|Jennifer Lopez did an outstanding performance on her role in the movie "Hustlers" which critics said that Lopez can be a possible nominee to the Oscars. / Photo credits by buzzfuss via 123rf|
Jennifer Lopez is a singer, dancer, actor, and many more, but her role in the movie “Hustlers” might give her another title, either Academy Award nominee or winner, reported Jennifer Liu of business news and financial coverage platform CNBC. Recently, Lopez joined Hoda Kotb on SiriusXM to discuss the praise she received from her performance in the movie.
Her role as Ramona, the ringleader of a team of New York strippers who rob Wall Street patrons during the Great Recession, made news outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter, People, and Daily Beast declare her as a possible nominee to the Oscars. Lopez shared with Kotb that she became emotional when she heard positive reviews about “Hustlers” while sitting in bed after the movie’s premiere.
Lopez, who co-produced the film, confessed to Kotb, “I’ve just been working hard for so long—for my whole life—so it’s nice. You work hard your whole life, and you wonder if anybody notices.”
Lopez Reacts to Hustlers
|Lopez mastered how to do pole dancing for seven weeks in order to give justice to her character Ramona. / Photo credits by Yulia Grogoryeva via 123rf|
Lopez loved the script of “Hustlers” the minute she read it, she said in an interview with Maria Lewis of Australian pop culture news site Junkee. Setting aside the film’s story and script, Lopez noticed that the staff and cast were composed of women and she immediately thought it was going to be an amazing movie with great characters and storytelling. She remarked, “I knew that it was going to be something special in the way of filmmaking.”
Her role as Ramona was an intriguing one. As a character, Ramona is complicated, messy, and inherently likable and unlikeable. At the beginning of Lopez’s career, she played other “dangerous” roles in movies such as “U-Turn,” “Blood and Wine,” and “Selena.”
Lopez never considered “Hustlers” as unfamiliar territory, as she started as Janet Jackson’s backup dancer and as a fly girl on “In Living Colour.” For her role as Ramona, Lopez was expected to master pole dancing in seven weeks. Co-star Cardi B admitted it took her years to master pole dancing. Lopez worked with Cirque Du Soleil’s Johanna Sapakie and built a pole “in each of her homes in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles” to enable her to practice anytime she wanted. The process—including her bruises—was shown on her YouTube channel. It’s no surprise that Lopez has been tagged as “one of the hardest working people in Hollywood.”
Lopez has also shown the power of one's work although the type of work she has been doing for the past three decades might not be equally valued by her male peers. However, her co-stars Keke Palmer and Constance Wu lauded her "for being one of the first examples they saw of a woman of color in mainstream pop culture."
As the interview came to a close, the 50-year-old Lopez contemplated, “People are so ready to write women off at a certain age." But her best years are ahead of her as a performer, actress, and producer. "The more I learn and the more I live…the better my work gets, and I feel that.”
A Potential Oscar Nominee
Lopez was a contender for the Golden Globe for her performance in the 1997 film “Selena.” In that regard, she told Kotb that the buzz about her winning the Oscars reminded her of her childhood dreams of being on the Academy Awards stage someday. She added, “We’re not even there. Just to talk about it is amazing.”
“Hustlers” was based on Jessica Prasler’s 2015 New York Magazine article. It was shown in cinemas on September 13. The film had a majority-female cast and crew, with writer and director Lorene Scafaria and starring cast members Wu, Julia Stiles, Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, and Cardi B.
Lopez explained to entertainment news site The Hollywood Reporter that “having all women on the set” was a different experience, Ciara McVey wrote. According to the actress, this is not something that occurs frequently in Hollywood. She has done over 40 movies, but it has never happened before. She observed that men are mostly in front and behind the camera. The stars are male too, save for one woman.
As expected, Lopez was flattered about the recent Oscars buzz. But she didn’t want to expect too much, as she wanted to place greater emphasis on the crew and cast’s effort in producing the film.
Why Lopez Deserves An Oscar
According to Sam Brooks of pop culture and entertainment website The Spinoff, Lopez deserves an Oscar because she is one of the industry's most committed, enduring, and talented entertainers. The star is probably one of the few individuals who has jumped from one career to another—from dancer and singer to actor and worldwide superstar.
In her role as Ramona, Lopez showcased her skills through superb acting by knowing the character inside and out and dancing to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” More than that, Lopez lets everyone know how hard she is working, even if she makes it look easy. Her life is a hustle, and she shows it to the world.
Of course, Lopez deserves an Oscar. If she does receive the award, it is mostly because of her dedication to her craft and to the industry in general, regardless of the role she plays. Should fans get their hopes high? Maybe. Maybe not. We will find out soon enough.