Jennifer Lopez is a multi-talented icon who has been working in entertainment for decades but only recently did she gives fans a look behind the curtains. She came into the music scene with the release of her debut studio album, On the 6 in 1999 and as an actress she received critical acclaim with her starring role in Selena (1997). Since then she’s continued to achieve success as an actress and singer and made history when she performed during the Super Bowl halftime show alongside Shakira, the first Latina duo to do so. She shares how that performance came to be and more behind the scenes footage in her new Netflix documentary aptly named Halftime.
The doc is loaded with details that lead-up to Lopez’s Super Bowl halftime show performance as well as her navigating her way through the entertainment industry as a Latina in her 50s. We get to see raw emotion from the superstar as she talks about things like immigration and her critically acclaimed role in Hustlers. Most importantly, this documentary gives fans a behind-the-scenes look into all the hard work she puts into everything she does. Here are eight highlights from the doc that once again prove JLo, who turns 53 July 24, is a powerhouse.
She was inspired to include child dancers in her Super Bowl halftime show routine after visiting a dance school
Lopez made a visited Dancetown, a dance studio in Miami, to watch a young girls dance troupe perform.The documentary shows clips of JLo telling her choreographer how inspired she felt from her experience at that studio and wanted to make it a major concept in her halftime show performance. Her goal with bringing in these talented dancers to the big stage was to have these young girls showcase their talent and Latin dance skills.
She’s finding her own at 50
#Halftime Premiere @Netflix ❤️🖤 pic.twitter.com/AsNjzfylqJ
— jlo (@JLo) June 9, 2022
Lopez stated that it took her a long time to “find” herself in the entertainment industry. She had time to reflect on her career and future goals after divorcing Marc Anthony and taking care of their two kids, Max and Emme. “As an artist, I kind of lost a little bit of who I was in trying to kind of build a perfect life, a family life.” She wasn’t getting as many film offers and she credits her work as a judge on American Idol in 2011 as helping her gain more visibility.
She opens up about the difficult and sometimes abusive relationship she had with her mom
The superstar opens up about her relationship with her mom, Lupe Rodriguez, saying that one time they got into a bad fight and Lopez ended up leaving the house. “My mom was like, ‘If you’re gonna live in this house, you’re gonna get your education,'” she says, “so I just left.” Lopez opens up about how her love for dance caused tension between them both and that distracted her from school. Lopez also touches on her mother’s tough attitude toward her and her siblings. “She beat the sh*t out of us,” Lopez said. Her mother was shown in the documentary saying that she was far from perfect and only wanted the best for her kids.
Positive reviews for her “Hustlers” performance brought her to tears as it provided her with validation
Video: Youtube/@Universal Pictures-All Access
Throughout the documentary, we see how Lopez struggles with being taken seriously in the industry and respected as an actress. At one point she even says “You have those moments in this business where you’re like, ‘What’s next? And will anything be next?'” In one particular seen, we watch as Lopez reads a review in Glamour about her work in the film Hustlers. She gets super emotional as the write-up reads: “Most of the praise for Hustlers is dedicated to Jennifer Lopez…in fact, some reviewers say she could be likely in the running for her first Academy Award.” Tears start to flow down her face as she the scene cuts to her winning the award for Best Supporting Actress at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. She didn’t the Oscar nom or win the Golden Globe but her performance was acclaimed and that clearly meant something to the star.
She opened up about feeling lost and struggling in her career as a 40+ year old and a single mom
JLo was married to singer Marc Anthony from 2004 – 2014 and the resulting split had her feeling lost personally and professionally. “as an artist, I kind of lost a little bit of who I was in trying to build a perfect family life. And when my kids were three, I got divorced. I was a single mom with two little kids. At 42, movie roles were not knocking at my door and as I was getting back to work, I felt like I didn’t know what my value was anymore.” She went on to say that American Idol helped her learn a lot about herself and pushed her to be better in every way.
She’s so supportive of Emme’s singing
Video: Instagram/@Jlo @netflix
During her Super Bowl performance, Lopez had Emme, then 11 years old, joined her mom to sing her hit “Let’s Get Loud” and part of “Born in the U.S.A..” She had originally considered having Springsteen singer himself do a cameo at the live event but at one point in the film Lopez talks about how she thought it would be much more powerful if her daughter was to sing “Born in the U.S.A.” as a young Latina. Lopez told her daughter, “You look right down that camera and you tell every little girl in the world to get loud and to never, ever back down from bringing light to injustice.”
She fought for immigrant rights by featuring kids in cages in the show
Video: Youtube/@musyca children’s choir
At one point in the documentary, Lopez noted that she “wasn’t into politics,” however; seeing images of children in cages at the border left her in disbelief. “It made me realize that I had a responsibility to not be quiet,” she said, “to not just leave the politics to everybody else.” Amidst what the NFL wanted, Lopez had hundreds of little girls come out of light cages singing choir. “We want a feeling of Latinos in cages…and you can’t keep us there. We won’t have that,” she said. “The concept is, this next generation is not going to be suppressed in the way that we were.” We see her fight to keep that in the show after the NFL tries to cut it right before the show.
Rita Moreno was her inspiration