Jennifer Lopez has just announced that she will star as a stripper in the upcoming film titled Hustlers. First instinct might be to roll your eyes and assume it’s just another way for her to show off her famous body, but the story behind the film is so much more than that. In an era in which women and people of color are actively fighting to make an impact in the movie industry, Hustlers will be both produced and directed by women and feature strong female leads.
The film is actually based on a true story that was depicted in a New York magazine article by Jessica Pressler titled “Hustlers at Score,” that was published back in 2015. The article told the story of a group of former strippers who plotted to steal tens of thousands of dollars from their wealthy clients back in the early 2000s.
“The film is an empathetic look at women and men, our gender roles, what we’re valued for, what we’ve been told is our value in every movie, TV show, every corner of culture. Men have been told they’re worth the size of their bank accounts. Women have been told they’re worth the symmetry of their faces, their bodies, their beauty, and that’s what this film is based on. The rules of the club are the rules of the world,” said director and screenwriter Lorene Scafaria to The Hollywood Reporter.
This isn’t a film that’s simply meant to further objectify J.Lo’s body, nor is it yet another film meant to glorify men who use their power and wealth to keep smart, strong, ambitious women out of their way. It’s definitely not meant to be like every other film that depicts rich white men taking advantage of women, rather Hustlers — which is being described as a “Robin Hood story”— is meant to bring women and their stories and experiences to the forefront, regardless of how ugly that might look.
At 49, even just J.Lo starring as a decades younger character totally flips the script on Hollywood standards. Lopez has become increasingly outspoken about social issues in the past several years, and it seems absolutely fitting for this female-made film to be her next move. Let’s be honest, if any Hollywood actress is going to break the mold by playing an ambitious, smart, overtly sexy criminal mastermind stripper at nearly 50 years old, it should be J.Lo.
“There is no other actor who could embody this raw and dynamic character with such complexity, humanity and intelligence. It’s always been her. She’s fucking Jennifer Lopez,” said Scafaria.