Jennifer Lopez Reveals Oscar Nominated Role She Still Regrets Turning Down

Jennifer Lopez as Ramona Vega in Hustlers
(Image credit: (STX))

Every actor has one that got away. Will Smith recently admitted if he could, he’d go back in time and tell his younger self to ditch Wild Wild West for The Matrix. And now Jennifer Lopez has opened up about one role she turned down that gifted its actress an Oscar nomination. Check it what J-Lo’s one career regret in her words:

Yes. There was a movie called Unfaithful. And it was offered to me and the script, for me, wasn’t all the way there. I should have known that Adrian Lyne was going to kill it, but I didn’t. Diane Lane was so perfect for it, and it was obviously meant to be her, but when I think about that…I want to literally, like, shoot my toe off. I do.

Those are some bold words considering Jennifer Lopez’s other passions include dancing (please don’t shoot your toe off). The actress got candid about being in talks for 2002’s Unfaithful back in the day. It was a golden age for J-Lo’s acting career at the time, as she starred in her most memorable roles in date with Enough, Maid in Manhattan and the infamous Gigli.

Jennifer Lopez told Vanity Fair that she didn’t quite see the vision from the script, but she wishes she’d trusted the talented director on board. Adrian Lyne is the legendary director of Flashdance, Fatal Attraction and Jacob’s Ladder. Unfaithful would earn Diane Lane her first and only Oscar nomination, and it could have gone to J-Lo!

Unfaithful was a thriller about Diane Lane’s character getting involved in a steamy affair with a younger man, and her husband (played by Richard Gere) starting to catch on to it. It made $119 million globally on a $50 million production budget, and it received mixed reviews from critics. Still, Diane Lane’s performance certainly hooked audiences, but Nicole Kidman ultimately won an Oscar that year for The Hours.

Jennifer Lopez has been close to Oscar glory a few times throughout her career. She was famously snubbed for her role in Selena back in 1997. But 2019 seemed like it might be her year after delivering her performance in Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers. After losing the Best Supporting Actress award at the Golden Globes last weekend, J-Lo was snubbed for a nomination at the Academy Awards altogether.

Fans showed their distaste in the Academy following the nomination announcements on Monday morning when J-Lo was snubbed. Of course, in Oscar tradition – she wasn’t the only one to be left out! The female-led movie is based on a true story about strippers who drugged their Wall Street clients to turn the tables on them.

Hustlers was a hit at the box office, making $157.4 million worldwide on a $20 million production budget. J-Lo reportedly wasn’t even paid upfront to play Ramona Vega in the drama. The actress trained hard to nail the pole dancing moves she executes in the movie, but Hustlers has angered the real-life Ramona, Samantha Barbash, who is now filing a suit against those behind the movie for millions.

Check out the complete list of nominations for the 2020 Oscars! The ceremony will air on Sunday, February 9.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.