Jennifer Lopez Talks 'Beautiful Life' With Alex Rodriguez and Why She Almost Passed on 'Hustlers' for Him
By Antoinette Bueno
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Jennifer Lopez is at an amazing place in her life, both personally and professionally.
The 50-year-old actress is currently promoting her highly anticipated film, Hustlers, and got engaged to Alex Rodriguez in March. In a new interview with Variety, she admits that her career and love life weren't always so in sync. Lopez says that after she gave birth to her 11-year-old twins, Emme and Max -- whom she shares with her ex-husband, Marc Anthony -- she found herself in a lull.
"I had the kids and wasn't being offered a whole bunch of stuff," she says. "I really concentrated on my marriage. I was going around with Marc. I went on two or three tours with him. I realize now that it was all necessary, even though it was a tough time."
She also recalls meeting with directors and being dismayed, when she says more than one openly talked about her backside.
"They would never say to a guy, 'Your d**k is really big,'" she points out.
Lopez credits her career turnaround to deciding to be a judge on American Idol in its 10th season, even though she was advised not to take the gig.
"Everybody was like, 'Don't do this. Your career will be over, and they won't offer you any movies. They'll think you're a joke as an artist,'" she shares. "And I was like, 'The truth is, I'm not getting offered a whole bunch of movies, so what are they not going to offer me?'"
Now, Lopez is busier than ever, and she stresses how supportive she and 44-year-old Rodriguez are of one another.
"He loves being at every show that he can be at," she notes. "I go to all his baseball games. There were times in my life when my career was going great, and my personal life was going OK. And there were times my personal life was stable, but my career was not great. This is the first time where I have a really beautiful alignment between the two. I think Alex brought that for me. I love it. We have a beautiful life."
She also says that she almost passed on Hustlers to spend more time with her fiance and their kids. Rodriguez is a father to two daughters -- 14-year-old Natasha and 11-year-old Ella -- from his previous marriage to Cynthia Scurtis. But Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria, who wrote Lopez's character for her specifically, held up production for her.
"We were supposed to do it last summer, and I had worked so much," Lopez explains. "I was like, 'I have to stay home with my kids and Alex.'"
As for her stripper character in the film, Lopez admits she was "terrified" to perform a dance in a G-string.
"I felt exposed," she says. "I was like, 'I've never done anything like this. I'm going to be up there in f**king dental floss. What is this? Who is this person?' And then you get up there, and you have to have a 'f**k you,' empowered attitude. You have to take your power back. You have to be so bold. It's almost like when you say you're a rock star, you have to be arrogant to go up there in front of all those people or you crumble. You realize it's the same type of balls that it takes to do something like that. And these women have that. They are tough, hard, vulnerable and damaged. It's a great character to play."
"It's not like me being onstage with a bunch of tights and fishnets on and bodysuits," she pointed out. "Those are sexy costumes. This is another level. You're out there naked."
"You sign on to be an actress and take on a role... once you do it, you kind of settle within yourself like, 'OK. I'm going to do this in the best way,' because that's why I started acting to begin with, was to get into different people's mind sets and explore life and humanity in different ways and that is exciting to me about doing it," she continued. "This is something I would never do."
She also admitted that she felt a bit disturbed after watching her character's criminal behavior in the movie.
"When I watched the movie for the first time, I was like, a little bit sick to my stomach," she shared. "I was like, 'Oh my God! What are they doing? They are going to kill this guy!' They were playing with fire."
"I'm a by-the-book kind of person," she added. "Like, I'm always afraid. I don't want to jaywalk or anything. They're going to get me."