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OTRC: Jennifer Love Hewitt shows off bikini body, talks about coping with mother's death

Jennifer Love Hewitt appears in an undated promotional photo for the second season of 'The Client List' in 2013. / Hewitt appears on the March 2013 cover of Shape magazine. (Lifetime / Matthew Rolston / Shape Magazine)

Jennifer Love Hewitt is the cover girl of the March 2013 issue of Shape magazine and the "Client List" star not only flaunts her bikini body on the cover, but she also talks about her fans motivating her and how working out helped her cope with her mother's death.

Hewitt's pose in a pink and white chevron-patterned bikini on the magazine's cover is notable because the actress received criticism from the media about her body in 2007 after unflattering bikini photos were published in tabloids. The now 33-year-old actress was a size two at the time and defended her figure in subsequent interviews.

"I'm getting ready to turn 34, so it's a very big deal to be asked to be in a bathing suit because I feel like in Hollywood sometimes, when you're an actress at 34, they're like, 'You should just pack your bags," she joked to the magazine in a behind the scenes video, which can be viewed below.

The actress says that her fans help motivate her and she reads their Tweets to help keep in mind that she can be a role model for empowerment.

"I know they're counting on me to feel powerful," she told the magazine.

In June 2012, Hewitt's mother Patricia died at age 67 from complications due to cancer and the actress talked about what helped her cope with the loss.

"When life hits you so hard -- whether someone you care for dies or your lover leaves you -- working out can save your life. It certainly saved mine" she told the magazine.

Hewitt became famous for her role as Sarah on the family drama series "Party of Five" in the 1990s and went on to star in films such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and the show "Ghost Whisperer" before starring in a 2010 "Client List" Lifetime Television Movie, which had spurred the creation of the series. Her character is based on a real person.

On the show, Hewitt plays an impoverished mother who helps run a massage parlor that dishes out more than just back rubs. She is also a director and executive producer of the series, which returns for season 2 on March 10. In the TV movie, she played one of the parlor's sex workers, who does not have a managerial role.

The show also stars Cybill Shepherd, Colin Egglesfield and Loretta Devine. Hewitt sang the song "I'm a Woman" and released a video to promote the show's second season.

Check out part of Hewitt's Shape interview below and a teaser for the second season of "The Client List."

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