‘9-1-1’: Jennifer Love Hewitt Says TV Parents Were Surprised by Buck and Tommy Romance

The actress also tells TheWrap about Maddie and Chimney’s hospital wedding and whether showrunner Tim Minear will take more of her pitches

Oliver Stark and Jennifer Love Hewitt on "9-1-1"
Oliver Stark and Jennifer Love Hewitt on "9-1-1" (CREDIT: Tyler Golden / FOX)

Note: This story contains spoilers from “9-1-1” Season 7, Episode 6.

There was more than one happy couple celebrating a milestone at the end of the May 2 episode of “9-1-1”: After going missing on his wedding day to Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Chimney (Kenneth Choi) was found alive and he and Maddie’s wedding finally happened in his hospital room, as he recovered from viral encephalitis. But Buck (Oliver Stark) was also beaming as new boyfriend Tommy (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) joined the joyful celebration.

The reactions of the characters — who didn’t know Buck was bi, let alone dating a fellow firefighter — ranged from confusion from Buck and Maddie’s parents, to Hen (Aisha Hinds) saying, “It’s about damn time.”

Hewitt told TheWrap that the “Wait, what?” response from Dee Wallace, who plays Buck and Maddie’s mother, was genuine, as she missed the episodes where Buck and Tommy admitted their attraction to each other.

In a recent interview, Hewitt opened up about where the family relationships could go after Buck’s big reveal, Maddie and Chimney finally tying the knot, and if showrunner Tim Minear will take more of her pitches.

TheWrap: Now that Buck being bi is out there in the open, more or less, the other characters’ reactions were priceless. It looks like Buck and Maddie’s Mom might have some issues with their son dating a guy.

Jennifer Love Hewitt: What’s hilarious is that Dee and Gregory [Harrison], who play our parents, they hadn’t read any of the scripts in between [their last appearance]. So they didn’t know. Her real reaction was like, “Wait, he’s with that guy now?” And I was like, “Oh, I wish they were rolling on that. That’s priceless.” It was very funny. And I was like, “I guess I should fill you guys in on what you’ve missed when you come back,” but it was really cute.

Our parents started off as very different people when they came on the show, and as Buck and Maddie have grown into who they are, I think the parents have also let a lot go. And I’m really happy about it. We absolutely love when our parents are on the show and we just hope that they’re back more. They’re just the sweetest people ever.

Gregory Harrison and Dee Wallace Stone as Buck and Maddie's parents in "There Goes the Groom" episode of 9-1-1
Gregory Harrison and Dee Wallace as Buck and Maddie’s parents in the “There Goes the Groom” episode of 9-1-1 (CREDIT: Disney/Chris Willard)

Are they going to be cool with this or is that to be determined?

To be determined. I mean, I’m assuming in Season 8 there will be some conversations about that. Maddie and Buck are a good team, so if there’s anything other than support, our parents better get ready for us to come at them. But, I’m assuming that they’ve grown enough by now and want a real relationship with Buck and Maddie that they didn’t have before. I hope they handle it well.

And then Hen (Aisha Hinds)’s reaction was, “It’s about damn time.” Did she know about Tommy beforehand?

I don’t know. We haven’t really talked about it. I think the thing about Buck is that people always assumed some big thing was going to happen with him because he’s never been truly settled into who he is. He’s always been on a search for who he is and what that was going to mean. And he’s definitely had trouble in relationships.

So I think everybody collectively is just like, “We’re just Team Buck.” So if this is where he’s going and what makes him happy, then we’re happy. I wasn’t shocked by it. Nor do I think Maddie was shocked by it, not because I necessarily thought that that’s where it was going, but I just always expected something interesting and big to happen with him.

Maddie has been so understanding and supportive of Buck through everything. I understand you were on board with the fan-driven Buck/Eddie pairing before this storyline with Tommy happened.

Yes. Because I love them both and I think that they’re both adorable. And yeah, when the audience started shipping them — I think is what the kids say — I definitely was on board and thought that was really cute. But, now that it’s Tommy, I am also a Tommy fan because I’m a Buck supporter. So whatever my brother wants.  

How appropriate is it that Maddie and Chim get married in a hospital?

I mean, where else could they get married, right? If they got married in a church setting or beach setting or something like that a couple of you [viewers] would have freaked out. 

Were there points where you think Maddie was giving up hope on Chim throughout the episode?

I think that Maddie in previous seasons would have maybe given up hope. She was genuinely worried about him, but she always had faith that it would be OK. I feel very strongly that Maddie and Chimney’s love story is this thing that puts them definitely through some adventures, but it’s there to remind them that they’re fated to be together and that it will always be okay.

Will Maddie and Chim be taking a honeymoon, after what happened with Bobby and Athena?

No, I think we’re good. [Laughs] We’ll just take Jee to Olive Garden.

Between Maddie and Chim and Buck, who’s had the roughest time of it in terms of disasters and injuries? I’d say Chim.

Yeah, I would say Chim for sure. He’s a tough guy.

Jennifer Love Hewitt on "There Goes the Groom" episode of "9-1-1"
Jennifer Love Hewitt on “There Goes the Groom” episode of “9-1-1” (CREDIT: ABC)

Do you think the producers are going to give Chim and Maddie a break after all they’ve been through or pile more on?

I don’t know. I actually really hope that Maddie has something happen to her, because out of all the people on the show — I mean, obviously she was injured in the relationship that she was in and in the Big Bear episode, quite injured — but I’m the only one that’s never had a normal emergency. So I do kind of hope that something will happen. I think that could be kind of fun because I love all that makeup stuff.  We’ll see. I want something to happen so she can quickly recover from…

Like a sprained ankle?

[Laughs] Absolutely.

Have you pitched any more ideas to showrunner Tim Minear after he took you up on your “The Bachelor” crossover pitch?

I think he’s over all my ideas, to be totally honest. I’ll be like, “Hey Tim,” and he’s like, “I have to go, bye.” [Laughs] But no, he’s the kindest human and he takes all my ideas. He’s very sweet. And yeah, “The Bachelor” one worked out well, so that’s good.

Does it seem to you like more people are watching now that the show is on ABC?

Yeah. I mean, it’s crazy. I’ve been on the show forever and my kids now are wearing Evan Buckley shirts to school and have Eddie Diaz screensavers and “Maddie and Chimney forever” [shirts]. They’re into it. They went back and started watching it from the beginning. I think they had to get old enough to actually be able to watch it and take it in without being scared all the time.

But I also think that the enthusiasm and energy that ABC has put behind the show this year has reminded people that we’re here, and that it’s an exciting show to watch and that if you haven’t seen it before, you should check it out and binge it. And people are doing that. [ABC] is truly stepping up and doing all this great stuff. Even with the wedding episode, letting people RSVP for our wedding on social media is so smart. It’s so fun. We’re having the best time and we’re very grateful.

“9-1-1” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Episodes are available to stream the day after premiere on Hulu.

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