From her humble beginnings as a Fly Girl on IN LIVING COLOR to her chart-topping success as a pop star and an acting career showcasing her surprisingly versatile talent, Jennifer Lopez has proven that Jenny From the Block can totally do it all. Whether she’s belting out ballads as a beloved songstress, hunting a terrifying serial killer, or going toe-to-toe with Hollywood legends, Lopez has given us some truly memorable performances over the course of her almost 30-year career.
J-Lo stars in SECOND ACT, opening on December 21. The comedy features Lopez as a woman stuck in a dead-end job, who gets an unexpected shot at success when a big film is made to think she’s a hotshot consultant. We’re excited for a new J-Lo movie, so let’s take a look back at Lopez’s five best movie roles.
After kicking it with the Fly Girls on IN LIVING COLOR, Jennifer Lopez landed a handful of supporting roles in movies like JACK, and MONEY TRAIN. Her role as a late, great music icon, however, made her a legitimate star. In 1997’s SELENA, Lopez played Selena Quintanilla-Perez, one of the most celebrated and influential Mexican-American entertainers in modern history. SELENA followed the singer’s rise in the Latin music scene, her crossover into mainstream American pop music, and her tragic death at the age of 23. Although Lopez is of Puerto Rican descent, she felt a personal connection to the story of an American-born Latina whose star was on the rise – and it shows in her fantastic breakout performance.
Out of Sight
SELENA may have been Lopez’s best performance, but OUT OF SIGHT is without a question her best movie. It’s directed by Steven Soderbergh and based on the novel by acclaimed author Elmore Leonard. The 1998 crime comedy stars George Clooney as a bank robber who escapes prison and kidnaps a U.S. Marshal, played by Lopez. The chemistry between the two stars is phenomenal, and the movie allows Lopez to show off a tougher side than she had explored before. Most critics gave Clooney all the credit, but his role – and the movie – wouldn’t work without Lopez’s fierce performance.
Lopez entered much darker territory for THE CELL, a horror thriller released in 2000. Lopez stars as a social worker named Catherine, who uses experimental technology to enter the minds of other people. An FBI agent, played by Vince Vaughn, recruits Catherine to get inside the mind of a serial killer. The goal: find his latest victim. Things don’t work out so easily, however. THE CELL is filled with horrific and stunning visuals and designs, but Lopez’s performance as an empathetic but determined social worker is as memorable as any of the wild images.
Two years later, Lopez took on another tough role. ENOUGH follows a newly-married woman who discovers the man of her dreams is actually the man of her nightmares. Not long after getting married and having a daughter, Mitch begins abusing his wife, Slim (Lopez). As the title suggests, Slim eventually has “enough” and escapes. Instead of living in fear, however, she learns how to fight back to protect her daughter. It’s a physically and emotionally demanding role, and Lopez gives it her all.
Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy’s mom, who turns out to be a total monster. That’s the basic — and super familiar – premise of 2005’s MONSTER-IN-LAW. Lopez plays Charlotte, a woman suffers a string of horrible blind dates before meeting the perfect man. Then she finds out his mom is a nightmare. The actress had already proven herself to be a great rom-com leading lady in MAID IN MANHATTAN, but here she has to contend with a bonafide Hollywood legend: Jane Fonda, who plays the titular monster-in-law – and Lopez holds it down, effortlessly.
See Jennifer Lopez in SECOND ACT, opening on December 21.