Jennifer Love Hewitt on Playing a Hooker Mom, Betty White and, of Course, Vagazzling
by Kim Potts, posted Jan 29th 2011 4:00PM
It's been a busy month for Jennifer Love Hewitt: She attended her first Golden Globes award ceremony as a nominee (receiving a Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television nod for the Lifetime movie 'The Client List'), she co-stars with Betty White in the sweet Hallmark movie 'The Lost Valentine' (Jan. 30, 8PM ET, CBS) and, once again, she's made headlines this week with the story of how she's already picked out her own engagement ring.
There's more to the engagement ring story (and all her romantic ideals) in her 2010 book 'The Day I Shot Cupid: Hello, My Name Is Jennifer Love Hewitt and I'm a Love-aholic,' which was just released in paperback. And with 'The Client List' -- a gem that's already earned a place alongside other Lifetime insta-classics like 'Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?' and 'Co-ed Call Girl' -- hitting DVD on Feb. 1 (Sony), Hewitt talked to TV Squad about the fun parts of playing 'The Client List' hooker mom, about plans to turn the movie into a series, about that engagement ring brouhaha and about why she doesn't want to hear your vagazzling story, thank you very much.
Kim Potts: Congratulations on the Golden Globe nomination for 'The Client List.' Was it a surprise to get the nomination for a Lifetime movie?
Jennifer Love Hewitt: Completely surprised! I just feel like the Golden Globes are so just awesome anyway, and then it was really cool to be nominated. It was completely unexpected. I never thought that I would get it for that movie, and it was just awesome.
You had been the Golden Globes before, but not as a nominee, right? Was that a different experience?
Totally. I mean, not that it's not exciting as a presenter, but so much more exciting as a nominee. It's crazy ... the whole week is so awesome, you're just treated like a princess. And before, in my experience when I was a presenter, I was working on 'Ghost Whisperer,' so I never got to go to any of the Golden Globe parties or anything because I was working ... This experience was really great, because I'm not working right now, so I got to enjoy the whole week before, and go to the parties afterwards, and it was just a really fun night and a fun week.
How did you get involved with the movie? Did you take it to the network, or did they bring it to you?
Actually, my manager and I took it to (Lifetime) ... They really liked it, and then we got other producers on board, and it was, you know, about four and a half years in the making. It was a passion project, which is always awesome when those come together. And that was another reason that the Golden Globes was such a nice experience, because it's a project that I got to produce, my company, we got to put the cast together and find the wonderful director we had. And so it was my baby. So to get a best actress nomination for that just really made it that much sweeter.
Are you a fan of Lifetime movies in general?
I am a fan, yeah. I mean, I think that they're really fun, entertaining movies. And what I loved about this one for them is that it is different than their normal movies. And it was fun for me, because I was sort of branching out and going out of my comfort zone a bit, and they were doing the same.
I think 'The Client List' is right up there with the best Lifetime movies. Obviously, there's serious subject matter, but there were also some really fun, over-the-top moments. Like the scene where Samantha stays up all night making the working castle cake ...
(Laughing) I thought that was pretty great. We had fun doing that scene, and we were all laughing when the final cake was done. When (the camera pans) back, and it's this huge castle, and she'd just gone a little crazy ... that was great.
Did you actually help make the cake?
(Laughing) No, a professional did that. But I did help eat some of the chocolate off of it after we were done filming.
What was your favorite part of the movie in terms of what you got to do as an actress?
You know what? I loved the movie as a whole, but I have to say the most fun filming-wise for me was in the spa with the girls, because they are just hilarious women in real life. And we had the best time running around just calling each other "hooker this" and "hooker that" all day. It was really funny.
And then the phone calls to my best friend Jenny while I was filming, because she's like this amazingly smart, sophisticated, great woman, who has a totally normal job, lives in Indiana ... She would call me in the morning, and I'd be like, "What are you doing today?" And she'd be, "Oh my gosh, I have all these meetings, and I've done the projections for this, that and the other." And then she'd say, "What are you doing?" And I'm like, "Well, I have to rub eight hairy backs, and I'm going to be in lingerie, and I think one guy asks me to put whip cream on him, and another guy's going to be handcuffed ..." And I'd be halfway through it, and she'd say, "Wow! Our lives are just so different!" I'm like, "Yeah!" (Laughing) And then I would try to send pictures to her from the set. I would take a picture of each guy that had supposedly been my john, and I'd be like, "Here I am with Sven," and she would be in the middle of meetings, and she'd send me messages going, "Please stop sending these photos! I'm in a meeting and I can't stop laughing!" It was really funny.
Right after the movie aired, there was some talk about turning it into a series for Lifetime. Is that something that's still happening? Will it focus on Samantha's life while she's working as a hooker, or afterwards?
Yes, we are going to do a series based on the movie, but I will not be in it. I can't really talk too much about it, because we're sort of still working out the details. But I can say that it'll be a little bit of both. We will sort of skim through some of the stuff that happened in the movie, just to remind people where we are and to get people used to a new girl playing (Samantha) and all the new characters in the show. And then it will kind of take off on its own.
