Jennifer Lopez’s career could have looked a lot different.
The 50-year-old entertainer slayed her performance as big boss Ramona in Hustlers, playing a stripper who does what it takes to get what she wants. The thing is, J.Lo admits in an interview with W Magazine, that before her career took off, she considered being a stripper to earn extra money.
“I did. There was a moment in my life when my friends, who were also dancers, told me about making thousands of dollars at clubs in New Jersey,” she tells the publication. “They said, ‘You won’t need to be topless.’ It sounded awfully good when I was broke and eating pizza every day, but I never did it.”
Instead, as many know, she continued dancing and landed a spot as a Fly Girl on the ’90s sketch-comedy series In Living Color. From there came her breakout role in Selena, and the rest is history. After a long and successful acting career, the seasoned actress, singer, dancer and entrepreneur was a bit taken aback by the Hustlers role — but knew she had to do it.
“I was a little nervous about doing this movie because I had never played someone this dark or complicated,” she explains. “I liked that Ramona, the character I play, and the other strippers were looked at as equals to their patrons, the guys on Wall Street. Ramona reminded me of that girlfriend we all have who is exciting but can also get you into trouble.”
“You always miss that friend when she’s gone, but when you get together, you worry you might find yourself in some crazy situation. That’s Ramona,” she adds.
The role has earned Lopez a slew of recognition, as well as Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations. She’s also one of the top contenders to be nominated for an Academy Award.
ET caught up with Lopez at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala on Thursday, where she was honored with the Spotlight Award and opened up about her amazing experience as Ramona.
“The journey of this film has been such a labor of love and, kind of, such a push that to be here and to be recognized tonight at the Palm Springs Film Festival, such a legendary festival, and to even be in the conversation, is just a dream come true,” she expressed.
She also teased what fans can expect from her and Shakira’s Super Bowl halftime show. watch below to hear what she said.
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