Scream Queen Jennifer Love Hewitt's Quiet Life: Inside Her World Out of the Hollywood Spotlight

With the 20th anniversary of I Know What You Did Last Summer just past, here's what the veteran star has been up to since her run on Criminal Minds ended two years ago

By Natalie Finn Oct 31, 2017 12:00 PMTags

Jennifer Love Hewitt is off the grid.

Well, not the grid-grid. She's still a proponent of electricity and internet service, and she even joined Instagram in August. 

But since appearing on Criminal Minds for one season, she has taken a decisive step back from the Hollywood scene, focusing on family life with husband Brian Hallisay and their two young children, daughter Autumn and son Atticus.

We couldn't help but think of the actress this month when the 20th anniversary of I Know What You Did Last Summer scared us all over again on Oct. 17—and just in time for Halloween. Hewitt marked the nostalgic milestone on social media but otherwise didn't pop up to chat about it, as co-stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Ryan Phillippe did earlier this year.

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"I remember it was a really exciting time because Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze and Jennifer Love Hewitt and I were all kind of starting our careers out, and it felt like it was our first big-studio movie at the time," Phillippe said on Good Morning America in July.

Columbia Pictures

"I was 21 years old," Prinze, who's been married to Gellar for 15 years now, marveled to E! News in April. "I had just gotten my—I was legal to drink, not that I hadn't had a beer before then. But I had my license, Sarah didn't, and neither did either Ryan or Love, so I was the beer buyer!"

On Instagram Hewitt wrote, "20 years ago four teenagers and a fisherman met on a dark road. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. #iknowhwhatyoudidtwentyyearsago#flashbacktuesday #feelingoldnow."

Not that Prinze and Phillippe were out expressly waxing nostalgic about the good 'ol days. The former was out promoting his new cookbook, Back to the Kitchen, and showing off his chef skills, while the latter was talking up his movie Wish Upon. Hewitt, meanwhile, has gone full-time family woman—and seems to be cherishing every minute.

Columbia Pictures

The now 38-year-old actress and singer had been working since she was barely 11, when she got her big break on Disney Channel's Kids Incorporated alongside the artist who would come to be known as Fergie. She'd been in hit teen movies like IKWYDLS and Can't Hardly Wait and seminal TV shows like Party of Five, played Audrey Hepburn and carried three prime-time dramas. She released four albums and tried her hand directing episodes of The Ghost Whisperer and The Client List. Finally, she joined Criminal Minds for the 2014-2015 season, playing a pregnant agent to go along with her real-life pregnancy.


And then that was that. Perhaps it was simply time for a break, to focus on her next chapter.

"I've been an actress for 25 years, and have had to be hungry at times for my career, so being pregnant is completely freeing," Hewitt told American Baby in 2015. "When I was expecting Autumn, I ate everything I saw! I told myself, 'Oh there's a donut—I should have that.' Now with this second pregnancy, I know the baby really doesn't 'need it.' So I eat healthy foods in general, but I also indulge in little things that I crave."

Moreover, "Because so many of us are busy or driven, we forget to take care of ourselves. But when you're pregnant, it's all about you—and that baby inside of you. Enjoy a nap; for some reason our generation thinks we can't do that! Really listen to your body. I hope to continue to be a little kinder to myself after pregnancy."

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That certainly seems to be a promise to herself that she has kept.

Atticus was born on June 24, 2015. Hewitt tweeted that Sept. 1 that she was headed out for her first business meeting since the baby arrived, followed by, "Lactated through silk jumpsuit mid meeting. Had to buy scarf for dignified exit. #hotelgiftshop #mommylife."

She added pink streaks to her hair, touted Palmer's Cocoa Butter for fighting stretch marks and then tweeted a relative handful of times in all of 2016, with nothing between June and the holidays. This year, she tweeted twice—in January she was tickled to find out that Justin Baldoni of Jane the Virgin, a show she loves, had been crushing on her since she was a kid; in August she directed traffic over to her new Instagram account, which she has been sharing well-curated snapshots more frequently.

Morning. #morningvibe #sleepymommyselfie #neededfuelforlaundryandcleaningthehouse

A post shared by Jennifer Love Hewitt (@jenniferlovehewitt) on

Basically, since Aug. 21, Hewitt's been living life normally to the fullest, watching the eclipse, drinking coffee, cooking up a storm, testing out beauty products, posting TBTs and the occasional selfie, watching Bachelor in Paradise and, most recently, carving up pumpkins and baking ghost-topped cupcakes for Halloween.

Oh, and there was the Labor Day pool party at Josh Gad's house, where fellow guests included Sterling K. Brown and his family, Gad's Book of Mormon co-star Rory O'Malley and Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. and they all did the Mannequin Challenge (minus the littlest kids, who just could  not sit still).

So her life isn't entirely normal. Hewitt's still got a host of close celebrity friends.

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What Hewitt does not share regularly is photos of her children, and then only limited to silhouettes and backs of heads. So privacy remains paramount for the doting mom, who's all for sharing silly pics of herself but is keeping the majority of her home life behind closed doors.

Old pic of me and my girl. #dayofthegirl

A post shared by Jennifer Love Hewitt (@jenniferlovehewitt) on

Married life seems to be good, as she was recently spotted out shopping and smiling with Hallisay, whom she met when they starred on The Client List together, at a L.A. boutique and her wedding band was front-and-center in a pic last week showing off her manicure. She and Hallisay tied the knot just days before Autumn was born in 2013.


"It was just the two of us and then we went to Bed, Bath & Beyond because that's what married people do," she later said on Ellen. "It was really sweet and he's an awesome, incredible father and a great husband, and I just feel really lucky. It's awesome."

Back in 2012, Hewitt also had nothing but great things to say about social media when she was tweeting up a storm—even though, having come of age basically onscreen, from Kids Incorporated to Party of Five to Can't Hardly Wait, she was aware of just how cruel some people could be. 

"I have to say that, by nature, I'm like a 90-year-old woman, so the whole internet and Twitter and Facebook, and all of that, I'm very new to," she told Collider. "But, I am quite shocked at how much fun it is to be able to reach out to people, on a daily basis, and keep content out there, and how much it actually really does help promote things, in such a different way."

A year later, during her first pregnancy, she was done.

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"Unfortunately with all the negativity people choose to send on twitter as well as threats to their own well being," she wrote in July 2013. "I'm sad to say twitter is no longer for me. I have enjoyed all the kindness and love that came my way, as well as support. But this break is needed."

She continued, "Life should be filled with positivity and holding each other up, not making threats and sending bad vibes. To those of you who made it a joy, Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Hewitt obviously ultimately returned to the platform, but the timing of when she more or less again stopped tweeting (2015-16) makes perfect sense. It hasn't been all that fun for most people for awhile now.

The grass, however, does look a lot greener, especially for Jennifer Love Hewitt, over on Instagram.