It wasn’t long ago that it seemed like every woman in Hollywood was considered a sex symbol and not much else. But times are changing for these actress, and one major sex symbol of the late '90s and into the 2000s, Jennifer Love Hewitt, has recently spoken out about her acting work during that time. In fact, she starred in plenty of notable films during that time, but it’s hard not to look back at the beginning of the adult portion of her career and think it may have been a little different if it had taken place in today’s social climate. Now, Hewitt has spoken out about inappropriate questions she was asked about her boobs around the time she was promoting I Know What You Did Last Summer.
It’s hard to imagine someone asking an 18-year-old about their boobs today, but that’s exactly what happened to Jennifer Love Hewitt back in the late ‘90s. In an interview with Vulture, Love Hewitt opens up about inappropriate questions she used to receive after being scripted to appear in low coverage outfits in films. Here it is in the Ghost Whisperer actress’ own words:
It’s interesting, I just watched the Britney Spears documentary [Framing Britney Spears], and there’s that whole section in there talking about her breasts. At the time that I was going through it, and interviewers were asking what now would be incredibly inappropriate, gross things, it didn’t feel that way. I mean, I was in barely any clothing the whole movie. For some reason, in my brain, I was able to just go, ‘OK, well, I guess they wouldn’t be asking if it was inappropriate.’
Honestly, there are a couple things here we need to unpack. For those of you who have seen Framing Britney Spears that content in combination with this story really highlights how common these questions were at the time. Secondly, it's worth remembering that Jennifer Love Hewitt was only 18 when I Know What You Did Last Summer was released, which (in the eyes of the law) made her a legal adult, but that's still pretty young to be considered a sex symbol. In fact, most older adults would be considered pretty icky if they were to drool over an 18-year-old and I'm sure that was a weird climate to become famous in.
Now that Jennifer Love Hewitt is older and has become a mother, she can definitely look back at how things were back then and cringe. In the same interview, she explains how disappointed she was to have worked so hard on projects, just for the focus to be on her body. This is how she tells it:
But now, as a 42-year-old woman with a daughter, I definitely look back on it and go, Ew. And it really started with I Know What You Did Last Summer, because that was the first time that I had worn a low top, and on Party of Five, my body was very covered. At a press junket for I Know or I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, I remember purposely wearing a T-shirt that said ‘Silicone Free’ on it because I was so annoyed, and I knew something about boobs was gonna be the first question out of [reporters’] mouths. I was really tired of that conversation. With Heartbreakers, that was a big part of it. I was disappointed that it was all about body stuff, because I had really worked hard in that movie to do a good job as an actress. So I remember one specific moment wishing that the acting had overshadowed all that — that for five minutes, they had said I was really great in the movie versus made a body comment. Now that I’m older, I think, Gosh, I wish that I had known how inappropriate that was so I could have defended myself somehow or just not answered those questions. I laughed it off a lot of the time, and I wish maybe I hadn’t.
While Jennifer Love Hewitt does give kudos to Party of Five for not going all in on the sexual appeal element, if had hit it big these days, it's more likely she would have been surrounded by women speaking out over questions and inappropriate jokes and may have felt supported enough to speak out about any uncomfortable situations that may have cropped up. Meanwhile, I Know What You Did Last Summer is still a good performance if you haven't watched it in a while.