Music, Film, Fashion, Cosmetics, Jewelry and more... it seemed that there was nothing that Jennifer Lopex could not do, or any time for her to possibly fit in anything else... and then she got married, and got pregnant, and had twins! And yet still, she keeps all the activities in her life moving forward...
Buzzine's Emmanuel Itier sat down with Ms. Lopez in Los Angeles, CA to talk about the juggling of her many interests that she is able to do, the support and input she gets from her husband, Marc Anthony and from her children, and her new film, the romantic comedy The Back-up Plan...
Emmanuel Itier: What made you first want to make the time to fit this movie into all that you already do?
Jennifer Lopez: Because it was different. We saw it a million times, like the girl has commitment issues or she’s afraid of love... it’s usually something very basic like that, and I just love the idea of the conflict, the whole obstacle being a pregnancy, a child, and how serious that is and how life-changing that is. I thought it was a really interesting thing.
EI: Your character has twins, in real life you have twins: Is it overwhelming to have to care for two babies at the time?
JL: It is overwhelming for sure. I don’t know anything else. So for me, it was kind of like it is what it is. You don’t know what it is to just have one baby when you had two...
EI: That was originally in the script, or did you change…?
JL: Yeah, I was surprised when I read it: I was like, “Oh, she’s having twins, okay.”
EI: What was your first impression when you read the script?
JL: At first I was like, it’s really funny. That’s good! Every scene had something very special about it where you had the things that I feel make a romantic comedy work, which is the characters are endearing, the scenes, the comedy works…so I was very pleased because I don’t remember, when were filming, it having that much comedy in it, but once you see it’s all together and edited down, it’s like, “Oh, okay!”
EI: Has motherhood made you handle your career differently right now? Is filming very difficult?
JL: It’s definitely different than before: Absolutely, but it’s better. Life is better. It’s harder but it’s better.
EI: Did you have a nanny on set, or how does it work?
JL: No, I just had them with me the whole time. I was on set all by myself, and they’d stand right there and then they do their thing... and then they come right back.
EI: In a musical household like yours, do your kids like your music or your husband’s music?
JL: It was so funny - even yesterday Emme was eating, and Marc [Anthony] was playing his new album, and I started singing a little bit to her and she was like, “No that’s not you. That’s not your song: That’s daddy’s song.” So cute!
EI: At the end of the film, there is a new song of yours…
JL: “What is Love,” yes.
EI: Which will not only be on the soundtrack album, but also on your new album: Can you talk a little bit about that?
JL: The album is called Love. It will be out hopefully in the summer... I just switched record companies...
EI: ...to Def Jam?
JL: Yes, so I’m working with L.A. Reid: It’s exciting to be someplace new!
JL: I had a long run with Sony: We had a lot of great success. We sold 40 million records, seven albums… We had come to the end of our run, and plus, once Tommy left, I kind of felt a little bit orphaned there. Because he was my guy. He signed me when I had never even been in a recording studio. He saw something in me, and once he left, the head of the company switched I don’t know how many times. It was tough for me. He was the only one I ever spoke to at the label, and everyone spoke to everybody else. So it’s nice to start over. It’s nice to get some place new.
EI: Are you still planning to tour?
JL: Yeah, we are. First the album has to come out... and then after that.
EI: I saw you in concert with your husband in New York, and as a father myself, I wonder if you be able to have some energy left for your children after a tour?!!
JL: After a tour? Well, I had it while I was carrying them...I think it will be good. I know it won’t be harder than being pregnant and on tour: That was tough!
EI: As if acting and making music and motherhood wasn't already a lot, you are also very active in the fashion world: What is fashion for you?
JL: I have very lofty ideas about fashion. People that are goddesses that I look up to are all from the ’60s and ’50s. From Jackie O to Princess Grace to Bridget Bardot and Marilyn Monroe… I go for very proper and then very, very sexy, and I kind of take those two styles and put them together, and that’s kind of who I am in all of that.
It’s funny - we’ve had so much success in our licenses and stuff, and the clothes, for me, to be quite honest, have never been what I want them to be. We’re about to start a new endeavor in the clothing arena that I’m very excited about.
EI: Can you tell us about that yet?
JL: No, I really can’t tell you too much about it. It’s just so in the beginning stages, but we’re thinking about it, we’re looking for it. If we do it, it will have to be for the first time, the way I really want it to be.
EI: And then you also still have your perfume line...
JL: We have a new fragrance coming out in the fall called Love and Glamour: It’s a beautiful fresh scent, clean but juicy.
EI: Does it come with jewelry again?
JL: Not this one. We always had that thing where we always put some jewelry on it, but not this one.
