‘I Want To Do It All:’ Jennifer Lopez Opens Up About The Importance Of Making All Kinds Of Movies For And About Women

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Jennifer Lopez has inhabited the roles of strong women since the beginning of her career, from her Golden Globe-nominated big break as Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla in Selena to her commanding, Oscar-snubbed performance as veteran stripper Ramona Vega in Hustlers. And in new interview, the multi-hyphenate talent proclaims that that female-fronted focus is no accident. 

In promotion of her forthcoming ninth album, This is Me…Now — which, like Beyonce and Taylor Swift’s recent tours, will be accompanied by the This Is Me…Now: The Film exclusive for those with a Prime Video subscription — Lopez discussed her wide-spanning entertainment career. This has included not only acting onscreen but also supporting projects behind the scenes. Her company, Nuyorican Productions, has produced films like Hustlers and The Mother, and TV series including The Fosters and Shades of Blue. Thinking about her career and her next steps, the movie star told Elle:

I want to tell the gamut of stories. Uplifting, empowering stories, and entertaining stories, and gangster movies. I want to do everything that men do. I want to do all of it.

It’s fitting, then, that the phrase “Jennifer Lopez movies” encompasses such a diverse array of genres, from beloved romantic comedies (The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan) to heart-racing dramatic thrillers (Out of Sight, The Cell). 

However, while she loves making rom-coms, the actress denounces the idea that women only want to see love stories onscreen. She said:

I think that’s insulting. [Women] have been leaders of countries. We have run empires; we have done all of these things throughout history, and we should tell all of those stories.

Later in the discussion, Lopez extolls how female audiences can “feel the difference” when movies and television shows are made by women, for women. Speaking in detail about this topic, she said:

You want to make great movies, at the end of the day. You want to make great television. And that should hit everybody. But at the same time, telling stories from a woman’s point of view does draw more of a [female] audience, or they relate to it more, or they get more fanatical about it and obsessed with it because they can feel that it’s not from the male gaze. They can feel the difference. With all the great women producers, directors, and actors who are taking more control of their careers and creating their own material, we’re in a very exciting time for women in Hollywood.

And Lopez is certainly right that it is indeed a “very exciting time for women in Hollywood.” This year, female-fronted projects dominated the pop-culture conversation, from Greta Gerwig’s billion-dollar behemoth Barbie to Beyoncé and Taylor Swift‘s respective record-smashing world tours and concert films. 

The singer is planning to add to that conversation with This Is Me…Now, her first studio album in nearly a decade, which is set to be released by Nuyorican and BMG on February 16, 2024. The album’s lead single, “Can’t Get Enough,” is scheduled to drop on January 10. Also, make sure to keep your eyes on the 2024 movie schedule as JLo has several acting gigs in the pipeline, including the sci-fi thriller Atlas and the wrestling drama Unstoppable, produced by her husband Ben Affleck. 

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