Jennifer Lopez Almost Passed On Hustlers For This Totally Relatable Reason

We’re constantly shocked and awed by how busy stars like Jennifer Lopez seem to be (do they have more hours in the day than we do?!). So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when we heard that Lopez postponed Hustlers to stay home with her kids and fiancé Rodriguez — and if it surprises anyone else, we recommend they scroll through what else the actress-singer-dancer has accomplished this year alone. This August, she wrapped up her 38-show “It’s My Party” tour and she’s already started recording new music for upcoming feature film Marry Me, all on top of preparing for and shooting Hustlers, which comes out September 13. So no, Lopez pretty much hasn’t had a moment to rest — but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever put her family second.

Talking to Variety, Lopez had this to say about the timing of Hustlers, a film about strip club employees turning the tables on their rich clients in which Lopez plays the starring role. “We were supposed to do it last summer, and I had worked so much. […] I was like, ‘I have to stay home with my kids and Alex.'”

So, Lorene Scafaria, Hustlers’ director, made the decision to postpone until Lopez was available: “I think people forget that she’s such a gifted actor,” the writer-director shares with Variety.

Lopez had breakout roles throughout the late ’90s and early 2000’s like Selena (which established her as the first Latin actress to make $1 million), Out of Sight, Maid in Manhattan and Monster-In-Law, in which she played opposite Jane Fonda. But her feature film streaked slowed in the decade that followed, leading Lopez to turn to TV — and proving that her star power shines in any medium, as she took on roles in Shades of Blue and American Idol in addition to launching her own show World of Dance.

To be clear, Lopez never questioned whether or not she wanted the Hustlers role — the project interested her greatly, particularly set against the #MeToo era. “There are so many smart, talented women out there, in front of and behind the camera, and I think we’re at a point where our voices are not stifled as much,” Lopez muses. “Because of the #MeToo movement, it’s ‘We are equal, and we want to be treated that way.’ We’ve been making our own opportunities, and as you prove your worth and value to people, they can’t put you in a box. You hustle it into happening, right?” Right.

Then there’s the character herself, Ramona, who Lopez was equal parts frightened and awed by: “I was terrified,” she admits of shooting a certain scantily-clad pole-dancing scene. “I felt exposed. I was like, ‘I’ve never done anything like this. I’m going to be up there in f—ing dental floss […] And then you get up there, and you have to have a ‘f— you,’ empowered attitude. You have to take your power back. You have to be so bold.”

“These women [in Hustlers] have that,” Lopez concludes. “They are tough, hard, vulnerable and damaged. [Ramona is] a great character to play.”

We can’t wait to see it!

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