Jennifer Lopez took on an infinite problem with That is Me…Now: A Love Story, the “narrative pushed, cinematic unique” movie that hits Prime Video this week. It wasn’t the singing, performing or intricate choreography featured within the 65-minute musical because the multi-hyphenate can do all of that in her sleep. The true hurdle arose when the cash disappeared and Lopez opted to open her pockets to pay for the entire thing.
“All people thought I used to be loopy after I stated I might do it. We did have financing, after which that fell out. They pulled out on the final minute, after which it was that second the place you go, OK, will we simply make a video or will we go forward and do that factor?” defined the 54-year-old entertainer throughout an interview on the 4 Seasons Los Angeles in Beverly Hills whereas sitting alongside her Nuyorican Prods. producing companion Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.
They went full steam forward, despite the fact that Goldsmith-Thomas admits that when the cash fell out, she was terrified. “However I consider in her a lot. She was open to anyone’s notes. She understood that she needed to do it. She understood it was a idiot’s errand to finance your individual factor, and but typically the idiot is the genius since you’re following your coronary heart and this actually is her coronary heart.”
That is Me…Now: A Love Story drops on Prime Video on Feb. 16 in tandem together with her first studio album in a decade. It incorporates a host of stars together with Jane Fonda, Trevor Noah, Fats Joe, Submit Malone, Keke Palmer, Sofia Vergara, Jay Shetty, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kim Petras and others. One other one certain to snag headlines comes from Lopez’s real-life husband, Ben Affleck, and under she tells The Hollywood Reporter the technique behind his position in a script she co-wrote with Matt Walton primarily based on an unique story by Lopez, the movie’s director Dave Meyers and Chris Shafer.
The place did the concept come from?
LOPEZ As soon as the album was achieved, clearly. I did That is Me…Then 20 years in the past and by no means thought there can be a That is Me…Now. It captured a second in time after I first skilled this kind of love and after I had a second likelihood at it, I received very impressed to enter the studio and make this file. When it was achieved, which occurred in a few months, I used to be like, wow, it is a very particular, magical second proper now. I didn’t assume it was proper to throw out a video and do the traditional factor. I wished to do one thing actually completely different with this. I known as Dave Meyers, we sat down collectively and I performed him a number of the music. He says that I sang a number of the music to him, too.
I advised him that I made this album 20 years in the past, and now we’re right here, and he stated, “That’s the story. The story you simply advised me is the story.” I advised him that I didn’t need to inform the story of Ben and I as a result of individuals know that story. I wished to do one thing completely different. So we embarked upon how to do this in a visible method with singing, dancing and humorous in life like method.
I’m glad you stated humorous as a result of there’s such a humorousness on this. Why was that necessary?
LOPEZ As a result of life is humorous. Essentially the most heartbreakingly nice moments in life are once you’re crying and laughing on the similar time. To me, life is de facto humorous. Perhaps that’s why I really like romantic comedies — not that that is something near a romantic comedy, however these moments for me are those in life that present you ways necessary it’s to have the ability to snigger at your self. You need to, as a result of it’s absurd typically the issues that you end up in or that you just undergo. You assume, I by no means thought I might be this individual. How did this occur? It’s hysterical nevertheless it’s additionally heartbreaking. The fact of life is one thing that I actually wished to place in there. All of it form of matches in an natural method.
GOLDSMITH THOMAS Comedy and tragedy. And she or he was compelled to do it. She was compelled. I’ve by no means recognized anybody like this, seen anybody like this, and all you could possibly do as her companion and her good friend was dangle on.
And assist her convey it to life. It’s a producorial problem and I love the feat of it. It appears to be like costly, too. Not that I count on you to reply this however how a lot did it price?
GOLDSMITH THOMAS Right here’s the reality, right here’s what I did, I hung onto her. All of it got here out [with the help] of our extraordinary filmmaker Dave Meyers, who’s a visible artist. I imply, it was Jennifer’s imaginative and prescient and it was obscure it. It was troublesome. Initially it was arrange after which individuals didn’t actually perceive what it was because it was forming and reforming in her thoughts with Dave.
LOPEZ Like he stated, [Nathan Scherrer of Freenjoy] who helped us product it, we went in over finances. It was a difficult undertaking in that method. It’s like there might have by no means been sufficient cash for the undertaking. We didn’t have infinite funds from a studio. This was a really unbiased undertaking that I used to be self-financing. So it was very difficult producorial.
GOLDSMITH THOMAS Underscore that she was financing.
LOPEZ All people thought I used to be loopy after I stated I might do it. We did have financing, after which that fell out. They pulled out on the final minute, after which it was that second the place you go, OK, will we simply make a video or will we go forward and do that factor? Elaine and I talked about it. We talked about whether or not or not I do that or I simply go make two movies and go the traditional route. I made a decision that I didn’t need to do this. I wished to see this imaginative and prescient by way of.
GOLDSMITH THOMAS The songs poured out of her and it was electrical to observe that because it was occurring, and he or she needed to do it. When the cash fell out, I used to be terrified. So my job grew to become watching it. Do we actually want that scene? It wasn’t much less artistic and extra monetary, however I consider in her a lot. She was open to anyone’s notes. She understood that she needed to do it. She understood it was a idiot’s errand to finance your individual factor, and but typically the idiot is the genius since you’re following your coronary heart and this actually is her coronary heart.
Let’s return to the comedy. I need to ask in regards to the cameos [featuring everyone from Jane Fonda to Trevor Noah] and Mr. Lex Stone, who’s performed by your husband Ben Affleck.
LOPEZ While you’re doing this type of surrealistic magical odyssey, you may have a whole lot of artistic license. There have been completely different concepts that we wished to infuse on this piece and for individuals to determine what does this truly imply? What I wished to place in there was a form of the Greek refrain. We’ve this protagonist who’s a hopeless romantic, and he or she has the individuals in her life who’re commenting — her mates, her household, after which everyone else like coworkers and in my case, it might be the media. Not that they’re not rooting for you, they’re truly rooting for you, however they’ve an opinion.
Then there’s this concept once you actually love any individual, they’re at all times part of you. There’s a presence that they’ve even once you transfer on. Perhaps you by no means wind up collectively however they’re part of you. This story wasn’t about Ben and I. This was a couple of hopeless romantic’s journey by way of life in her seek for love. However there was a presence and the way did we’ve got that presence of this individual? That was the heartbreak that we speak about to start with. And so we got here up with this system of this individual [Lex Stone, a television anchor] within the background who was a presence, however probably not of their life.
After bankable success on the field workplace, you’ve gotten discovered success in streaming and are again in enterprise with streamers proper now [on This is Me…Now: A Love Story for Prime Video and the upcoming Atlas for Netflix]. How are you navigating the Hollywood panorama proper now with getting new tasks off the bottom?
GOLDSMITH THOMAS You need to be a little bit of an architect. You need to permit for issues to gestate. You need to perceive what the enterprise is and never a lot yearn for what it was. You have got to have the ability to pivot. It’s embarrassing to say this in entrance of her however Jennifer is a beneficiant, brilliantly artistic actor and filmmaker, and I really like working together with her. We speak 5 occasions a day. We replace one another on the whole lot. We get excited when one among us is worked up. We agree, we disagree. We’ve an inordinate quantity of respect, and we actually attempt to put variety first within the individuals we work with, we rent and that we attempt to amplify. It’s inspiring and it’s enjoyable. So long as you’re having enjoyable.
Interview edited for size and readability.