Jennifer Lopez doesn’t work for free — unless it’s on her own terms.
“I didn’t get paid a whole bunch of money for ‘Hustlers,’” the 50-year-old told GQ for their 2019 “Men of the Year” issue released on Monday.
“I did it for free and produced it,” the actress continued. “I bank on myself, you know? That was like Jenny from the block. I do what I want, I do what I love.”
The film, based on the 2015 New York Magazine article titled “The Hustlers At Scores,” follows a group of Manhattan strippers as they discover they can make serious money by turning the tables on their wealthy Wall Street clientele. The story has been compared to that of a “Robin Hood” tale in that the ladies would argue they were stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
“Hustlers” made over $33 million in its opening weekend along, making Lopez’s pro bono work worth it.
“I’ve never been motivated by money,” explained Lopez. “I’ve always been motivated by, ‘I wanna be a great actress, a great singer, a great dancer. I wanna make movies. I wanna make music.’ And the money came along with that. And now that people know that you have money, they go, ‘Oh, yeah right, you’re not.’ But I’m not and I’m still to this day not. So to play a character, I do things because I love them.”
Lopez said she was eager to take on the challenge of playing a no-nonsense ring leader like Ramona.
“Obviously, for the pole dancing and to be playing a stripper, I was gonna be showing a lot of skin and my body in a way that I hadn’t ever before,” said Lopez. “So it was a lot of training and strength training and then pole dancing training. And it was really, really difficult.”
Still, the star said she was determined to do her homework for the role.
"I visited… a few strip clubs,” said the mom of two. “I talked to a few girls. And I got what I needed from the experience. And I think people have a perception that they’re ashamed of it, or it’s something they wanna hide, or it’s something that they should feel bad about. And they don’t. They’re like, ‘We’re dancers. We dance for money. We’re proud of our bodies. I feel fine.’… There’s this little bit of a bravado… it takes a lot of strength.”
In September of this year, the real-life inspiration for Ramona told Fox News she approved of Lopez’s pole dancing skills.
“That was the whole film,” said Samantha Barbash. “As soon as she came out in that outfit, she looked gorgeous. She did amazing on the pole. I don’t even know how to do stuff like that. So, I commend her.”