Will you be involved with the series at all?
I'm going to be a producer, and I'm going to direct a bunch of them, which I'm really excited about. And you never know, I might pop up in there in a funny little part.
You also directed episodes of 'Ghost Whisperer,' and you're making your feature directing debut with the ghost story 'Wait Till Helen Comes' ... when are we like to see you in front of the camera again? Are you looking for another series?
I would do one, yeah. I mean, I'm really open to do some film stuff, because I haven't been able to do that in a while, which I miss. And then I am looking at a few TV options. I want to choose carefully and get into something that I feel passionate about and excited about. I've been very lucky to be a part of really amazing projects that I've loved, and I'm just looking for that. And I don't know if it'll be a film, I don't know if it'll be TV, I don't know if it'll be something I'm just directing. But I'm looking for that thing that's going to sort of ignite the passion in my heart like the other jobs that I've done.
You have another movie, 'The Lost Valentine,' coming up this weekend, with Betty White. Is she even more amazing than we all think she is?
She is the ultimate. She really is. She's the greatest person I've ever met. I just ... I fell in love with her at Hello. She had me at hello. And she does complete me. (Laughing) I just love her. Everybody wants to be working with her, and I felt really lucky that I was going to get the opportunity. And then I met her ... you just want to hug her all day. And it's a really beautiful little movie, and I think people are going to like it.
Now, I have to ask you about the headlines you sparked this week, about picking out your own engagement ring. People have had a lot of opinions about it, but, on the flip side, I think most women do have strong opinions about what kind of ring they want, and would maybe even like to pick out the exact one ... are you surprised by all the fuss?
First of all, what I think is so funny about people jumping on this is that, almost a year ago, when my book came out, we had already talked about this, because I wrote about it in the book. It's a chapter in my book. So I think it's so funny that people are forgetting that I've already talked about that subject matter, and we've already had this discussion, people have already debated about it ... half the people thought it was crazy, and half the people loved it. But here we go again.
I was writing the book, and I wanted to take things that can be stressful in romance and dating, and I wanted to make people laugh about them, and I wanted to lighten the subject a little bit, because dating can be really horrible ... and your heart can be really broken. And it can be really frustrating when you haven't found the love of your life yet, but enough people have written about that. I wanted my book to be like, "OK, now let's take everything that we stress about and laugh. Let's take lemons and make lemonade."
So that's what I was really trying to do. And the ring thing, I do think that there's value in that. I mean, I think that as women, by nature, not insulting women because I am one, but we don't always know what we want. And sometimes we want something on a Thursday and we've changed our minds by Saturday. But the one thing that we do know is diamonds, and we do know Tiffany's and we do know what we want in our ring ... And I think that that's the case for a lot of women.
And so I felt like that's such a stress. All the stress is on the guy for a proposal. They have to worry if we're going to say yes. They have to do it the right way. It has to be the most romantic thing ever ... so the one thing that we can help them with is to narrow it down about the ring, because if you walk into jewelry stores, there's like 150 different options. How is he going to know? And some of my girlfriends have gotten rings that, quite honestly, they weren't happy with. They love the guy, but (the ring) is just not their style.
And this, along with your wedding ring, is the only thing you're going to wear every day, for the rest of your life ...
Exactly. And maybe pass down to somebody. And you want to be able to show it off to all of your friends and feel proud of it. So what I was trying to do was to be helpful. And now, from what some people think, I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. So I feel bad about that. But I was trying to be helpful.
The book is fun, and you do share a lot of your philosophies about dating and relationships. Were you worried at all that it would affect your dating life after it came out?
Not necessarily personally with me, but the one thing that I was really happy about is that, in writing the book, the one thing I wanted to be very careful about is that I wanted to be in support of the guys ... when the book came out and it did well, I got a lot of responses from guys who were super excited that there was a book that was like trying to help them out, and that they felt appreciated and that they liked. So on that side it's been really good. I mean, people have made jokes with my boyfriends like, 'So, did you read chapter eight and do that right?' and that kind of thing. (Laughing) (Actor/director, and current boyfriend Alex Beh) hasn't really read the book, so that's good. (Laughing) But I wouldn't care if he did. I mean, I tried not to write down things that I was going to change my mind about that much. I tried to put things in there that I would still be proud of in ten years.
So no regrets about the vagazzling section?
(Laughing) Oh, gosh, well, other than the fact that everybody now tells me about their private parts, which is not something I need to know about. For the record, I really appreciate that people like vagazzling. But it's OK to keep it a secret between you and your pants. I don't need to be involved in that.
But you did create a new word. You get all the credit for that one, right?
I did, and I'm really excited about that. And I do think it's really funny. I mean, it was on the Dr. Oz show ... they talked about it, and I think the gyno on there talked about how people should vagazzle and stuff like that. That was really cool. So I am happy that people talked about it. I think even Snooki does it, and that's exciting. (Laughing) But yeah, people don't need to give me the details.