November, fans of the Hollywood actress will get a chance to see her slip on a power suit and make primetime return playing a CIA intelligence officer Charleston Whitney Tucker on the new NBC drama State of Affairs.

With a pilot directed and rewritten by Joe Carnahan of NBC’s hit The Blacklist, the new series has already generated some pre-premiere buzz as a strong potential newcomer to NBC’s fall mid-season line-up. Heigl’s co-stars include the acclaimed actress Alfre Woodard, who will be taking on the role of the country’s first female President.

For Heigl, the chance of playing a strong, powerful woman in turbulent international times was a key factor in convincing the star of such hit films as Knocked Up! the project was a good fit for her return to primetime television.

NCD magazine checked in with the former model and veteran actress to ask what drew her to the series, which premieres on NBC on Monday, Nov. 17 at 10 p.m.

Here’s what she told us exclusively about her new role:

When I met with (producer) Bob Simonds about State of Affairs, I was compelled by the idea that being a Presidential briefer is really an actual job.  Getting the opportunity to delve into this world and tell the story of Charleston Whitney Tucker who is an intelligent, independent woman, a true patriot, who is the CIA analyst briefing the most powerful person in the United States seemed like the perfect role for me right now.  It definitely doesn’t hurt to have POTUS played with such grace and gravitas by Alfre Woodard. It is so fun to work with her.  And the idea that this is ripe with all kinds of fascinating stories about our country and the world we live in is phenomenal. We are talking about issues and challenges that our country’s leaders are dealing with every day.  I think viewers will enjoy getting a glimpse into this world.”

Heigl, who is also taking on the role as one of the drama’s executive producers, is not the only former local face on the State of Affairs set. Los Angeles-based actor Adam Kaufman, who plays the role of CIA analyst Lucas Newsome, is a New Canaan high alumnus and was (how’s this for small world?)  on campus at the same time as Heigl’s older sister, Meg.

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