Jennifer Lopez is earning career-best reviews and awards season buzz for “Hustlers,” a project she relishes for its artistic merit above all else.
In a GQ interview published Monday, the actor and singer said she wasn’t paid for her role as veteran stripper Ramona Vega in the ensemble crime drama, based on a real-life case.
“I didn’t get paid a whole bunch of money for ‘Hustlers.’ I did it for free and produced it,” Lopez said. Recalling her hit 2002 single, she added, “Like Jenny From the Block — I do what I love.”
“Hustlers,” which hit theaters in September, saw Lopez as the matriarch to a group of strippers that included Constance Wu, Lili Reinhart, Cardi B and Lizzo. The women join forces to scam their wealthy Wall Street clients out of money.
Directed by Lorene Scafaria, “Hustlers” opened to critical praise and boffo box-office numbers, raking in an estimated $33 million in its first weekend. While GQ reports that Lopez was not paid “up front” for her performance, it’s likely she profited after the film was a financial success.
The accolades, she said, are what she finds the most personally rewarding.
“The movies that I look for now, I’m looking for not just interesting and multilayered characters, which Ramona really was, but something that tells you about what’s going on in the culture,” she said. “So the whole idea of the Wall Street guys was interesting to me. These girls are cheating them, but these guys are cheating everybody!”
“So what it says about that world, and men and women, and gender roles, all of that made me feel that this could be an interesting movie, as opposed to just a character piece,” she continued.
In the interview, Lopez also touched on her co-headlining Super Bowl halftime performance with Shakira, set to take place Feb. 2, 2020.
“I feel that it’s a great thing to have two Latina women in Miami headlining the Super Bowl,” she said. “And what we could do with those 12 to 14 minutes to make people understand our worth and value in this country. … I think it could be a really beautiful celebration.”
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