Yes, Jennifer Love Hewitt does see dead people — every week in the hit CBS show the “Ghost Whisperer.”

“Love” as she is known to friends and family, has enjoyed a long and fulfilling career with roles in “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “The Suburbans,” “Sister Act 2,” and the ABC TV movie, “The Audrey Hepburn Story.”

Other small screen projects brought her into millions of American homes, including “Party of Five,” “American Dreams,” “Time of Your Life,” and the current “Ghost Whisperer.”

Hewitt has supplemented her income by endorsing products, first L.A. Gear, then Neutrogena, and for the past two years, Hewitt has been the Hanes spokesmodel.

The actress became engaged to Scottish actor Ross McCall, whom she met on the set of “Ghost Whisperer.”

Bankrate: You’re 29 years old now, so how does your life differ from when you were a teen to the woman you are today?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: I hope I’ve learned a little bit more. I hope I’m somewhat wiser. I hope I’ve been able to save and invest wisely for the future.

I think the biggest thing that has changed as far as my work has gone is I enjoy it so much more because I understand what it is and what it means. I think I have such a greater appreciation for what it is that I get to do everyday and where I find myself in my life.

When I was 16 and was on a show considered a hit, that was cool, but it wasn’t as cool as the cute boy I had seen that day or the new album by my favorite band. I was a teenager and those were the things that were important. Now being a woman and looking back on it, I have a greater appreciation and I find myself in awe of the fact that I’m on a show that’s considered a hit and I’m actually able to make a living at this.

Bankrate: As Melinda on “Ghost Whisperer,” you come across ghosts every week and kind of run with it. In your real life, what are you afraid of?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: I’m afraid of everything! I’m a big scaredy-cat, absolutely. I’m not a great flier; I’m afraid of heights. I’m claustrophobic slightly and I hate snakes. I think hot pants are terrifying. As far as ghosts, I do wonder sometimes. I’m on the show every day and wonder if I saw a real ghost if I’d be afraid … probably not. Then I think maybe I would pee my pants if I did, so I don’t know what would happen.

Bankrate: Do you believe in ghosts?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Yes, I definitely do. I don’t know if the ones I believe in are the ghosts that you see on the show, with clothes and walking around. But I definitely believe there are certain energies of people around us that are trying to get us messages.

Bankrate: You’ve worked a long time in this industry. What have you learned and where do you think you’ll be in 10 or 20 years?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: I used to sit down and think about that, but my life got so much better than I could ever have hoped for myself that I stopped wondering where I’ll be in 10 years. I just thought, you know what, I’m just going to let life do it because it’s given me better things than I had hoped for myself. So I might as well sit back and enjoy.

Bankrate: You just bought a multimillion-dollar home in Studio City, Calif. It looks beautiful. And you got engaged recently. Things seem to be really good for you.

Jennifer Love Hewitt: I’m really, really happy. I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever been in a relationship where I don’t have to try. I’ve lived in the San Fernando Valley a long time. I had a five-bedroom house as my first home that I shared with my mom.

Bankrate: You had some pretty high-profile romances, but what would you say is the weirdest thing you encountered about dating in Los Angeles?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: The weirdest thing about dating in the entertainment industry is that most of the time, before you’ve gone on the date with that person, they’ve seen you in magazines with maybe nine people you’re never talked to. They know what you look like without your makeup because they see photos of you at the cleaners. Yes, I do pick up my own cleaning, I do my own grocery shopping and run most of my own errands. I don’t have a lot of people on the payroll to do these things for me. So there are no blind dates in Los Angeles.

Bankrate: Besides a busy acting career, you are the Hanes spokeswoman and teamed up with Stone America on a clothing line. You seem to be a cottage industry unto yourself. Are you saving for the proverbial rainy day?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: The Hanes ads are something I really enjoy doing. And I came up with the idea for the clothing line, Timeless, because I wanted to create a fashion collection that speaks of elegance and lasting style, but still shows off today’s fashion and trends for young women to wear that aren’t so expensive. Yet they will be sophisticated and stylish for many years to come. I’m hoping we can expand into jewelry and accessories later. Right now we’re looking for distributors. But I’ve been working almost my whole life and hope to be doing this for many years to come.

Bankrate: If you could describe your essence of spirit, how would you describe it?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Jolly, joyful. I try to see everything for its positive side. Maybe childlike would be a better answer. Most people that I meet, including children, always say to me that I’m just like a kid. My philosophy is to live life like Peter Pan — always find your happy place and your happy thoughts and never grow up. Obviously, I’m very responsible and have been working since I was very young, but in my personality and essence of who I am, I try very much to play like a kid, see the good in people and retain some amount of innocence.

Bankrate: You were at the at the Los Angeles Mission last Christmas and the year before, at Thanksgiving time. Is that your main charity?

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Actually, I do a lot of work with St. Jude’s Hospital and Tuesday’s Child (and its work with) Pediatric AIDS. But I do a lot of work with the mission too. I feel like I’m on an amazing ride and it’s taken me far beyond what I could ever have imagined. So I think I have to give back to society because life has been so good to me.

Photo courtesy Retna Ltd.

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