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By Molly Schoemann
Jennifer Love Hewitt settles into a chaise lounge in her downtown Los Angeles loft and sighs heavily. The walk up the front steps appears to have left her winded.
Still, if you ask me, this hearty young star has very little to sigh about these days-aside from the rising cost of food in today's economy.
"I'm sorry," Jennifer says, stifling a yawn. "I'm pretty beat today. My schedule's been a little hectic these last few weeks. Thank you for meeting me here." She gestures languidly around her spacious, tastefully decorated living room and tells me to make myself comfortable.
Jennifer's request that our interview be held at her at home offers a welcome change of scene from a typical lunch meeting, although we were surprised that she did not take us up on our offer of lunch.
The zaftig brunette is wearing a green empire-waist dress which cleverly conceals her figure. Her hair is in a tidy bun and she wears minimal makeup-the better to showcase a radiant, rosy complexion. Jennifer really has such a pretty face.
When I compliment her diamond earrings, she rewards me with a lovely smile that lights up her expansive features.
"They're from Ross," she says with delight, referring to her fiancé, Scottish actor Ross McCall. Their implausible engagement was announced last summer. The joyful news was immediately overshadowed by a number of unfortunate photographs which soon surfaced of the couple vacationing together in Hawai'i.
Abandoning good judgment in her excitement at finding a man who saw her inner beauty, size-fourteen Love Hewitt allowed herself to spend time on a tropical beach, in public, in broad daylight, wearing only a bikini. She even went so far as to venture into the warm, sparkling blue waters off the coast of Oahu, where the sunlight danced on her cellulite, and her poorly chosen swimwear hugged her physical imperfections. The stunt resulted in firestorm of negative publicity for the actress when several disillusioned fans stabbed their eyes out after viewing the photographs.
Miss Love Hewitt and her fiancé have most recently been spotted house-hunting together in McCall's adopted city of Seattle. When I ask Jennifer about their plans to move in together, she glows with happiness.
"We're looking for a real fixer-upper," she says. "We'd like to find a place that's not perfect but maybe has a lot of character, and then we'll get some contractors in there and really make it our own." Presumably this means they'll be putting in wider doorways. When I ask whether she's planning on selling this sunny, pleasant loft now that she's engaged, her answer is noncommittal.
"I do kind of like the idea of keeping my own place," Jennifer admits. "I know it's silly to do that once you're married, but I have always been very independent." (Meaning: lonely). "I guess you could say I really like things to be a certain way." (Meaning: large and in charge.)
Miss Love Hewitt thundered onto the Hollywood scene thanks to a breakout performance in the popular 1990s drama "Party of Five" (the title later became a covert nickname for the buxom young woman, both on and off the set).
"Doing that show was one of the most positive experiences of my life," Jennifer says huskily. "I learned so much from working with that wonderful cast. I really couldn't have asked for a more supportive environment."
As her audience of fans grew, so did her appetite-for major film roles. Miss Love Hewitt moved seamlessly from television into movies, rapidly starring in the blockbuster teen thriller "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and the sleeper hit "Can't Hardly Wait", in which she demonstrated her acting chops by playing the unlikely part of a sweet young ingénue whom teenage boys find irresistible.
The sturdy starlet's most recent career move finds her back on television, in the critically-acclaimed mystery series, "The Ghost Whisperer". Jennifer's character has a penchant for dressing in gauzy, forgiving nightgowns and, presumably, spanx garments.
Although her extensive career in television and film should make her intimidating, Jennifer has a sweetness and vulnerability about her. In person, she is much more likeable, down to earth and approachable than many other, skinnier actresses.
Among friends, she prefers to go by her middle name, 'Love'. She will not say whether she plans to keep her last name, Hewitt (which is derived from the German word for 'cake') after marriage.
When we part ways, Jennifer Love Hewitt gives me big smile and a hug, and I am struck once again by her genuine warmth. She seems like the kind of girl who will always stand by her friends and make them look thinner in comparison.
When we received hundreds of calls from Jennifer Love-Hewitt, we thought she'd decided to take us up on the free lunch offer we'd made a little while ago when she gave Molly Schoemann her world exclusive interview, but no. When Molly finally got around to calling her back, Hewitt told her that she has a) broken up with her fiance and b) lost all of her weight.
We were going to pull the piece, but sources close to the actress told us a heartbroken JLH was getting even closer to the caterer on the set of "The Ghost Whisperer" so we thought we'd let the interview stand rather than having to put the whole darn thing up again two weeks from now when she goes swimming. SGH
OTHER HW ARTICLES BY MOLLY SCHOEMANN
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Molly Schoemann grew up in New York City and moved to Boston by way of Honolulu (possibly she took a wrong turn somewhere). She most recently moved to Garner, NC. What can I say? She likes moving. Molly began writing humor and satire during her freshman year at Bard College. Visit Molly at: www.mollyschoemann.wordpress.com.