As we’ve already seen, Jennifer Lopez’s workout training to keep that fit physique of hers is unsurprisingly intense but when the actress had to train for Hustlers, her routine went to new levels.
At the New York pop-up launch for her new fragrance, Promise by Jennifer Lopez, the actress discussed how working out helped her prepare for the physically grueling role. Because the shoot schedule for the film was pushed back, it gave her enough time “to get myself in really great physical strength and build a little bit of strength with weights,” J. Lo said, according to PopSugar.
J.Lo said she prepped for two and a half months before filming with Johanna Sapakie, who has more than two decades of pole dance experience and was the pole dance choreographer for the film. Ramona’s dance sequence was shot in a day, with J.Lo performing the four-minute-long routine about six or seven times. “Her stamina and her athleticism in order to get through that day, in particular, was top-notch,” Sapakie told The Hollywood Reporter.
That’s because she works out three to four times a week for an hour and routinely gives up sugar and doesn’t drink alcohol. “I don’t kill myself. I used to do more workouts when I was younger. I’ve learned how to do it smarter now,” she said at the pop-up event in NYC.
The Love Don’t Cost A Thing singer considered the pole dancing the hardest part of her training, which she committed to in the midst of her “It’s My Party” music tour. She had poles installed in her homes in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles so she could nail the routine now. Now, that’s dedication.
“It’s fine if you’re 5-to-10 years old and you’re trying to learn how to do acrobatics. When you’re my age, your body is like ‘What are you doing?'” she went on to say. “It was awful. In your mind, you think ‘Oh I want to learn how to pole dance, that sounds sexy! Oh wow, this is going to be fun,’ and then the reality of that steel pipe against your bones and trying to hold on with your inner thighs — it’s not fun.”
But she also admitted that “once you kind of get a few moves down, you actually do feel really awesome.”
She shared footage on her Youtube channel where she practiced with Ramona’s signature tall heels, a sports bra, and booty shorts. Her legs were bruised but that didn’t stop her from continuing to practice for the big reveal. The hard work ultimately paid with J.Lo receiving praise from critics and fans alike for her portrayal of Ramona and for one of the most memorable opening scenes in recent years.
“It’s like acrobatic; it’s [working] different muscle groups,” she told Jimmy Kimmel. “The things [pole dancers] do with their legs and everything, and go upside down…it’s hard,” she said, adding, “I have a lot of respect for people who do the pole.”
Watch J.Lo master the pole on her YouTube channel here:
Hustlers has made more than $80 million and counting in the box office and J.Lo is expected to get several awards nominations if not wins but at 50 and with that body and strength, it’s clear she’s already winning.