JLo Recalls The Moment She Knew She’d Made It And Why She Still Sees Herself As An ‘Underdog’ In Hollywood Decades Later

Jennifer Lopez in Marry Me.
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Jennifer Lopez has been working in Hollywood for three decades now. She has shown viewers just how multifaceted she is as a dancer, actress, singer, and businesswoman. By showing every side, Lopez has become a beloved figure in and outside of Hollywood, but it wasn’t always that way. Now,  JLo has gotten honest by breaking down her “made-it” moment and explaining why she’s still a Hollywood underdog.

The star was incredibly candid with Rolling Stone, as she opened up about her rise to superstardom. She transitioned from an In Living Color fly girl to an acclaimed actress with her breakthrough role in Selena. However, the star recalled her success being “slow and steady,” despite her numerous accomplishments. But it sounds like the first time she felt that she made it was a surreal moment. She recalled pacing in her London hotel room in the late '90s. Suffering from jet lag, the entertainer stared at a row of designer shoes lined up against a wall. From there, her mind took her back to her childhood days:

I was like, ’I remember having holes in the bottom of my sneakers. I was just like, ’Is this happening? It was almost like a fucking fairytale. And it wasn’t about the wealth of it. It was about the change, the disparity of it. The hotel suite was bigger than the house I grew up in. Way bigger.

Historically, Jennifer Lopez has only given small peeks into her personal life (which includes her renewed romance with Ben Affleck) here and there, so this is incredibly deep insight. Most of us would probably be under the impression that we'd finally achieved success had we been in her metaphorical shoes. Despite this, Lopez isn't quite ready to say that she's solidified herself among the cream of the crop in her profession:

I think I’m an underdog. I always feel like I was scrapping from the bottom. Always. I always felt like I was the one that wasn’t supposed to be in the room. That’s part of being Puerto Rican and from the Bronx and a woman. You know what I mean? All that stuff. Not being born into a family with money. Not knowing anybody in the business. I just went out there and said, ’Fuck it. I’m going to just try. I’m going to try to get in here.

So after conquering all sides of the entertainment industry, JLo still sees herself as a scrappy New Yorker pushing against various barriers. Though some may be surprised that the Shotgun Wedding star still feels this way, it is understandable that she still wants to remain hungry in her professional pursuits. Plus, she has gotten real about the things she hasn't accomplished. After winning acclaim and nominations for Hustlers, she reflected on being snubbed for an Oscar, which she said “stung” a bit.

In spite of that, Jennifer Lopez has continued to grow and thrive in her career, and movie fans continue to see her do what she does best – romantic comedies! If you want to see her latest rom-com, Marry Me, you can see the movie in theaters or stream it. And be prepared to see Lopez change things up with the Netflix action-thriller The Mother, which you can get a glimpse at via the recent first look. It's one of the many films that can be found on CinemaBlend's 2022 movie schedule.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).