'We got to work on ourselves,' the singer says.
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez learned a little something about themselves in quarantine. The 51-year-old singer covers the March issue of Allure, and, in the accompanying interview, reveals how she and her former pro-athlete fiancé prioritized their relationship amid lockdown.
"I miss being creative and running on 150," she says of quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "But Alex, of all people, was like, 'I love it. I love being at home. I love doing my Zooms. I love knowing the kids are there, and you’re there all the time.'"
"It has been actually really good," Lopez continues. "We got to work on ourselves. We did therapy. I think it was really helpful for us in our relationship."
While quarantine was certainly a "different" way of life for Lopez, Rodriguez and their family -- the triple-threat star has 12-year-old twins Max and Emme, while her fiance is dad to Ella, 12, and Natasha, 16 -- they eventually made the best of it.
"I started trying to do things together. We would play baseball outside or paint together," she says. "We never get to do stuff like that. I was trying to take advantage of the time."
Though a lot of quality time happened amid quarantine, Lopez and Rodriguez's planned wedding did not.
"It was a big deal. We had been planning for months and months and months, and it was overseas," she says. "Maybe that wasn’t the right time. You start thinking of all of these things -- how everything has its kind of perfect, divine moment."
The time in quarantine came after one of the busiest periods of Lopez's life, a time during which her "overachiever" nature shone through.
"I started training for Hustlers in January 2019. I went from training for Hustlers to doing Hustlers to going on a tour to doing awards season while filming Marry Me. I remember filming all day and working on the music in my trailer and then doing interviews and then being on the phone with my kids because they had just entered middle school," she says. "I remember being on the phone with Emme, telling her to do two hours of homework, and then getting on with Max and putting him to sleep and then learning my lines for the next day."
"Then training for Super Bowl rehearsals. And then it was the Super Bowl," Lopez continues. "It was nonstop for a year So, after that, I was like, 'I’m going to rest. For a month.'"
The successful year culminated with Lopez's Super Bowl halftime performance with Shakira, of which the singer is beyond proud.
"The idea was to show the best of, not just myself as an artist, but the best of women. The best of Latinos," she says. "I felt that I represented Latinos, I represented women, and I represented people in my age group in a light that was very positive and strong."
It did not, however, result in an Oscar nod for Lopez, who was nominated at other major award shows for her Hustlers role.
"[My production partner] Elaine [Goldsmith-Thomas] made a post where she listed all the things I had been nominated for and won that season. And when it came to the Oscars, it was so obviously absent. It was a sting," Lopez admits. "I was like, 'OK, when you’re supposedly in everybody else’s mind supposed to be nominated and you’re not, what does that mean? Is it really real? Are the other ones real and this one isn’t?'"
"It came to a point where I was like, 'This is not why I do this. I don’t do this to have 10 Oscars sitting on my mantel or 20 Grammys,'" she continues. "The point is creating and the joy that I get from the things I get to put out in the world that entertain and inspire and empower people. I think my life is about more than awards."
Though Lopez and her family were in quarantine throughout much of the last year, they did venture outside to participate in Black Lives Matter protests, largely at Max's insistence.
"The whole thing that was happening with police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, Latinos at the border -- you feel like you had to contribute," she says. "I remember my son coming to me and saying, 'You know, Mom, some of my YouTubers tell us what we should do, and I listen to them. You have a lot of people that feel that way about you.'"
"It was his way of saying that I should do something," she says. "He probably heard me complaining about what was happening in the world. I said, 'I want you guys to make me the signs because Mommy wants to get out there too.'"
The event itself initially left Lopez feeling nervous -- in large part because she isn't "used to being in big crowds like that" -- but quickly transformed into something amazing for the singer.
"It was scary. I got a little anxiety, like, 'How do you get out of the crowd?'" she recalls. "Once I got [into it], to be in the masses like that, I loved it. Like, 'Wow, there’s a movement happening.' So many people, different ages, races -- it was a beautiful thing."
Overcoming her nerves and participating in a big way taught Lopez a valuable lesson.
"We can’t just keep living our lives and thinking everything’s going to work itself out. No, it’s not going to work out. We have to get involved. We have to make changes," she says. "That was why 2020, as difficult and scary as it was, was so necessary. What we realized is that we’re all in this together. This is about our kids growing up in a world where they feel comfortable, where things are equal, and there’s more kindness and love than hate and division."
It's a lesson she's doing her best to pass down to her daughter, too.
"In the middle of the pandemic, Emme came to me crying. She was like, 'Why is all this happening?' It was such an emotional thing because I was trying to comfort her and myself in the same moment," Lopez says. "I said, 'There’s something happening that we’re in the middle of and you have to trust that on the other side it’s going to be so much better. We just have to hang on.'"