Isabel Evans is a teenage alien with sophisticated style and a saucy attitude. Sister to Max, Isabel is tall, blond, bold and exudes confidence. Unlike Max and Michael, Isabel isn't afraid to use powers whenever she feels like it. With a swipe of her hand, Isabel can change the colors of her lipstick, or make stains disappear from her clothing. When she's in the mood for some Foo Fighters or Bush, she holds a CD up to her ears and voila!--she can rock in digital stereo!
While Isabel can be a "button pushing, don't-stand-in-my-way" type of person, she also has a warm, tender loving, side. She's very close to Max and her foster parents, especially her mom. Like Max and Michael, she wants to explore her mysterious past. But perhaps more than Max and Michael, it's Isabel who embraces the love and acceptance she experiences in Roswell. Katherine says of her character, "She's got many sides. She wants to fit in, she wants to be normal, and she doesn't want to have to be afraid."
Katherine Heigl can relate to Isabel's longing to be "normal". When she was a teenager like Isabel, Katherine longed to fit in with her classmates at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, Connecticut. "Because I was different, I was off doing movies and modeling and other stuff--I was part of the popular crowd, so it was hard to deal with that. It's one of those things that adults trivialize, but to kids--it's life or death."
In order to "fit in," Katherine made a decision to put her burgeoning acting and modeling career on hold as much as possible until after she graduated. "The most important thing I realized was, in my sophomore year of high school, what sort of person I wanted to be, not what I thought I should be. And from then on, it was on my terms. I made the best friends of my life that year--who are still my best friends."
Katherine Marie Heigl was born on November 24, 1978 in Washington D.C. to Nancy and John Heigl. Soon after her birth, her family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where she spent most of her childhood. It was a nice place for Katherine, her parents, and her two older siblings, John and Margaret to live.
When Katherine was nine, her aunt sent snapshots of her to a modeling agency. Soon after, Katherine was posing in flyers for stores like Sears and Lord and Taylor doing commercials in nearby New York City. Instantly, Katherine felt that something had clicked inside of her.
The more Katherine modeled, the more in demand she became. The one hour train rides from New Canaan to New York City became a regular trip for Katherine and her mother, and proved to be a real bonding experience. Even to this day, she says, "My mom is my best friend. We get along so well, and she was such a tremendous support and influence in my life." Thanks to her mother's encouragement and willingness to allow her daughter to follow her heart, Katherine's modeling career expanded into acting in films. "That Night" which starred C. Thomas Howell and Juliette Lewis, was her first film role. She was eleven. It was followed by the depression-era drama: "King of the Hill".
French actor Gerard Depardieu played Katherine's father in the 1994 film: "My Father, the Hero". It was a big film for fourteen year old Katherine and a personal turning point--her first on-screen kiss with actor Dalton James was her first kiss ever. Katherine says the awkwardness of the situation was intensified because her mother was on the set. She told Cosmo Girl, "I was fourteen and he was twenty-two and beautiful. He asked, 'Have you ever French-kissed before, because the director wants to make it look real.' I was horrified." Luckily, Katherine managed to get through that situation, and the movie recieved solid reviews. She soon found herself playing the daughter of another super star actor, Steven Segal, in the feature film, Under Siege 2. That movie was a box office smash and young Katherine got solid notices. Jay Leno asked her to appear on The Tonight Show to demonstrate some of the martial art skills she learned from working with Mr. Segal.
Seventeen magazine jumped at the chance to put the young Hollywood actress on their cover. It was a magical time for the high school sophomore, but back in New Canaan, it was business as usual. "When I came back from doing movies, I was a normal kid going to school, doing my homework, hanging out with my friends."
One weekend on a trip to New York City with her mother, Katherine met actor Joey Lawrence (from the tv show: Blossom) and the two began a long-distance relationship that lasted nearly three months. Things might have blossomed into something more meaningful, but being on opposite coasts--Joey in California and Katherine in Connecticut--made the relationship difficult.
Acting roles kept coming for Katherine, who tried to remain as normal as possible in high school. During her junior and senior years, she landed roles in two more movies: Wish Upon a Star and Bride of Chucky. Going on location for these films meant long hours for Katherine, who had to squeeze in her school work and shooting schedule. "My tutors on the set would work with my regular teachers in school. They would fax things back and forth to each other," says Katherine.
"I really felt I wanted a shot"
In 1996, Katherine's parents got divorced. In 1997, soon after Katherine graduated from New Canaan High School, she and her mom moved to Los Angeles. Katherine is still close with her father, who now works as a banker in Washington D.C. Of the decision to move west, she says, "After I graduated, I had the choice of going to college or L.A. I picked L.A. because I really felt I wanted a shot (at acting career)". Katherine and her mom set up a house in sunny Southern California. She landed parts in several small films and projects including the TV movie, "The Tempest" with Peter Fonda.
When Katherine got called in to audition for Roswell, she was instantly drawn to it. "I was really excited about it. I thought the concept was really interesting. It adds the sci-fi theme to high school, but it also plays on the idea that everyone, at one time or another, feels like an alien in high school. They feel out of place, like they don't fit in. I really liked that they were drawing on that."
Originally, Katherine read for the leading female role of Liz Parker. The producers must have detected an otherworldly quality for Katherine and had her return to read the part of Isabel Evans. The feeling was mutual. "I wanted to be the alien!" Katherine exclaimed. "Isabel has this secret, it's like a disease, and she just wants to be treated like a normal human being."
But neither Katherine, nor her portrayal of Isabel could be classified as "normal". Though Roswell did end, a movie of it is being underway. Katherine says she couldn't be happier acting. "I'm having so much fun right now. I can't imagine doing anything else."
KATHERINE QUICK FACTS:
LAST NAME PRONOUNCED: High-Goal
ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Sagittarius
PETS: Two miniature schnauzer dogs, Anna and Romeo
HOBBIES: Kickboxing, yoga, drawing
FAVORITE FOOD: Sushi
FAVORITE BOOK: Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
ROMANCE: Katherine Heigl (23) is dating fellow Roswell cast member, Jason Behr (28).