16 feb 2022

Jennifer Lopez in 5 pivotal roles, from The Cell to Queens

As a musician, Jennifer Lopez boasts a string of hits and crowd-pleasing videos. But as an actress, the singer has not always shone. She specialises in romantic comedies that are occasionally forgettable, but she has nevertheless appeared in several films that are worth seeing again and again. On the occasion of the release of Marry Me on Wednesday, February 9th, let’s take a look at five performances by Jennifer Lopez which made people forget Jenny from the Block.

1. A cult singer in Selena (1997) by Gregory Nava


Rather unknown in France but a real sensation in the United States, this spirited and successful biopic revealed Jennifer Lopez to the world. The actress plays the legendary Latin singer of the 1990s, Selena Quintanilla-Perez, who recently featured in a series on Netflix. The larger than life performer of The Love Don’t Cost a Thing dazzles as a Tex-Mex music queen who meets with a tragic fate (Selena was murdered by a fan at the age of 23). It must be said that the two curvaceous women have a lot in common. Both made it big in the music industry and remained true to their roots. Despite the obviousness of Selena Lopez’s performance, the film caused controversy. Critics praised J.Lo’s performance, but some fans of the 90s icon criticised the producers for casting an actress with Puerto Rican roots when Selena was Mexican. For the record, among the thousands of women who auditioned, Salma Hayek refused the role because the death of Selena (in 1995), who was idolized in the United States, was still too recent.

2. A cheating woman in U-Turn (1997) by Oliver Stone


In Oliver Stone’s racy and electrifying thriller, with Ennio Morricone providing the soundtrack, Jennifer Lopez captivated critics. Alongside Sean Penn (playing an escaped hoodlum), Nick Nolte, Billy Bob Thornton and a young Joaquin Phoenix, she plays Grace, a cheating woman living in a small Arizona town. Sexy and unbridled, this femme fatale causes a lot of trouble for the men she meets. In her striking red dress, J.Lo sets every shot of this violent film on fire. Sharon Stone was originally offered the role of this Latin bombshell threatened with death, but the star of Basic Instinct (1992) was too expensive for the producers’ tastes.

3 – A badass Marshal in Out of Sight (1998) by Steven Soderbergh


Steven Soderbergh’s funny, sexy, exciting action film offers Jennifer Lopez one of the best performances of her career. In it, she plays a female marshal who arrests a bank robber (George Clooney) and is not easily tamed. The scene in the film in which the two stars, trapped in the trunk of a car, fall in love is cult. The charm of the film lies in the chemistry between the two actors.

4. A psychologist caught in a trap in The Cell (2000) by Tarsem Singh

This German-American thriller mixing horror and science fiction is worth seeing if only for its highly refined aesthetics, which became very fashionable again with the comeback of the noughties. It follows Catherine Deane (Jennifer Lopez), a psychologist who must decipher the terrifying thoughts of a serial killer (an impressive Vincent D’Onofrio) to save one of his victims. This very dark movie, with scenes suggestive of music videos, allows the radiant Jennifer Lopez to explore a creative side far from the romantic comedies (The Wedding Planner, The Back-up Plan, Second Act), which she specialises in. And this dark side suits the woman who wore the famous green dress Versace with flowers that gave birth to Google Images.

5. A stripper in Queens (2019) by Lorene Scafaria


There are at least three good reasons to watch Queens: Lizzo, Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez, all of whom play in this flamboyant, bling, feminist film, based on a true story. The R’n’B singer expertly plays a New York stripper who runs a scam with other women who undress for a living. The gang of girls decide to get back at their wealthy Wall Street customers by collecting large sums of money. In addition to a moving and convincing performance in this powerful role with social overtones (a class struggle to a backdrop of trikinis), J.Lo reveals a glitzy and sensual look that would not be out of place in a hip-hop video. Bridging the gap between her two occupations and leaving a lasting impression.


Marry Me (2022) with Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, directed by Kat Coiro, currently playing.