Jennifer Lopez found it hard to be treated as an equal in the film industry
The 51-year-old singer and actress has admitted it was tough for her to land film roles at the start of her career, because she wanted to “be the lead” and found that Hollywood would only cast her in stereotypical roles
28 October 2020
She said: “At that time, there wasn't, and it's still not great now just for a caveat, but back then, it was just like, ‘How am I going to be an actress?’ And in my mind, I was like, ‘I want to play the girl, the woman.’ Right.
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“Just not the Latin woman in the Latin role where you think I should play the cook or the nanny or something like that. That I wanted to be the lead, I wanted to just represent for everybody and make everybody see that it didn't matter if you were Latin or black or Asian or whatever, you're a girl, you're a human being. And so there was those challenges of breaking through that.”
Jennifer hailed her role in ‘Anaconda’ alongside Ice Cube as “groundbreaking”, and said she felt proud to have been able to “change the narrative” surrounding Latin representation in film.
She added: And when I got my first romantic comedy, I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I'm the girl. I did it.’ Or when I got even the movie ‘Anaconda’, and it was me and Cube starring in an action movie. And we weren't going to get killed. We survived. Everybody else died and we survived. And that was groundbreaking. And for me, it was so exciting to be able to change that narrative and show people that it could be done. And it was very challenging at that time. Really, really hard. And I think now it's more accepted.”
The ‘Hustlers’ star believes more needs to be done to make Latin representation more common, and said the changes happening in the music industry - which have seen Spanish speaking artists top the charts - are “exciting”.
Speaking to Zane Lowe for Apple Music, she said: “But still, I mean, the Latin representation in movies is still 6 percent. And so, the quest goes on, and when you have a movement like this and music going on, because I believe music dictates the whole entire world. Because fashion follows music, movies follow music, everything follows music. So what's happening right now - With all of these artists singing in Spanish and charting in the English charts and in the global charts is such a big deal. And you watch how that tumbleweeds or snowballs into something even better and bigger for Latinos in the world and in this country. So I'm excited about what's happening in music for sure.”