Jennifer Love Hewitt for “The Tuxedo”

Jennifer Love Hewitt could not be happier. The beautiful 23-year old is not only hitting the road promoting her new album, but is equally busy talking up her new film The Tuxedo, an action comedy which casts her opposite Jackie Chan.

Trying to balance both a singing and acting career is challenging, but Hewitt seems to be up to the challenge. “I just kind of follow my schedule and I have told everybody I really want to try this. I want to promote my album as much as possible and I want to promote Tuxedo as much as possible and that’s really what I want to do this year and they’ve made an amazing schedule that’s allowed me to do it,” says an excited Jennifer.

The Tuxedo, which hits theatres this Friday, casts action superstar Chan as Jimmy Tong, a lowly chauffeur for millionaire Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs), until Devlin has an accident that puts him in the hospital. Tong is sent back to fetch some things for Devlin and unknowingly tries on Devlin’s tuxedo and finds that it gives extraordinary powers to anyone that dons the suit. This discovery thrusts Tong into a James Bond-like world of international intrigue and espionage and pairs him with an inexperienced partner, played by Hewitt, who can easily be described as a ‘Chan girl’.

She loves the description. “Now that I have been a Chan girl, I’m convinced that I’m starting a new trend,” Hewitt says laughingly. “I’d rather be a Chan girl, I think, than a Bond girl, because it’s a lot more fun and you don’t have to wear things quite as constricting.” In this movie, much is made of Hewitt’s often visible cleavage but the actress takes it all in her stride. “None of that bothers me and it’s kind of fun the way they’re used in the movie.” As for working with Jackie Chan as the first Chan girl, Hewitt said it was a blast. “We had so much fun. He’s possibly the greatest man that I’ve ever met and so much fun to be around. He’s so kind, was really supportive and really wanted me to cool in the movie so that my friends would talk to me.”

Hewitt is certainly cool, and gets to take out any anti-male aggression that she has by kicking many a male butt in this film. “I only fight men in this movie which I think is so cool. I think that is such an empowering thing about women now in action movies,” says Hewitt.

Of course it wasn’t all fun and games shooting The Tuxedo. There is a sequence during which the bad guys trying drowning Hewitt’s character. The trouble is, Jennifer has a fear of being underwater. “I’m a little bit claustrophobic and the biggest thing with claustrophobics is that they’re basically control freaks and I’m a total control freak. So it’s the lack of control, knowing that I am under something that feels very constricted, that’s scary. Even when I was a kid, like you know how kids will play and dunk your head under water? I would lose it and I would start hyperventilating.” Shooting the intense water sequences in the film may have resolved Hewitt’s fears, but not so, she admits. “I hyperventilated and had a heart attack and I had to tell the entire crew what was wrong with me,” she laughingly admits.

Since achieving success on TV’s Party of Five, Hewitt has emerged as one of Hollywood’s diverse performers. While also starring on the big screen in the likes of I Know what you Did Last Summer and Heartbreakers, Jennifer has pursued, with equal voracity, a singing career. Her latest album, Bare Naked, is being released in the US in October, which she describes as “a rock-pop-soul album, kind of all mixed together and I co-wrote all but three of the songs on the record.” Hewitt adds that the record kind of reflects who she is. “It’s just kind of my thoughts but it’s not a deep record. I didn’t sit down to really send a message; I just kind of wanted to make songs that hopefully people would remember.”

With such a hectic professional schedule, it is no surprise that Love Hewitt doesn’t have time for a personal life, although she loves at recent tabloid reports of a contrary love life. “It’s great because it makes my real life seem so much more exciting than it actually is. It appears that I apparently don’t have time for a career because I date 85 people in one day which is kind of unbelievable. I’m not dating anyone, which is the really funny part and I couldn’t even begin to go through all the names that are talked about, because half of the people I don’t even know or have never met. So it’s kind of crazy. And then the other people are people that I’m either friends with or I’ve literally run into in the street and gone oh, hey, and somebody snaps a picture and we’re like taking bubble baths at the Four Season.”

Hewitt may indeed be single but she adds that it’s not necessarily her choice. “Well, I always have time for a little romance, but I think to be honest with you, I think possibly the fact that I’m always written about going out with everyone, might be possibly hurting my game,” laughs the actress. “Because when you’re a ho, it’s rough because who wants to ask you out? I mean seriously, they have me this total target. I can imagine one guy going so, you’re not dating tonight with the other 75, and so do you want to go out with me? I think I have to disappear for a while and go to Alaska, calm down, people have to start writing about it and then maybe guys will ask me out again. I never get asked out.”

No wonder Hewitt is busily concentrating on her multi-faceted career and a slew of upcoming projects. “I’m going to finish promoting this record which comes out here on October 8. So pretty much all the promotion I can do is up until the release date and then it’s oddly enough, which is so weird about working in the entertainment industry, and then it’s up to everyone else to kind of decide what happens to it after that point. Then I’m hopefully going to go to London at the end of this year to star and produce the first movie from my production company, which is a drama. I can’t say the name because it’s going to change.”

Asked what Jennifer does during her downtime, the actress laughs. “I don’t do anything really. I try to do nothing fancy because every day is so fancy. I get to wake up and I get to play big movie star or big rock star and that’s really great, but when I’m off I try to just kind of be nobody really. I don’t really want to be anything special. I just kind of want to eat pizza and hang out with my mom.”