Demanding diva? Spoiled superstar? “Not me,” insists sultry Latin actress-singer Jennifer Lopez. She says she’s just a “cool, nice person” who wants to make people feel good, who behaves like a professional and who never does anything “that is going to make it hard for me to sleep at night.”
Two hit albums, a handful of movies, her own fashion line, and a wardrobe of plunging outfits have powered Lopez, 31, to mega stardom in less than two years. She has just played her first live pop concert – “the fulfillment of probably my biggest childhood dream” – which will be screened as a one-hour music special on NBC television next week (Nov. 20), and is working as a producer on a pilot for a TV sitcom. And in September she acquired her second husband, dancer Cris Judd.
But success has also brought notoriety, such as tales of requests from the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer for 10 dressing rooms for an appearance at a British pop awards show, or all-white decor and Cuban food for a cameo charity appearance for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.
“I think people enjoy a little bit the idea of me misbehaving. But I am a professional. I go wherever I am supposed to be. I do my job. I do it the best I can. I stay until they need me,” Lopez told reporters in a telephone conference on Wednesday.
Lopez said she tries not to hear or read the negative publicity surrounding her and strived to keep her focus on entertaining people and making them feel good.
“But when I do hear it, it hurts me and it’s a surprise to me because I know how I conduct myself. When you know that you’re a cool, nice person and people want to create something that’s otherwise, it’s hurtful.
“I have the satisfaction of always knowing the truth and I never do anything that is going to make it hard for me to sleep at night. That’s how I conduct my life, that’s how my parents raised me and I am proud of that,” she said.
MUSIC TO CLEAN HOUSES BY?
Lopez finally got the chance to strut her stuff in person in a two-hour concert at a Puerto Rico stadium in September – her first live show and staged in a country where both her parents were born.
Besides a television special, the concert gave Lopez a taste for embarking on a more ambitious tour, although her movie and other commitments probably won’t give her time to go on the road until late next year.
“It was the most incredible and rewarding thing I have ever done and I can’t wait until we can work it out where I can really go from city to city and interact with the fans because it was really an amazing experience,” Lopez said.
Lopez makes six costume changes during the show, but said nothing she wears now or in the future could possibly top the impact of the slashed to the navel, and up to the crotch Versace dress she wore at the Grammys in February 2000.
“It was an unplanned overwhelming moment that I never expected,” she laughed. “I was just looking for the thing that looked the best on me and I felt the most comfortable in.”
“That dress” catapulted Lopez into the lists of the sexiest women alive. So what is she doing describing her last “J.Lo” album as music to clean the house by?
“I always want to make music that people kinda want to clean the house to. That album, you put on and just hear it while you clean the house and it… makes it a little bit less bad to have to clean.
“Those are always my favorite kinds of albums. I know it sounds kinda funny, but it actually has a lot of value to it.”