Jennifer Love Hewitt is returning to TV -- this time, as a working mom!
The 39-year-old actress is joining Fox's first responder drama, 9-1-1, in the show's upcoming second season, and her kids are already embracing her new role.
"My daughter has started walking around the house going, '9-1-1, mhmm. What’s your problem?'" Hewitt told ET's Leanne Aguilera at the summer Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday. "That’s what she says. '9-1-1, what’s your problem?' I’m like, 'Babe, that’s a little too much attitude for an emergency situation.' But she has a fake phone and she walks [around] – it’s really funny."
Hewitt and her former Client List co-star, Brian Hallisay, married in 2013 and share two children: 4-year-old daughter Autumn and 3-year-old son Atticus. While the actress admits that going back to work on a weekly show is "definitely a juggle," she says her family is handling it just fine.
"I think it’s harder on me than it is my kids," she admitted. "My kids are like, 'Bye, Mom, see you later!' Or like, they’re excited to come to the set and eat craft service. So they don’t mind."
The actress said her new role, as 911 operator Maddie Buckley, is a perfect fit for her life these days. "With my lifestyle as a mom, to be able to work in L.A., to be able to dip in and dip out and have it be an ensemble, it’s a great experience."
"It’s a beautiful show," she added of the Ryan Murphy-produced procedural. "I mean, you can’t get through an episode without crying or feeling something incredibly intense. The cast is really talented. It’s a perfect job for me to go into right now."
The actress will also be appearing in the upcoming PBS documentary Betty White: First Lady of Television, and she couldn't help but gush about her enviable friendship with the Golden Girls icon.
"As a kid I watched everything Betty White was in and my grandmother and I watched Golden Girls constantly," she recalled. "In like, big, significant times in my life, like, after breakups or after losing a family member... what brought my spirit back was watching Betty on Golden Girls. Then I got to meet her and then we became friends and we drank too much vodka and then she gave me gummy bears and we snuggled. She cheats at Scrabble, it’s beautiful. Yeah, I’m a lucky girl."
In fact, Hewitt said "one of the drunkest times in my life" was at a dinner with White. "I almost went into the bushes," she said with a laugh. "And then I was like, you can’t go into the bushes. You have to watch that. Betty White doesn’t go into the bushes. We were, like, stumbling down the street after, like, some casual dinner. It was hysterical."
Having worked in Hollywood since she was a child star in the late '80s, Hewitt may very well end up with a resume that rivals White's someday. For now, we asked her to look back at some of her most iconic roles, including the beloved family drama Party of Five. The series is currently in reboot talks, though the actress says she hasn't gotten a call yet. "I don’t think they want a single original member in it," she said. "Which is fine with me. I’ll be watching. So it’s good."
See more on 9-1-1 and Hewitt's return to TV in the video below!
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