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Why Katherine Heigl Raises Her Kids Away from Hollywood: ‘The Right Choice’

Why Katherine Heigl Raises Her Kids Away from Hollywood: ‘The Right Choice’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Actress Katherine Heigl is opening up about her decision to raise her children in Utah and away from Hollywood. 

“You know, it’s odd. I think some people are mountain people and I think some people are beach people,” the GREY’S ANATOMY actress said of her longtime connection to Utah. “I’m sort of a mountain person and have always been that way. And my mom realized, because we went out to LA when I was 17 and hustled and hustled for years, right? And I think she realized at a certain point that I needed somewhere to escape to and kind of clear my head and that grounded me.”

She continued, “So we started trying to find, and dreaming about trying to find, that perfect place. And we found Utah and then I started making enough money to be able to afford to do that.”

Heigl said they “built these houses” in the state that were meant to be “vacation homes,” but they soon became her family’s primary residences. 

“I think my children sometimes wish they were in more of a hubbub exciting city,” she went on. “But I said to them, ‘I understand that you are sacrificing that in some ways but I still think it was the right choice for our family because I am more centered and aware of what’s going on in your life. It’s a smaller town, I know who your friends are, who you are spending time with, I know what’s up with school.’ It’s just easier to keep my finger on the pulse.”

Heigl has previously spoken about her decision to raise her kids in Utah. 

“I didn’t know how to raise them in L.A.,” she said. “So I felt like I could do it here. I could be more on top of things that scare me, and I could be more on top of the kinds of friends they have and places they’re going, the kind of activities they’re involved in—and what they’re doing on their phones!”

The actress still works on TV and movie projects but explained that when she’s at home, she’s concentrating on her family. 

“My manager, my agent, my lawyer, they’re all like, ‘Hey, you should probably read that script we sent you two weeks ago,” Heigl laughed. “I’m like, ‘Right, right, right, right.’ I just hyper-focus on the world I’m in now.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Heigl’s family life in Utah:

The family moved to a ranch outside of Park City, Utah, in 2010, where they have eight dogs, three cats, chickens, goats, horses and other animals. 

“I could kind of decompress and let that hustle part of me go — a little bit,” the actress said of the family’s Utah home. “I don’t know that in any career you can ever completely stop hustling, but being able to separate it a little bit and choose those times of hustle versus just being in it constantly was really important to me.”

Heigl also shared that her children love life on the ranch. 

“They are really content to stand at the river and throw rocks in and feed the chickens,” she shared. “Naleigh is good at feeding the horses and holding out the hay, though she won’t get on [a horse].”

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