09/18/2007 at 12:00 PM EDT
Nobody was more surprised than Katherine Heigl
's own parents when the Grey's Anatomy
star won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama on Sunday.
Heigl, 29, phoned into the Ellen DeGeneres
show on Tuesday to say her mother told her: "This year, you know, with The Sopranos
women being nominated and it being their last year of the show, I really think
they're going to win – so I don't want you to be disappointed if you don't."
stars Lorraine Bracco and Aida Turturro were up for the honor this year, as were Grey's
costars Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson, and Brothers and Sisters
actress Rachel Griffiths.
Heigl, who originally announced while accepting the award Sunday that her mother didn't think she'd win, told DeGeneres that her mom did say: "I love you and you're always a winner."
As for her father: "He had a big party in Georgia, and the party was for 'Its just great to be nominated,' which turned into, 'It's a hell of a lot better to actually win,' " Heigl said. "Even my dad was like in shock and said, 'I
really didn't think you'd win.' Nobody thought I was going to win."
Of not expecting to hear her name announced, she said, "It's more fun that way because you can't get let down and you can only be excited about it."
In fact, Heigl is still in shock over her good fortune. Asked by DeGeneres if the news had sunk in, she said, "Like, it's not sinking in."
There was one person, however, who believed in her: Heigl's costar and good friend, T.R. Knight, who was sitting next to her during the award show.
"What did T.R. Knight whisper in your ear right before you went on stage?" asked DeGeneres.
"I think he said, 'You deserve it.' I can't quite remember. He's a tremendous supporter and such an awesome friend," said Heigl. "It was so great that he was sitting right there so I could just grab him for a couple more seconds before I had to get up there."
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