Jennifer Lopez struggled to be treated as an equal in the film industry.
The 51-year-old singer and actress admitted it was difficult for her to land movie roles early in her career because she wanted to ‘be the star’ and found that Hollywood would only place her in stereotypical roles. .
She said: “At that point there weren’t any, and it’s still not great now just for a caveat, but back then it was just like, ‘How am I doing? I be an actress? ‘ And in my mind, I was like, “I want to play the girl, the woman”. Right.
“But 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 leader, I just wanted to represent for everyone and make everyone understand that it doesn’t matter if you are Latin or black or Asian or whatever, you are a girl, you are a human being. And so there were these challenges to overcome.
Jennifer hailed her role in “Anaconda” alongside Ice Cube as “groundbreaking” and said she was proud to have been able to “change the narrative” surrounding the Latin portrayal in the film.
She added: And when I had my first romantic comedy, I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I’m the girl. I did it.’ Or when I even had the movie “Anaconda”, and it was me and Cube in an action movie. And we were not going to be killed. We survived. Everyone died and we survived. And it was revolutionary. 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 difficult at the time. Really, really hard. And I think now it’s more accepted.
The ‘Hustlers’ star believes more needs to be done to make Latin portrayal more mainstream, and said the changes happening in the music industry – which have seen Spanish-speaking artists topping 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%. And so the quest goes on, and when you have a move like this and the music goes on, because I believe the music dictates the whole world. Because fashion follows music, movies follow music, everything follows music. So what’s going on right now? With all these artists singing in Spanish and making it to the UK and world charts, this is such a big deal. And you watch how that turns or turns into something even better and bigger for Latinos around the world and in this country. So I’m very happy with what’s going on in the music. “