After a long absence that included stops at NBC for TV drama Shades of Blue and dance competition World of Dance, Jennifer Lopez is ready to reclaim her territory as the biggest Latina influencer in the world.
This month she will release Second Act, a Working Girl and Maid in Manhattan hybrid that stars Lopez as an unfulfilled value-store employee who has bigger dreams than sorting produce and scanning boxes in Queens.
With the help of her requisite rom-com sidekick (Leah Remini!), she’s able to lie her way into a job interview at a bougie Madison Avenue company, and soon enough she’s reveling in the riches of a skyline office, a carousel of company credit cards, and her very own Manhattan penthouse, all of which she hopefully shares with her cutie-pie boyfriend Milo Ventimiglia. We meet her at the Four Seasons hotel, and within five minutes of meeting her one can realize how happy and present she is. In love with A Rod, the actress is a major entertainment powerhouse, making millions as a singer, actor and producer. She has also just finished producing and starring in a comedy, Second Act (two more films, with women directors at the helm, are also in the works). And let’s not forget Vegas. This year, she will perform in 40 more shows as part of her three-year All I Have residency at Planet Hollywood (in August, she grossed an unprecedented $1 million for a single show). It is without a doubt very personal for any Latina to admire J-Lo an inspiration and a force of nature for everyone who speaks Spanish
Q: You made a point the day you revealed yourself as a power force for Latinas, for women who speak Spanish
A: I think the Latinos are a power force of America and we have to get rid of the stereotypes, the Latinos in TV are not reflecting what we see around us. I am very proud of being Latina, of speaking English and Spanish, and help to change the agenda of TV Networks at the time of representing Latinos
Q: Your life is full
A: Yes, but full also of people who help me. I’m not doing this alone. I filled my adventure surrender by great professionals. That is one of my mantras. Affirmations are so important but also family. When I moved to LA I was calling my mom every day because I missed her cooking. We Latinos define by family and food and language.
Q: You cowrote Second Act
A: Yes. This movie represents a woman who is smart but lacks college education, sometimes that is more important. At least that is being my case. I am a hardworking woman who has an amazing team of people with degrees (she laughs). I’ve always felt like I had to prove myself. Maybe that’s a good drive to have. I cofounded Nuyorican Productions to show my world and my perspective to whomever is interested. When I was younger I spent a lot of time being half happy and half not happy. Now I know who I am and what I want. I also know my strengths and weakness.
Q: like romantic comedies.
A: I love them, yeah.
Q: I know it’s a cliché question, but having it all, that kind of thing, you do exemplify the woman who has a great personal life and career (laughs)
A: I do feel very fortunate, and I do feel like I’m lucky in a sense, I had a great upbringing, I’ve been able to keep my feet on the ground through all of this whole thing, this career, and my personal life, and still come out being a whole person in a way. And that means everything, with great side and with flaws, but being more accepting of myself now and having kids, and being a mom, all of that helps you grow. And that’s what we are doing here, we are living, we are learning, we are loving, boom. That’s it.
Q: You must have days where you think, I’m not going to, I don’t care what I look like today.
A: Oh of course. I wait for those days.
Q: Does that exist for you?
A: Yes, yes it does, a lot. Whenever I have a day off, that’s (laughs) like I was saying yesterday, sweatpants, T-shirt off the shoulder, hair like up here in a crazy little bun, no makeup, lots of moisturizer, like slather moisturizer on my face, (laughs) so I can feel like pampered or something, I don’t know what that’s about, but that’s me.
Q: How would you describe this time in your life?
A: I would describe it as a little frenzied, , so it’s a good, happy time, it’s sunny, it’s like springtime. Because the kids give me so much joy on top of it, they just add this extra springtime quality, to your life.
Q: Do you worry about getting older because you seem to defy, you look exactly the same as you looked ten years ago.
A: I didn’t, I never used to really worry about it until people start mentioning it all the time, (laughter) I don’t think about that at all!
Q: Isn’t that not a concern?