Jennifer Love Hewitt will play Audrey Hepburn, but some say she doesn't have the magic

Jennifer Love Hewitt will be treading Golightly next year: She’s been signed to play screen legend Audrey Hepburn in an ABC TV movie that will air in the fall of 1999. ABC hopes to begin shooting after “Party of Five” goes on hiatus next spring. The network decided that Hewitt, 19, was the right star to introduce the late actress to a whole new generation, even though Hepburn was older when she played her best-known roles. (She was 25 when “Sabrina” came out in 1954 and 32 when “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was released.) “We wanted to appeal not just to my contemporaries who grew up with Audrey Hepburn and adore her, but to my daughter’s contemporaries,” says ABC executive VP of movies and miniseries Susan Lyne. “Who better to draw them into her story than Jennifer, who is already a cultural hero for that group?”

Some think the young and bubbly Hewitt might not be able to match Hepburn’s polish. “She seems too teenage-y to play someone with Hepburn’s sophistication,” says EW senior editor Doug Brod. “There aren’t many current actresses who have Hepburn’s aura, who could be an icon of their generation. With Jennifer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Katie Holmes, I just don’t see that kind of spark.”

Hepburn’s fans are less critical of Hewitt than they are of the idea of anyone attempting to duplicate Hepburn. “It’s an all-around bad idea to have anyone play her,” says David Fagerland, 28, who runs Audrey , one of more than 30 websites devoted to Hepburn. “There is something magical about her that nobody can capture.”

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