LONDON: Jennifer Love Hewitt found fame in the 1997 American slasher movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, reported British daily The Sun on Sunday.
She made her film debut at 13 and was in the hit TV series Party Of Five from the age of 16.
Jennifer, 33, won a Golden Globe nomination for her role as a hard-up single mum who takes a job in a massage parlour in the TV movie The Client List.
Here, she tells GARTH PEARCE what she wishes she’d known at 18.
WHEN I was 18, I did things like an 80-year-old woman. I didn’t have a big social life and stayed home to watch re-runs of The Golden Girls.
I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I have never done a drug in my life. I don’t curse, either. So I was a dorky goody-two-shoes.
Sex? I was about as sexy as a peanut. I had the sultriness of a clam. But what changed it was doing a film called Heartbreakers, with Sigourney Weaver, in 2001.
It was about a mother and daughter con team who seduce rich men and I had to play sexy.
The director, David Mirkin, told me what he wanted from me and I thought: “My God, if I do that, I’m going to scare small children.”
He told me to go home and look in the mirror and have a conversation with myself to make myself feel sexy. It sounds strange, but it’s true.
What I also did was interview a group of my guy friends and ask them to tell me what makes a woman sexy, because I had no idea. I loved playing the bad girl. Wearing outrageous clothes was very liberating. I was usually a jeans and T-shirt girl.
I had a boyfriend at the time who noticed a change in me. I stayed sassy and having a witty tongue in the movie carried over to my own life.
He loved the fact that the babe in the hot outfit in the movie was actually me. His first words were: “Can you keep the outfits? Can you walk around in them?”
I think when you are a young woman figuring out who you are, you are worried, in a weird way, to feel sexy and good about yourself. I’ve always turned down parts with nudity. I didn’t like to look at myself naked, so I did not want the world to look at me naked either.
I don’t mind the rest. I do not mind having my boobs accentuated. I would much rather have attention on my boobs than my big butt.
I’ve been the size I am now since the age of about 12 or 13. But I always kept them hidden when I was in the TV show Party Of Five.
When I starred in the film I Know What You Did Last Summer, in a tiny top, people were asking: “What did she have done?”
If I had to give advice to anyone who is 18 and coming in to this business it would be to make time for friends and romance. I’ve promised myself that even though I love my job, it is not my life. My life is the people I meet and the time I get to spend with them. So even though I love working, I try to make people smile.
I wish, at times, that I did not have to sacrifice so much.
I never particularly wanted to act. I just wanted to sing. I have a hard job speaking in public and become very nervous. But when I sing, the nerves go for some reason. So I wish my younger self had more confidence. I was confused when I was younger. One minute I was judged to be the girl next door, the next it was a vixen.
I was brought up in small-town Texas. My dad left home when I was two weeks old and my mom, Pat, married again. She and my stepdad separated when I was ten.
When we decided to head off to Los Angeles, it was because neither of us had anything to keep us in Texas.
My mom (who died of cancer, aged 67, in June) was my best friend, my partner in crime and my manager.
So I still have a lot of growing up to do.