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Ghost Whisperer

Mondays at 10.30pm | TV2

Q&A with Jennifer Love Hewitt and David Conrad

Jennifer Love Hewitt and David Conrad from Ghost Whisperer

David, can you tell us a bit about how big Aiden's been for your character, because obviously he's becoming - he's become a dad and that's gotta change the dynamics for their relationship.

David: Yeah, totally. There's a little boy running around the house. It's great. He's - it's kind of an easy, cheap way to sort of experience fatherhood, and he's really strange and wonderful. He's got this weird concentration. He's like kind of spooky and kind of totally normal at the same time and that's really been fun. It's fun to be around, yeah. But, yeah, it's really different.

Jennifer: Oh, yes. Yes. But we get to give him back at the end of the day.

David: Yes. That is true, yeah.

Jennifer: That's a plus.

What about filming the scenes, you know, birth scenes? It jumps, then, five years, doesn't it? He's a five-year-old. How did that feel, you know? You looked very realistic with the prosthetic pregnancy pad.

Jennifer: I was excited about the pregnancy stuff. It was really fun. I was happy to do it. I would really like to have kids at some point in my life, so it was sort of fun for me to do that. The birthing scenes were weird because, obviously, I have no experience with it so I had to watch tons and tons of videos, which was really gross. But, also, I directed that episode. So I was directing myself giving birth, which was something I've never done before, which was something I didn't know a lot about and I was telling people where to go and how to - it was very strange. But it worked out okay.

David: Yeah. She was like "Ahhh." All right. Cut. The baby's covered in jam...

Jennifer: David, stop. Ugh. (Laughter.)

Your marriage is a very good one in the series. What do you think the secret is for such a good relationship between husband and wife?

Jennifer: Besides TV?

David: A little part, be highly paid and... (Laughter.) That's a good question. What is the secret to a good relationship, Ms Hewitt?

Jennifer: You're going to ask me? Have you been reading the paper? (Laughter.)

David: What's the secret?

Jennifer: Apparently, I don't know. You know, I think for Jim and Melinda, well, it's something that David and I've always loved about the show is, that they don't portray a lot of really great marriages on television. And I think that's one of the biggest things that our audiences really loved about this show is Melinda and Jim have stayed solid. And I think that, you know, if people can find what they have in real life, I think the facts on marriage would be a lot different. And, really, you know, Jim is somebody who is willing to sort of bend his knee to Melinda's oddness and sort of her weird stuff, and she's willing to kind of let him be - she's a hero by day for people, but at night she's sort of willing to let him be her hero. And I think it's sort of their willingness to sort of let each other have their moments in that marriage and that day that really makes their marriage work. And if you can find that in real life, that's amazing.

David: I think the weird thing, and at the risk of being serious for a moment is, I think in any relationship that actually lasts ... is there's something about the person you can't categorise, you can't put in a box, you can't say, "Oh, I've seen the limit of that." And as much as people in a relationship sometimes want to kill each other, I think that there's - plain and simple, there's something about Jennifer as a person, as an actress, that I still always just - you know, I never see the end of what I think I know. So...

Jennifer: I'm weird.

David: ...that - yeah. That's always there. And I think that somehow that reflects in the things that we do, is that there's that quality.

Jennifer, the show rates really well in New Zealand. I'm wondering what is the spookiness that people like, you know, that sort of mystery?

Jennifer: I think it's fun to be scared. I think people enjoy that, especially when it's done in a safe way. When you know that you're not really going to have to meet the scary ghosts that Melinda sees in her bedroom, you know, you're not really going to wake up and have that guy standing there. And so that's a good thing, and I think people enjoy that part of it.

I think people are just intrigued with the supernatural. I mean, I know that I am. It's something that I find very interesting. I found it interesting before I was on the show. I have a lot of fun with it now and I think it's just, you know, death is an uncomfortable subject. It's not something that people look forward to. It's not something you want to experience or have happen to you, but it's the inevitable, and I think the show makes it really interesting. It gives it a different perspective. There's sort of a hopefulness to it and, you know, whenever people go into the light of the crossing overs, they always look like they're going somewhere really nice.

Who is the biggest Scaredy Cat on the set?

David: Scaredy Cat. Well, if I'm driving, it's everyone. (Laughter.)

Jennifer: Yes. He is not a good driver on camera.

Was there any truth to that story about the family in the cemetery?

Jennifer: Yes. About them really thinking that they saw one of the ghost people stand up? Yes. That was real. We felt really badly about that. I'm probably the biggest Scaredy Cat, don't you think?

David: Sometimes, but other times you're like -

Jennifer: Well, Camryn's the biggest Scaredy Cat about supernatural.

David: Yeah.

Jennifer: She's not a believer at all, and so she gets really creeped out by this, but I'm kind of Scaredy Cat. I'm sort of scared of everything.

What is it about it? Do you like to see, I don't know, films or TV shows of ghosts or scary things, horror? I don't know.

Jennifer: I'm actually scared of horror movies. I'm kind of Scaredy Cat when it comes to that stuff. But I do like watching, you know, like, the ghost finders and the - you know, those kinds of things where they go in and sort of see if they can find real ghosts in the bottom of Queen Mary and stuff like that. I think that stuff's kind of interesting. Do you? Are you scared?

