While conducting a press conference to discuss her upcoming romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth" with co-star Gerard Butler and director Robert Luketic, Katherine Heigl bluntly discussed returning to production on "Grey's Anatomy."

Rumors were flying last spring that Heigl, whose movie career has taken off with the hits "Knocked Up" and "27 Dresses" had no interest in returning for a sixth season of the popular ABC show.  It all seemed a fait accompli with Heigl's character flatlining after a  long bought with cancer during the show's season finale.  Instead, ABC announced -- to all of Holywood's surprise -- that Heigl would return because the studio picked up her contract. Much to the contrary, however, Heigl didn't sound bitter about being back on the tube whatsoever.

"It's exciting to be back because I really missed my friends and it was exciting to see everybody," Heigl says. "It's such a strange thing because it's been two months, but it doesn't feel like any time has passed all because you're right back on the same set and the same wardrobe and the same people, so maybe you haven't seen each other over the weekend.  That's what it feels like.  Aside from Ellen's growing belly, because the last time I saw her it was just a tiny bump and now she's got a basketball, it's weird.  Nothing has changed and it's wonderful.

That is, of course, except for the departure of her longtime friend T.R. Knight who decided to leave the show to return to the bright lights and smaller media spotlight of Broadway. Heigl laments, "Except for T.R. and that was actually very strange and really hard because T.R. provided so much joy and levity and for everyone else.  We were all just sort of sitting there and -- Oh, I'm not supposed to talk about this -- anyway, we had to a scene about it."

[Spoilers ahead.]

Heigl continues, "We had to do a scene about George's death and Justin kept saying 'I keep imagining T.R. on Broadway like [spazzes happiness] while we're mourning the character's death.  And then we all sort of went, 'Yeah, that's hilarious. That's hilarious.' But then realized it was really sad. He'd be laughing really hard to and he's not here to laugh with us. So, it's a little strange in that regard, but other than that I'm back with my friends and family."

The feisty actress also bluntly announced -- with a wink -- that she was a little annoyed with the "Grey's" producers.


"Yeah, I'm actually really mad at them right now because they worked me Wednesday 17 hours and I thought that was mean," Heigl says. "Yep, I think we should all boycott 'Grey's Anatomy.'  We need to make a point! Is this even legal! Are they even allowed to do that?"

"Don't say that, it doesn't work in print," Butler interjects laughing.  "Someone is going to write this down as a serious comment. 'Katie Heigl says we should all boycott 'Grey's Anatomy.'"

Knowing her honesty has gotten her in trouble before, Heigl sighs, "Oh, [expletive].  I was joking."

And the room irrupts with laughter.

"The Ugly Truth"
opens nationwide Friday, July 24.  "Grey's Anatomy" returns this fall on Sept. 24. Look for more witty banter from Heigl and Butler later this weekend on HitFix.