July 13, 2014 at 5:31 PM ET
Ever since her controversial stint on "Grey's Anatomy," Katherine Heigl has been labeled by Hollywood as "difficult" to work with. But the actress doesn't see it that way.
"I certainly don't see myself as being difficult," she told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association panel for her upcoming new NBC drama "State of Affairs," which she stars in and produces.
"I would never intend to be difficult," she added, when asked whether her mother, Nancy Heigl, an executive producer on "State of Affairs," plays a role in safeguarding her reputation.
"I don't think my mother sees herself as being difficult. We always think it's important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly, so I never -- if I have ever disappointed anybody, it was never intentional."
Heigl recently made headlines again for telling Marie Claire she felt "betrayed" by her acting career after accepting one too many roles in romantic comedies.
"I love doing romantic comedies," she reiterated on the TCA stage. "I love them and I love watching them, but I stopped ... exercising different muscles of my ability. And in that moment I felt that I was sort of letting down my audience, that I wasn't challenging them either."
But her "extraordinary role" as a CIA analyst who briefs the president (Alfre Woodward) on "State of Affairs" presents "an opportunity for me to flex some different muscles and show a different side of myself as an actor and storyteller that I hope my audience will be excited about and love," she said.
Her mother is flexing some new muscles too in her first job as an executive producer.
"She bakes us cookies," her daughter quipped when Nancy was asked about her responsibilities on the show.
"Katie and I obviously have a partnership," Nancy said, denying her daughter needed a "momager."
"I am her mother for sure, so of course I care about her interests. But I'm just learning about executive producing. I'm learning from those who really know, and NBC and Universal. It's been fun, it's been interesting. I'm a newcomer to it."