Jennifer Love Hewitt Hopes to Rub Viewers the Right Way With The Client List
Jennifer Love Hewitt
If TV viewers can embrace a pill-addicted nurse, a meth-making school-teacher and a forensics expert who moonlights as a serial killer, then surely there's room in our hearts for a massage-house hooker, right? Jennifer Love Hewitt is about to find out. The former star of Ghost Whisperer has parlayed her hit 2010 Lifetime movie The Client List into a weekly series (premiering Sunday at 10/9c) that's sure to raise eyebrows. She plays Riley Parks, a small-town Texas mom whose husband flies the coop and leaves her with two kids and mounting bills. Riley takes a job at a seemingly legit day spa only to discover that some of the clients expect way more than a back rub. Does she get disgusted and bolt? Oh, hell, no! Riley slips into some white-hot lingerie and delivers! We spoke with Hewitt about her controversial new gig, her problematic love life and, of course, those famously fabulous boobs.
TV Guide Magazine: The Client List movie had a ripped-from-the-headlines feel because Riley was based on several real-life women who became sex workers. But the series plays more like a naughty sex-fantasy rom-com. Since you're also an exec producer, explain.
Hewitt: We've definitely added more comedy. The movie had a serious tone because we were covering so much in two hours. Now we can explore the situation more and do it with some humor and finesse. There are no ghosts on this show. I'm no longer talking to dead people. I'm here to play a ho and have some fun. But I also hope to move people with Riley's plight. We're trying to strike a balance between the serious mom stuff and the sexy, wow stuff.
TV Guide Magazine: Are you worried some viewers may be offended by the "wow"?
Hewitt: To say I'm not would be lying, and I'm a pretty bad liar. We are definitely pushing the envelope. Lifetime is looking to branch out and shake things up. In fact, the word that's been used a lot around the office is "unapologetic." I fully expect people will judge Riley, and that's OK. Hopefully, we will sway your vote!
TV Guide Magazine: The movie had your character being arrested, prosecuted and sent to the slammer. Will she go that route in the series?
Hewitt: All fingers are crossed that we'll get a second season and, if so, we can maybe explore that. But there's more than enough stress and suspense and hot-water possibilities in Season 1. We want the audience to think that, at any moment, the jig could be up.
TV Guide Magazine: You keep it titillatingly vague just how far Riley goes with her clients. What exactly are we talking about here? Happy endings or really happy endings?
Hewitt: We're talking about happy endings only. Nothing more!
TV Guide Magazine: She also acts as a relationship adviser to her clients. Are you trying to convince us she's a public servant?
Hewitt: [Laughs] This is not just about a paycheck with Riley! She's there to help rehabilitate these guys. She finds out why they feel the need to come to her and then sends them back out into society to be better husbands or boyfriends.
TV Guide Magazine: She's a regular saint! Do you feel restricted trying to be this sexy on basic cable?
Hewitt: No, it's a good thing because my greatest challenge is being provocative without upsetting my grandma. I'm trying hard not to give her the big one!
TV Guide Magazine: So you really relate to Riley?
Hewitt: She's very close to who I am. [Laughs] Well, except for the happy-endings part! I'm also from Texas and I was raised by a single mom, who is my hero. I feel like I'm channeling my mother and all the other strong, feisty women in my family. This role means a lot to me because of that.
TV Guide Magazine: Are lingerie designers begging you to wear their stuff on the show?
Hewitt: They're not, and I feel they should be! [Laughs] What's the holdup? I've been working out a lot and purposely wearing Victoria's Secret—type stuff hoping they'll notice. It's always been my dream to be one of their angels.
TV Guide Magazine: You've been romanced by Carson Daly, Jamie Kennedy, John Mayer and Ben Flajnik, yet you recently Tweeted, "They keep saying there is a perfect person for everyone out there, but I seriously think that mine got hit by a truck." What kind of world are we living in when Jennifer Love Hewitt can't find the man of her dreams?
Hewitt: I know, right? It's terrible! The right man for me is out there, but I just don't know where. Maybe if he's under a truck I should be checking the hospitals. [Laughs] I should just walk into an ER and ask, "Are there any guys here who've not been claimed?"
TV Guide Magazine: Well, you certainly advertise enough! In the April issue of Maxim, you say, "I like my boobs. They've always served me well."
Hewitt: Everyone's acting like I brought up the topic, which is so not true. The writer asked, "What is your favorite body part?" Well, that would be my boobs, because they're the only part of my body that doesn't get negative comments. I do like them!
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