Before Jennifer Lopez became J.Lo, she considered stripping as a way to make ends meet at the beginning of her career.
In a new interview with W Magazine, the 50-year-old got candid about her life before she was famous and the very different path she almost took when she was a young struggling dancer. “There was a moment in my life when my friends, who were also dancers, told me about making thousands of dollars at clubs in New Jersey. They said, ‘You won’t need to be topless,’” Lopez explained. “It sounded awfully good when I was broke and eating pizza every day, but I never did it."
Considering her recent, award-nominated performance in the movie Hustlers as stripper Ramona Vega, Lopez's career appears to have come full circle. However, she did have her hesitations about playing the character.
"I was a little nervous about doing this movie because I had never played someone this dark or complicated," she admits. "I liked that Ramona, the character I play, and the other strippers were looked at as equals to their patrons, the guys on Wall Street. Ramona reminded me of that girlfriend we all have who is exciting but can also get you into trouble. You always miss that friend when she’s gone, but when you get together, you worry you might find yourself in some crazy situation. That’s Ramona."
In the end, she agreed to take on the role for free, because of how much she believed in the movie's success. "I do things because I love them. I didn’t get paid a whole bunch of money for Hustlers. I did it for free and produced it," she told GQ back in November. "I bank on myself. That’s the Jenny From the Block. I do what I want, I do what I love."
To the academy: please hand this woman an Oscar.