David: We went to the bottom of the Queen Mary. That was great. I loved that. (Laughing.)

Jennifer: We did go to the bottom of the Queen Mary.

David: I am scared in my own apartment sometimes. There's a shadow in the corner. I don't know what that is.

Jennifer: Scaredy Cat.

David: That's true.

What is the spookiest bit or scene for you in this show now?

Jennifer: Probably the scariest thing is we had a guy who had been hung - I don't remember why he ... was he hanged or hung?

David: Hanged, I think.

Jennifer: It is hanged? Okay. He had been hanged.

David: Paintings are hung, people are hanged.

Jennifer: But I like the fact that he had been hung. I'm going to stick with that. But he had been hanged, which was probably -

David: Well, I think if he was hung, that's a whole other story. (Laughter.)

Jennifer: Oh, yeah. He was hanged. (Laughter.) I don't know about that part. Anyway... Thank you. There was this part, and so they recreated it for Melinda, and so I had to have this bag over my head and shackles on my feet and my arms were shackled, and I had to sort of walk up these stairs. And then they ...

David: You didn't like that?

Jennifer: ... fake dropped me through this thing. It was really - still to this day, I was sobbing the whole time they were doing it, and they knew that they only had about two takes before I really freaked out and had to get some sort of medical assistance, so they got the shot very quickly. But that, to me, still is the scariest thing I've done.

David: On-fire ghost was the only guy that ever bothered me. Remember that guy?

Jennifer: Yeah. He was really creepy. He had like peeling skin, and he had been set on fire.

David: Yeah, that was creepy.

How do actors make themselves cry?

Jennifer: We're all naturally pained people from birth. (Laughter.)

David: Some have a quicker switch than others.

Jennifer: Yeah. We're all creative, pretty insecure, kind of messed-up individuals who, if we were out on the streets, we would probably be medicated somehow. But because we've figured out a way to challenge -

David: How do you know I'm not medicated now?

Jennifer: It works. It works.

David: Yeah, I mean, it takes me a long time - I have to walk around the room and hit things. Jennifer concentrates for a minute or two and just actually goes, "Which eye?"

Jennifer: Yeah.

Jennifer, in LA, Hollywood...women particularly feel the pressure here, I think, to look good all the time, you know, to be a certain size. And I'm just wondering, is that a constant sort of pressure on you, you know, that you have to kind of learn how to deal with?

Jennifer: It's definitely a pressure that's talked about a lot. I feel like it's more a projection, though, from people. I'm starting to understand that, like, people are like, "Oh, so do you have body issues?" Like, "Well, I didn't, until you said that. No. Actually, earlier, I was feeling just fine." So it's kind of - I don't know. I don't know what it is. I think that people have forgotten that actors are supposed to look different than models and we're not all supposed to be hangers for clothes. That's not what we are supposed to look like.

And as a woman on television, I actually feel like you're more representative of women if you're - if you've got curves and if everything isn't super tight. I'm not into this arm thing that's happening right now where girls look like dudes with the big muscles, and it's kind of scary. So, you know, I mean, yes, it's their responsibility for it as an actress, as a woman in this business. Do you think about it? Does it become apparent? Do you walk in a room sometimes and, you know, there's a piece of chicken there and you think twice about eating it because you know that all the other girls in the room are going to be like, "Did she eat a piece of chicken?" You know, it's definitely there. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't, but I've tried to get to a really comfortable place with it and not have it be my everyday thing.

And, also, TV schedules are really hard. And if you don't eat when you're working, then you don't look good on camera and you don't remember your lines and you're sick and you can't come to work. So you kind of have to just find the balance. I'm trying to just sort of figure out where I feel healthiest, and that's where I'm going to stay, and that's going to be kind of my thing.

How hard has it become to get your head around finding that right balance? Because, obviously, you've been in the business for a long time and there's a lot of pressure, particularly when you are younger with maturity and you're not as solid as a person.

Jennifer: You just sort of have to be one with yourself in that conversation. I mean, I will meet some people who are like, "Oh, my gosh, you have, like, the perfect body." Then I'll meet somebody else that says, "So are you struggling?" And you're like - it's everybody's different opinion. It depends on who you meet. So you can't satisfy everybody. You really have to satisfy yourself and feel good about yourself and wherever you feel good, then that's where you should be.

Ghost Whisperer has always enjoyed being up there as one of the best supernatural shows, but now there's this whole new interest in the trend in vampires that's coming out on TV. So now are you all having to up your game or do you all feel that you were the benchmark of where these shows are coming from?

Jennifer: I guess we don't feel like we're the benchmark.

David: We're different.

Jennifer: Yeah. I think, you know, the show really is what the show is. I think ... I don't know. What do you think?

David: I feel like the show's strength has been its emotional connections.

Jennifer: Yeah.

David: Her connection to the ghosts, ours together with the child. It's not really what the vampire things are about.

The supernatural theme - everybody's jumping on that now.

David: Yeah. I think actually it's the supernatural in Ghost Whisperer just sort of subs for the longing people have for people they've lost, whether permanently or not permanently. And I think that when they see the need for that, they - that's what they react to. I don't think it's about flying, you know, handsome people with long flames.

Jennifer: P.S. That's good stuff. I have not a problem with the gorgeous vampires. I really don't.