HEWITT, JENNIFER LOVE: HEARTBREAKERS
THE PROS AND CONS OF JENNIFER
A lousy lier herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a con artist in
Heartbreakers Ė itís not her, but then thatís what
actingís all about, she tells Jenny Cooney Carrillo.
Jennifer Love Hewitt has played the nice girl for so long that itís
hard to imagine her as the sexy con-artist she portrays in her
latest film, Heartbreakers. As Sarah on the hit TV series, Party
of Five, she won audiences with her love-struck innocence to the
point where she got her own spin-off series, Time of Your Life -
cancelled after only one season. Now in Heartbreakers and again
in her follow-up role in The Devil and Daniel Webster, playing
the devil, Hewitt challenges these beliefs audiences have held
So how good a con-artist are you?
I think as actors we are all constantly trying to make people
believe that we can do whatever it is they want us to do, be
whoever they want us to be. But Iím a really bad liar in
real life, so I try to be as truthful as possible whenever I can.
Iíve been conned myself, but I am really bad at doing it to
In Heartbreakers, youíre very close to your mother,
played by Sigourney Weaver. What about in your own life?
My mother and I are also really close. The only thing we donít
have is the whole fighting aspect that Sigourney and I have. I
mean, we have our fights when we need to, but my mother and I are
really close for the most part. Thatís a big reason why I
wanted to do the movie, because I havenít really done
anything thatís touched so closely to my own life. It was
fun to do something that explored the whole mother-daughter thing.
What is it specifically that attracts you to certain
I try and not play the same parts all the time. Paige (the
character in Heartbreakers) is definitely something different.
She has a really big attitude, she wears such revealing clothing,
and sheís really feisty with people, but sheís got a
mushy center. Then right after Paige I went on to play Satan in
The Devil and Daniel Webster. It was really fun to let go and do
Did you have any conflicts between playing the devil and
your own religious up-bringing?
My mum raised us to believe that there was something watching
over us, that God would take care of us. I say my prayers every
night but I donít go to church every Sunday. My belief is a
little more private. I did feel a little weird about playing
Satan though. I thought about how that might play out when I died
and got to heaven, how I was supposed to explain myself at the
Pearly Gates! And actually right before we started filming I
thought that I should do one good thing before I started to be
Satan for the next three months so I went to St. Patrickís
Cathedral in New York to light a candle and ask for guidance for
playing the Devil. I stopped myself for a minute, thinking how
weird it was what I was asking, but after that I just did it. We
tried to make Satan as human as possible and sort of gave Satan
feelings. Which is a hard thing to do.
What does success mean to you?
I think personal success is the best success. Jamie Lee Curtis
once said something really, really important to me and Iíll
take it with me for the rest of my life. She said you are really
successful if you can look in the mirror 20 years from now and
see the exact same person that you did when you started 20 years
prior. And to me, that is success. When you can do something that
you love, people will allow you to move forward in it. You get to
work with a lot of amazing people. But more importantly, you get
to stay the same as you were, only richer in spirit.
You also worked on The Devil and Daniel Webster with
Anthony Hopkins. How was that?
What do you say about Anthony Hopkins except Wow! I started
bawling my eyes out the first time I had to say my line opposite
him because I was terrified, and heís looking at me like Iím
crazy, and Iím thinking how amazing it is to be acting with
someone of his stature. Heís great. Heís so funny and
full of life. Heíll be one of my great friends for a long
time. I really learned a lot from him. Iíll never forget it.
He was awesome.
Do you still consider yourself a role model after
starting out that way on television?
Thatís the best part of my job and itís the best thing
that I think I am blessed with. Because of my character on Party
of Five and even with Paige in Heartbreakers, I was able to show
the insecurities that so many women feel and explore how to be my
own person and find the confidence to be my own person. Besides
the women in my own family, I didnít have people to look up
to so I looked up to celebrities, and now itís cool to be a
role model and help people like myself figure out what they want
and who they are. I think itís a really important thing.
Published July 5, 2001
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