Hewitt’s commitment to her role in “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was evident from the bruises she sustained during filming. The actor revealed in an interview that her bruises were the result of some intense scenes that required her to fall, chase and run during shooting.
Her dedication to creating a realistic and convincing performance shines through in the final product. Who among us wasn’t weirdy mesmerized by Julie’s fear-driven attempts to escape the killer? The movie still has the power to send chills down the spine of audiences even today, thanks in large part to Hewitt’s portrayal of Julie.
Horror Movies and Their Toll on Actors
Although horror movie fans know that what's happening on screen isn't real, the eerie scenes can be visceral, lingering in people's minds long after watching the film. Hewitt has admitted that she was genuinely frightened while filming and sometimes struggled to sleep.
The actor shared that there were days when she went home and relived some of the scenes from the movie. She knew she had to channel the fear and anxiety that Julie was experiencing to deliver a convincing performance. Easier said than done, even for the most seasoned actor. Hewitt shared how tough it was to stop the spooky scenes playing in her head.
She Finds a Mentor in Jamie Lee Curtis
According to sources, Jamie Lee Curtis made occasional visits to the sets of “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” where she and Hewitt would chat. Curtis was a mentor of sorts for Hewitt. It's heartening to think about this bond, considering the remarkable horror roles Curtis has portrayed over the years, such as Laurie Strode in “Halloween.”
Curtis’s impact on the genre is indisputable, especially for young actors like Hewitt, who were then starting their careers in slasher films. Having a mentor like Curtis would have been invaluable. The legendary actor offered guidance and friendly advice, drawing on her own experiences in the genre.
Hewitt has been widely regarded as an object of desire throughout her career, often portrayed as "the attractive girl next door" or "the MVP of Maxim" in the public eye. This narrative began to take shape around the time she turned 18 and starred in popular films like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997) and "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998), as well as her role in the television show "Party of Five."
These roles made her an icon, with young girls aspiring to be like her and boys plastering her posters on their walls. Her beauty propelled her to the top of Hollywood's "it girl" list. Even though she embraced the journey, Hewitt stated how uncomfortable she was with this newly-minted reputation.
She Never Considered Herself “Sexy”
Hewitt has openly acknowledged the power of the media in shaping her public persona, particularly when starting out in Hollywood as a young actor. She described how the narrative around her image seemed to take on a life of its own, often beyond her control, and how she found herself cast in a specific role as "the attractive girl next door.”
She admitted being surprised at suddenly having to become “that person.” Her remarks suggest a certain resignation. Interestingly, Hewitt said she never understood what it meant to be "sexy" before she was included on various lists that celebrated her physical appeal.