Jennifer Love Hewitt Recalls Facing "Incredibly Inappropriate" Questions About Her Body as a Young Star

Jennifer Love Hewitt reflected on her role in Heartbreakers, recalling how interviewers asked about her "boobs and body" more than they did her onscreen work.

By Cydney Contreras Mar 29, 2021 10:26 PMTags
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Jennifer Love Hewitt is just another female celeb who cringes when reflecting on the headlines written about her—or more accurately, her appearance—in the aughts. 

Though the 2001 movie Heartbreakers was a hit at the box office, critics and tabloids were more fascinated with Jennifer's body, which was on full display throughout the film. The actress was inundated with questions about her figure, and as Jennifer looks back on that time in her life in a new interview with Vulture, published Monday, March 29, she's thinking to herself, "Gosh, I wish that I had known how inappropriate that was so I could have defended myself somehow or just not answered those questions."

"The conversation for a very long time in my career was always about [my body] first—then, 'Oh yeah, you were really great in the movie, too,' later," the 42-year-old mom recalls. "I didn't get it. That's just what I looked like, and I was doing my job."

See the Stars of Heartbreakers, Then & Now

And though she didn't understand the fascination with her body, she says, "I just started to [prepare myself], like, 'I know I'm doing an interview today, so I'm pretty sure at least 20 of the 40 minutes is going to be about boobs and body stuff, so we'll just get that out of the way and then maybe they'll ask me something else.'"

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Her nonchalant attitude towards their invasive questions were a symptom of the times Jennifer explains, recalling how even though "interviewers were asking what now would be incredibly inappropriate, gross things, it didn't feel that way" at the time. She adds, "For some reason, in my brain, I was able to just go, 'Okay, well, I guess they wouldn't be asking if it was inappropriate.'"

That being said, the star says hindsight is 20/20 and she understands why she was so annoyed by interviewer's questions. She recalls, "At a press junket for I Know or I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, I remember purposely wearing a T-shirt that said 'Silicone Free' on it because I was so annoyed, and I knew something about boobs was gonna be the first question out of [reporters'] mouths. I was really tired of that conversation."

She was even more perturbed when promoting Heartbreakers because she was acting alongside Sigourney WeaverRay Liotta and Gene Hackman, but the focus remained on her appearance.

"I was disappointed that it was all about body stuff, because I had really worked hard in that movie to do a good job as an actress," Jennifer shares. "So I remember one specific moment wishing that the acting had overshadowed all that—that for five minutes, they had said I was really great in the movie versus made a body comment."

Jennifer also acknowledges that she was dressed in a more "risqué" manner for the role of Page, but said everyone was respectful of her boundaries, including the director. The Ghost Whisperer actor remembers, "One thing that really stood out to me when we did the movie is how much people were looking out for me and really making sure that I never felt weird or on display. I remember there were more than a couple of people that were like, 'Okay, let's make sure boobs are in place and we're not seeing underwear.'"

She also says that, despite her more sexual scenes, the men in the cast never made her feel uncomfortable, including Ray, who she remembers as the "kindest, funniest, sweetest man who made me feel so comfortable."

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And when it came to filming that scene, the one where her hair gets caught in Ray's pant zipper, Jennifer says she brought her mom and grandmother to ensure there was no funny business. As she put it, "I don't really know why I did that, except that they were the two biggest female influences in my life. I wanted to feel comfortable. There was a part of me, also, that wanted them to feel comfortable with what I was going to be doing, and I knew if I can do this scene in front of my mom and my grandmother and they're cool with it, the rest of the movie is gonna be just fine."

Now that she's had the time to reflect on her past, Jennifer is hopeful for the future and a potential sequel. But if that movie every comes to fruition, don't expect her to be in those same itty-bitty outfits. As she puts it, "I'm in my 40s, so I'm not going to do [Page's] wardrobe again right now."