‘9-1-1’ Star’s Reason for Not Doing Research for Her Role on Show

by Suzanne Halliburton

Jennifer Love Hewitt is Maddie Kendall on 9-1-1, Fox’s top scripted drama. She plays a dispatcher who takes calls and sends first responders to the emergencies popping on her screen.

Yet Love Hewitt, who has starred on TV shows since her teens with Party of Five, said she did nothing specific to prepare for her new 9-1-1 role. She made these comments back in 2019, a year after she joined the cast.

“A more skilled actor probably would have (prepared), I did not,” the 9-1-1 star told the site AssignmentX. “I got the job very quickly, went to work very quickly, and just sort of leaned on everybody that had been there before me to help me understand what it was that I was going to do. And then very quickly (she) kind of made it my own.”

Of course, Love-Hewitt could have talked to dispatchers, who are the first layer of first responders, to prepare for the 9-1-1 role. But her part called for super emotional drama. As Maddie, Love Hewitt had to deal with her ex-husband, who abused her while they were married. She was a nurse back in her old life. But she left and eventually took a job in Los Angeles. Her TV brother is a fireman.

On 9-1-1, There Was No Way To Prep for Jennifer Love Hewitt Killing Her Husband

On 9-1-1, Love-Hewitt’s ex-husband is real-life spouse Brian Hallisay. Imagine having to pretend to kill the actual love of your life?

At the end of season three, we learn that Maddie is pregnant. She went into labor on the April 19 episode. And in a life-imitates-art kind of way, Love-Hewitt announced that she’s pregnant with baby No. 3. That was big news for the 42-year-old.

She said that Kenneth Choi, who plays Chimney, her boyfriend, told her, “See? Playing pregnant got you pregnant!’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I guess so.”

“The craziest, most surreal moment was having to give birth while being pregnant,” said the 9-1-1 star. “That was very interesting.”

There’s more drama for Maddie in season five. She ended season four by quitting her dispatcher job. She told Chimney “I’m not OK in here. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I need help.”

Tim Minear, the showrunner for 9-1-1, recently discussed season five plans for Maddie in a Q&A with TV Line.

“It’s a story that I don’t want to give short shrift to,” Minear said of Maddie. “It will end up creating a major complication for Season 5.

Minear added: “I always see tweets from the fans that are like “Can’t they just have a nice dinner?!” I’m not sure they realize what they’re asking for. If you want your favorite character to have a nice night in, it means they’re not going to be in the episode. “Tonight, on a very boring episode of 9-1-1.”

As if 9-1-1 could be boring. Check out season five when it premieres, Sept. 20.