Jennifer Love Hewitt: 'Jackie Chan is a person I aspire to be'

By Tiffany Rose
Sunday 29 December 2002 01:00
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Jennifer Love Hewitt, 23, became a star at 17 when she appeared in the teen horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer. She has since had television roles and plays Jackie Chan's partner-in-crime in the new film The Tuxedo. She has recorded four albums, and her latest single, "Barenaked", is out in February. Originally from Waco, Texas, Hewitt lives with her mother in Los Angeles

How did you like working on your first action movie?

It was great. Mind you, it's scary to be in a fight scene with Jackie Chan. I had to punch him in the face and I was terrified he was going to hit me back, but he was, like, "It's okay."

Did the two of you get on?

I really and truly love him. Even he says that he has never had this kind of friendship and love with someone he has worked with. He's a person I aspire to be some day. One thing is for sure, is that I will know him for ever. We will talk on the phone. I've already made plans to visit him on his next movie.

Steady on! Were you a fan before this?

Oh my God, yes. I will never forget the first time I met him. I just didn't know what to say so I hugged him and wouldn't let go. He looked at me as if I was mad.

As a child actress, do you feel you missed out on school life and not making friends of your own age?

No. I just didn't fit in at school. These two girls would dump cola on my head and I would get beaten up at least twice a day.

Why do you think they picked on you?

I was going to auditions a lot then and they were just mean about it. And I couldn't understand why they liked going home after school to play Nintendo – I just thought, don't you want to do something more useful with your time? We didn't gel.

Would you do another horror movie ?

I don't know. Horror films are fun, but you can only get away with doing so many. I would like to get away from the tight-top-screaming-girl-running-away, to be honest, and do more dramatic work.

What's the funniest thing you've read about yourself in the tabloids?

I read that I was so upset when I saw a girl who was going out with an ex-boyfriend, that I passed out in a clothes store. I apparently threw myself on the floor and started crying. I also read that I was dating Burt Reynolds. He's a bit old for me, don't you think?

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What do you miss the most when you are away from home?

My bed. I have the most wonderful bed – it has four posters, with drapes, and on my ceiling I painted angels and flowers. I don't sleep as well when I'm away.

Which woman do you most admire?

Diane Keaton. I think she is beautiful, smart, and powerful and I have heard nothing but how kind and warm she is. For a woman like that to carry weight in Hollywood is a huge accomplishment.

Have you met her?

I saw her once. It was late and our cars were parked next to each other, and we were both wearing sweats, and she just laughed. "Actress?" she said. 'Isn't it fun?' And then I finally looked up and saw it was her and I was like, 'Aahhhhh!'

Where does your confidence come from?

I am the most insecure person you are ever going to meet in your entire life! I just play really confident roles. I hope each time that it will somehow rub off on me. I do have hope. I think you get more confident as you grow older.

Are you more nervous about the release of your new film or your new record, Barenaked?

I am probably more nervous about the record coming out, because the film is bound to do great with Jackie Chan in it.

Do you have a favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe that you refuse to throw away?

Yes, I have this long floral sundress, which is super, super comfortable. I've had it for so long, I can't even remember how it got there in the first place.

'The Tuxedo' is released on 10 January

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