Life Imitates Art for Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley

10/04/2010 at 02:00 PM ET
Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages

Life imitated art for Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley last fall.

“We were going through the same things that she was going through in the movie at the same time,” Kelley, 30, told PEOPLE at the New York City premiere of Life as We Know It on Thursday.

In the film, the actress plays a woman forced to raise a baby with Josh Duhamel’s character — a former blind date that soured fast — after tragedy strikes their mutual friends. In real life, the couple’s adoption of 22-month-old daughter Naleigh unexpectedly went through a week before filming began.

“It was a zoo, a full on circus,” adds Heigl, 31. “Most of the time I just felt guilty that I wasn’t spending enough time with my own daughter, and I was spending too much time with the triplets [who played the baby in the film] on set.”

She’s since made up for it! “Katherine’s a phenomenal mother,” raves Kelley. “She’s just got the instinct, man. She’s a really, really great mom. And she keeps [Naleigh] on a strict regimen. I think that’s really important when you’re raising a child. You have to keep it consistent.”

With little Naleigh about to turn two, “she’s starting to really be able to formulate sentences,” Kelley, whose new single “Georgia Clay” is out now, says. “I think that’s pretty cute. ‘I love you Dada. I love you Mama.’ I love that. She’s able to mimic really well. It’s phenomenal.”

— Jeffrey Slonim

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Tee on

They both sound totally in love with little Naleigh. I really enjoy reading stories about their family.

CelebBabyLover on

Sounds like the adoption went through a little sooner than expected…..and it caught them off guard a bit!🙂

Jill on

I remember reading an article about how Naleigh had a minor heart condition that was correctable; however, because of her condition, she was put on a “disability list.” As a result, Katherine said that many of these children on the list never get adopted. I thought it was so awesome that Katherine and her husband weren’t dissuaded from adopting Naleigh because she had a heart condition – I have so much respect for them and anyone who adopts. It sounds like they are so happy and they have a wonderful family!

meghan on

How adorable is Josh Kelley?!?! He is so in love with his girls! It really warms my heart when I hear a man talk about his family like this.🙂

jessicad on

They really do seem like a great couple in tune with each other, I’ve always liked her acting and love seeing her as Mama now:)

Helene on

I work with international and domestic adoptions, i can tell you that china is very high strung about their children. we all know how they want the perfect baby boy, so if a child has the slightest imperfection it is considered special needs. china’s special needs cover what we in america consider to be a minor correctable condition such as heart murmur, club foot, ear deformity, cleft pallete and so on. most likely katherine’s child has a heart murmur since it was mentioned she had a heart condition.

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