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Katherine Heigl: Actress, Mom… and Animal Rescuer

Katherine Heigl's Family

As if seven dogs weren't enough, Heigl -- who also owns and rides horses -- and her husband, country musician Josh Kelley, now have two daughters at home: Naleigh, 4, adopted from South Korea at 9 months, and Adalaide Marie Hope, 13 months, adopted in the United States at birth in April 2012. It's a level of chaos that she's said she wouldn't recommend to everyone, but Heigl handles it by keeping her expectations low-key.

"It's a lot. I'm not going to lie. It's a lot," she says. (Heigl and Kelley split their clan's time between Los Angeles and a home in Utah.) "My goal is that everybody gets attention every day. Naleigh's at that really talkative age, so she talks to you all day long, and Josh built her this step-stool box for the kitchen so she can help. She washes dishes with me while I cook and bake. And the baby will just sit with us in her bouncy, doing her own thing."

With Naleigh now in preschool several days a week, Heigl has a little downtime to focus on the baby and the dogs -- and occasionally squeeze in some time for herself. She confesses to struggling with the discipline needed to commit to regular exercise, but before starting filming on a new project, she cranks it into high gear. "I work with two different trainers, one in Utah and one in L.A., and they both use circuit training to keep the workout interesting and me in serious pain!"

Heigl on Holly in "Life As We Know It"

Heigl got a lot of flack for criticizing the character she played in Knocked Up as "humorless and uptight" in an interview with Vanity Fair, but says all the roles she's played in the past 10 years have reflected some aspect of her personality. Most like her, she thinks, was Holly in Life as We Know It. Holly winds up sharing guardianship of a toddler with a seemingly incompatible dude (played by Josh Duhamel) when the girl's parents, their respective best friends, die in a car crash.

"She's the closest to who I am when I'm at my best," Heigl muses. "She was strong, independent, but had a lot of compassion and heart. She could be controlling and uptight when things got stressful, but she was honest about herself and able to change."

Would Heigl want her two daughters to follow in their parents' footsteps and pursue a career in acting or music? She's torn. "Both are tough industries to break into and can be full of rejection and criticism, but if they have passion for it like Josh and I do, I would never deny them taking their shot," she says. "I might try encouraging law school or med school first, though, and see if it takes!"

Heigl's favorite bonding time with her human and furry family is in the evening, stretched out on the sofa in the media room that was Heigl's dream for their Utah house, watching animated movies. "The dogs are sofa dogs, so they're all up in my grill," she laughs. "Part of me wishes I hadn't allowed that, but it's too late now. Everyone gets kissed and petted and loved."

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