Jennifer Love Hewitt reveals director once told her to act ‘sexier’ at age 23

Jennifer Love Hewitt recently opened up about the pressures of being a young female actress. Speaking to Michael Rosenbaum on his Inside of You podcast, she revealed that her young self “wasn’t in her body” and that she “didn’t feel self-confident.”

“I felt watched,” she admitted. “I felt like I had to be everything for everybody all the time. I was called ‘sexy’ before I ever knew what being sexy was,” per Variety.

While mentioning being on the cover of Maxim at age 17, she claimed that she “had no idea” why she was chosen to pose.

“I was honoured and I loved it, but I was like, ‘Why?’” she recalled.

The Heartbreakers star then looked back on filming the 2001 romantic crime comedy when she was 23, and said that “the director was like, ‘We just need you to be sexier.’”

“I had to pull him aside and be like, ‘I don’t know what that means. I’m only 23,’” she shared.

“I know that I’m supposed to be this thing for people, but I don’t know what that means. And he had to like help me figure that out.”

Love Hewitt did not name the director, who was David Mirkin. The film followed con-women duo Wendy (Hewitt) and her mother Angela (Sigourney Weaver).

Having entered the spotlight at such a young age, Hewitt, now 44, also delved into the ageing expectations put on women: “It’s dangerous, I think, to say to women, ‘You can’t look like you’re not 22 to me anymore,’ because I don’t know how to take that,” she explained.

Hewitt is certainly not the first star to expose this ridiculous standard.

Charlize Theron called out this expectation in an interview with Allure in August, relating it to the double standard “that men kind of age like fine wines and women like cut flowers.”

“I despise that concept and I want to fight against it, but I also think women want to age in a way that feels right to them,” she said at the time.

“I think we need to be a little bit more empathetic to how we all go through our journey.”

This article originally appeared in Decider and was reproduced with permission

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