EI: Coming back to the movie, you grew up in Catholic school and artificial insemination is something the Catholic Church opposes: Did that pose a problem for you?
JL: No, this is the modern world. I think now, being a mom and knowing what a joy and a blessing it is to have children... if there is a way that somebody who can’t have a child can have a child, I just don’t see how that’s a bad thing because there is nothing in the world bigger or better than that. There is no bigger success. There is no bigger love. There is no bigger joy than having your own child.
EI: Even if, at times you might want to kill it too… [Smiles]
JL: Even when you want to kill it, you still want to love them to death - it’s crazy! That’s the thing, it’s the craziest love in the world.
EI: Did you have any say on the casting of Alex O'Loughlin as your onscreen partner in this movie?
JL: To a certain extent, yeah.
EI: What made him the right person for this role?
JL: Of the people we met with, for me, he had the qualities that Stan had. He was a little bit arrogant and cocky, but in the most charming way. I felt like that’s who Stan was. This is the guy you fall in love with, but he also has that little bit of a swagger that is just a little bit cocky, and he was that guy. He wasn’t afraid. Sometimes, when you have meetings with different people, they’re quieter, certain things happen in the room or you don’t have the right chemistry, and we just happened to have that right combination of what I thought this couple should have.
EI: Even with the right partner in place, which was the most difficult scene for you in this making of this film?
JL: I think the scene with the pool, with the water birth, because it took us a couple of days to shoot. I wouldn’t call myself a method actress, but I do things to a very far degree. I was supposed to be really at the point of passing out, so I would just work myself up to this point until I was just being dizzy.
It’s fine the first couple of times, but then when you have to do it from every angle, and it was a big scene to shoot because of all the people in it, it became a lot... it was very exhausting after a while. And the poor girl in the pool as well, screaming and doing that whole thing! She looked like a different person when she was done.
EI: I real life, after your twins were born, was it hard to find the shape you had before the pregnancy?
JL: Yeah, it is hard to get back in shape.
EI: What did you do?
JL: I trained for a triathlon, and then after that, it took a lot of dieting, to be honest. I can’t eat... I want to lose weight!
EI: Ralph Fiennes, Richard Gere and Bill Campbell told me that you have the most beautiful skin in the world. What’s the secret of the skin? What do you do?
JL: There is no secret. I do take care of myself. I don’t abuse myself in any way. I sleep well. I eat well. I don’t take sun. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I don’t smoke. I think all that helps with your skin as you get older.
EI: They also talked about your amazingly long eyelashes: What’s your secret?
JL: There is no secret! You could buy them in your store too...
EI: What’s your vision for your career from now on: doing more films, doing more music…?
JL: Probably doing all of it - producing, maybe directing…I don’t know... I know that I’ll still be doing it: I don’t know what exactly I’ll be doing, but I’ll be doing it.
EI: What kind of music are you listening to?
JL: I’ve always been the type of person who listens to all different types of music. I listen to what is on the pop stations and the hip hop stations, as well as Spanish music and salsa and ballads. Our house is filled with all different kinds of things — dance music, everything.
EI: And your favorite?
JL: I don’t have a favorite. I like... good music.
EI: Do you and your husband share musical opinions and give each other professional advice?
JL: Absolutely. He put his album on the side of my bed the other day. He goes, “Sequence it.” I was like, “Okay.” So I get in the car on my way to work and listen to it sequence it. “This is the sequence: This is what I think. And the ad-libs are too low on this and this and that. I think you should only have this many and take that one off.” He goes back, “Hmmm, I like it... send it to Bigram [Marc's manager].”
EI: And was there anything he said about your new album?
JL: He likes the music I’ve been making, and I think he feels really proud of me as a musician because I’ve grown so much in the past few years especially, and he’s been there not only to watch it but to help me and to help me gain the confidence of what I can do, so it’s been a good time for us on the music side.
EI: On the movie side, do you have any other special projects like El Cantante?
JL: I loved El Cantante. I loved making it. I love being able to make it. I love our parts in it. I loved everything. I loved the music. We have projects that we’re working on — nothing musical right now. Nothing with any music really.
EI: What do they offer you nowadays?
JL: A lot of romantic comedies.
EI: Perhaps another film with Marc and you together might be in the pipes at some point?
JL: No, we haven’t talked about doing it. That year, year and a half, we did so much together. We did the movie together, the soundtrack together, we toured together, we did music, we had the kids together…it was a lot. I think we’ve kind of subconsciously made a decision like “I have to be me now and you have to be you now.” We have responsibilities to our fans separately too, and that’s cool. I think we need that...
CBS Films' 'The Back-up Plan' is in theaters nationwide on April 23, 2010.