The actor and singer, who is hotly tipped for an Oscar nomination for the film, explained that it would have been difficult to convey her character’s power without the scene.
“Initially my big strip routine was not in the movie, but I thought it was important to show,” Lopez told The Sun. “You had to see she was the star of the club.”
The scene in question is used to introduce Lopez’s character Ramona, who eventually leads a gang of strippers who drug and rob wealthy men.
Lopez confessed that she found shooting the scene scary, but ultimately satisfying.
“I just had to be a big girl about it," she said. “The first time in the full costume — calling it that is a stretch — was very nerve-racking. It’s the first time I really got the vulnerability, the feeling of being exposed.
“But I pulled my G-string up and did what I had to do as an actress. This is my job, what I signed up for… It was hard, scary — but awesome.”
Lopez also told the newspaper that she demanded her face be visible throughout the stripping sequence, to prove that she wasn’t using a stunt double.